When Desperate for a Drink, Eat Instead
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My life may well have been saved by a cheeseburger. Certainly my sobriety was saved, and at that time my life was on the edge.
I was newly sober and extremely fragile. I was out and about in Greenwich Village, floating. I had no destination, and nothing in mind except that it came upon me, strong, that I wanted to drink.
I walked aimlessly, struggling to fight the urge.
Then, as I passed a diner, I remembered that eating can take the urge away. I realized I hadn’t eaten for hours.
I sat down and had the most important meal of my life.
Alcoholism/addiction is often referred to as a pop-up disease. If you put down one addictive behavior, others may rise to the fore. I’ve had my struggles despite staying clean and sober.
Over-eating has been a challenge over the years. I no longer need to eat to avoid drink cravings.
But, early on, I surely did.
Often, hunger can be mistaken for a drink signal. I know that I had a difficult time learning my body sensations and understanding what was going on. My detoxification process took a long time. And about six weeks after putting down alcohol and drugs, I put down tobacco. So, my body and mind were going through tremendous changes.
While it certainly isn’t a long-term solution, in the short-term, or whenever necessary, having a milkshake can take away the obsession to drink.
If you truly feel driven to drink but you’re sober and you know it leads to disaster, have a milkshake. If you still want to drink, have another milkshake. And another if need be. It’s unlikely it would take three milkshakes to quell the desire, but however many it takes, it’s a hell of a lot better than succumbing to alcohol which kicks off the obsession to have more. And back on the merry-go-round which spirals ever downward.
I can remember the feeling of relief that I had after that cheeseburger.
I was full. I had no desire for alcohol any longer.
I was relieved, and I was grateful.
A good recommendation would be to carry some protein bars with you. A protein bar of breakfast bar, as some are called, is a great thing to keep in your bag.
Also, something sweet, like a candy bar or hard candies, can be important.
In the short term, don’t worry about it, and keep working in whatever fashion that you work or program that you’re in, to learn more tools of sobriety, gain self-esteem and purpose, and build up sober time and experiences.
It’s an amazing way to live, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.