The “One day at a time”(o.d.a.a.t) approach to dealing with any kind of addiction is great. It kind of helps you to remember, “Hey, this is life. It sucks sometimes but, I can get through this”. But, I’d like to expand that concept a little bit. I don’t take it one day at a time, I take it one moment at a time. Sometimes even one breath at a time.
A craving can come out of the blue at any time of the day and be triggered by any stimulant. Some cravings, as I’m sure you all know quite well, are like a tapeworm in your intestines sucking all the enjoyment out of everything. Where as some cravings are more like an annoying fly that is being pretty persistent about residing it’s ass on your face. So obviously, some cravings are easier than others to overcome, subdue or whatever it is that you do to your cravings. I word it like that because it’s a good habit to refer to your cravings as something outside of you. The craving is not you! Or, you are not the craving. The craving is outside and under you, you do not need to let yourself be controlled or possessed by it. It’s like saying you are your emotions. You are not sad, you are merely feeling sad. You are not mad, you are feeling it. It’s not you, it’s a sensation you are experiencing and you’ll be happy to know, it’s never permanent. Just like…. you guessed it, your cravings. You are not craving, you are feeling a craving. Once you make that distinction between yourself and your cravings it’ll be easier to push the cravings aside and move on with your life.
But despite all that, cravings are still inevitable and you must be able to say no to it, or if you can’t say no outright you still need to be able to get yourself somewhere safe. Somewhere where you won’t have any access to your drug of choice or around friends that don’t do it. That’s where the o.d.a.a.t method comes into play. Or for me, the “live for every moment” method. For example, if I’m walking to the store and I start to crave I’ll start to focus on my walking. I try to determine if I walk in a symmetrical fashion. I notice that I tend to put more of the load on my right side. So I focus my attention to correct the problem and I’ve forgotten all about my craving. Such a simple thing, and I don’t think most people even scrutinize themselves on that level. If that alone doesn’t dispel my craving then I let myself notice each breath I take, I take in the smells and the beautiful spring weather around me. I try to distinguish between the different things I’m hearing. But as much as I try to harmonize with everything outside of me, I look inward just as much too. I’ve noticed some innate qualities about myself that I would’ve have never noticed before. I think every hardship you face in your life has the singular intention of stimulating self awareness. But often times people pity themselves or react in anger and they miss the point every time. Use your addiction and your cravings to teach you something about yourself.