Why Do I Still Want to Drink?
Staying sober isn’t always easy
I’ve been dealing with some intense cravings lately.
Luckily, I haven’t given in to them.
What bothers me more than the cravings themselves is the fact that I have them at all.
I’ve experienced enormous consequences as a result of my drinking. I’ve repeatedly proven to myself and others that drinking will always come with disastrous consequences.
So why the **** do I want to drink so bad?
What is wrong with me that I crave something that destroys my life?
I’m Letting Myself Become Overwhelmed
Lately, I’ve been stuck in a bit of a funk.
I published one article on Medium, which was a big milestone for me.
But then, I started rereading over other things I’d written lately and became highly discouraged.
I decided most of it wasn’t publishable. I started questioning whether I wanted to pursue writing.
I convinced myself that I was going to fail before I even really tried.
Instead of continuing with my daily writing habit that I’d just begun to cultivate, I started binge-watching television and sleeping too much.
When I’m staying busy and accomplishing things, cravings are almost non-existent.
Feeling stuck and depressed makes the cravings grow stronger until there is an almost unbearable urge to drink. If it gets bad enough, these cravings can override my logic.
Logically I Shouldn’t Be struggling with Cravings at all
Unfortunately, humans, myself included, aren’t only motivated by logic. Emotions and physical cravings also dictate our actions and can distort rational thinking.
It still amazes me that when I’m struggling, my mind starts to create stories that make it ok to drink again. The following are only some of the consequences I’ve experienced in my twenty plus years of drinking:
- Being charged with felony evading arrest in a vehicle
- Being charged with DWI three times, one of which resulted in a conviction
- Losing my mind due to alcohol-induced psychosis and thinking everyone was out to kill me
- Physical withdrawal so bad that I was shaking, sweating, and puking for several days
- Estrangement from family and friends
- Loss of all my possessions and extreme financial insecurity
- Inability to hold down a job and failure to live up to my potential
And I could probably list many more, but it’s not necessary for my point. Logically, not only should I not want to drink the idea of ever drinking again should completely repel me. And, if I’m in the right mind space, I am sickened by the idea of drinking again.
It’s incredible that by simply not drinking, most of these issues are no longer there. I’ve never been arrested sober. I don’t feel and act crazy when I’m sober. I still have career and monetary issues, but I have a chance to do something about that.
Quitting Drinking Is Hard No Matter How Long You Have Been Doing It
I got arrested for evading arrest in a vehicle when I was 19. At that point, I hadn’t experienced a lot of the consequences that I would experience over the next twenty years. But, in many ways, it was harder to be sober then than it is now.
I stayed sober for a year and a half due to getting busted that first time. But I was miserable a lot of the time. Despite there being plenty of evidence that alcohol was messing up my life, in my mind, I couldn’t have a problem because I was too young.
The older I get, the easier it has been to see and accept that alcohol is a problem. But on the flip side, the habit also has become more ingrained over time.
So, for me, early sobriety is equally challenging as getting sober later on but for different reasons. Trying to quit early on the issue is more accepting that a problem even exists. As time progresses, it became impossible to deny that it was a problem, but it also became much more challenging to quit due to the strengthening of addiction.
So, I really shouldn’t beat myself up so much for still having cravings despite all the consequences I’ve experienced.
However, I also should recognize that there are things I can do to minimize these cravings. Staying productive and maintaining healthy habits seems to be my best defense.