If you are looking for a way to resist drug cravings in the LONG run, then read on, because in this ultimate guide I am gonna lay out how I beat drug cravings every time within seconds.
In this post, I will show you
- Why you will fail if you don't have the proper mindset
- Why it's essential you know why you want to give in and
- What you can do about it and
- The method I've developed to beat my drug cravings within seconds and
- How you can kick boredom and
- Lack of motivation
This definitely won't happen overnight and if you are looking for a magic pill then this post is not for you.
If you don't want to truly stop that nightmare yourself, this process is absolutely pointless.
You must have reached a point in your life, you are literally forced to change your life - for the better.
No excuses. You have to do whatever it takes.
This is a lot of work you have to do.
Don't only read through, work through. And do this old school meaning grab a pen and paper and write it down. No distractions.
I know this works because I was an addict myself for 20 years and went through the same process, and I have developed a bulletproof method to resist and beat my drug cravings every single time in no time.
And I will show you how.
I have seen so many people struggling with cravings and relapsing as a result, that I had to put this post out.
Table of Contents
Here's a quick overview of the process to resist drug cravings.
Mindset, Mindset, Mindset...
This chapter is the most important one of this whole post to resist your drug cravings and to beat them within seconds.
I know from experience if you don't want something truly yourself, everything you do is nothing but lukewarm. Neither fish nor fowl.
And it's something I can't give you. If you are doing this only because someone wants you to, then this attempt is doomed to failure.
Some call it hitting rock bottom I call it D-Day but in the end, it doesn't matter.
Eventually, you have reached a point in your life and it's this moment you have been waiting for so long.
You will feel it.
And from this very moment, you truly have the desire to change your life for the better.
It will be rough when you start, but your inner boost keeps you moving forward.
Because you don't want to go back to hell.
Anyway, in the following sections, I will show you the mindset I have developed over time and those are the ones I live by every day.
Feel free to use them or use them as inspiration.
All of them are characterized by negativity because I found this to be the most effective way.
So let's start.
Forget The Term Abstinence
I heard that term so many times and I am sick of hearing it.
Why? Because it only carries negativity.
To me, abstinence means there is a sacrifice and I am no longer allowed to have 'fun' and I have to accept that I had already the best time of my life.
It's not about being abstinent.
It's about being free. Freedom per se. It's about no longer being a slave because you are no longer bound in chains.
That's the mindset you need.
When you are addicted to drugs you are always restricted. It's like having a parasite you can't get rid of.
I heard many people talking about their 'abstinence' but I could tell that they weren't happy with saying that.
In other words, twist your perspective.
Then we have the next one.
Your drug of choice is poison - no more
The heading says it all. This is the way I think about drugs and you should do as well.
You should only see the negative and the negative only.
I get it, I totally understand why you are doing drugs because it's your heart and soul.
..this is only in the beginning, and once tolerance kicks in, you need more and more, but you will never get the same effect again.
Even if you stop, to give your fried receptors a break, you will face tolerance again. Sooner or later.
And if you are a drug addict there is no moderate consumption. Never.
Like him or not but Nietzsche once said:
"its easier to forsake a desire completely than being moderate"
Moderate consumption will never be an option because you couldn't handle your consumption in the first place.
If you have been doing drugs for years, you know the cons outweigh the pros.
And that's the thing you should focus on. The cons.
In the end, your demon (drug of choice) is nothing but poison and you only get nightmares, terror, and horror. You only get cons.
Therefore, fuck the pros.
Always remember the cons, when you have a drug craving. Always think about the results you got.
Think about the shame you have put your family through.
Think about your situations when you were depressed, lonely, bored and unable to get yourself moving.
You know you get paranoid and will be in hell again.
You know the paralyzing fear and terror of being alive.
You know it kills your motivation.
You know you will feel like a piece of garbage.
And the list goes on and on.
See what I mean?
Those are the cons, and that's why you should compare your drug of choice with poison.
Looking at your drug of choice should be disgusting.
Let's move on.
BMW stands for bitching, moaning and whining. Stop it. Give it up.
Don't get me wrong, it's not completely forbidden, but this should not be your permanent condition.
I know exactly some things tick you off.
But when you're constantly complaining about something, then goddamn do something about it, change it or accept it.
Nothing will change if you are only bitching but take ZERO actions.
If there's something that sucks, permanent BMW is not the answer. Period.
It will never change the situation.
Which leads to the next point.
This is a term from CBT and I found it great to deal with (everyday) problems.
In your recovery journey, especially the beginning, you will face a lot of moments, situations and events you have escaped from and ignored for a long time.
But some of them can no longer be avoided. You have to go through. You have to deal with it. You have to accept it.
Winston Churchill once said: "If you are going through kell, keep going"
Meaning press on regardless.
I know that's hard but you will learn so much. Get the shit done. Just do it and learn from your mistakes because you will learn a lot.
You are not high, so the chance of shame or embarrassment, as a result, is quite low. That was my experience.
You will face a lot of emotions you have suppressed for so long, and because you haven't learned how to deal with them this will freak you out.
That happened to me and radical acceptance helped me so much overcoming them.
Over time I have developed a super quick method to practice radical acceptance.
I will show you the method later on in the bonus section.
Say goodbye to justify-mode
Do what you want as long as you can stay clean and suffer the consequences.
Try something new. Expect to fail. Learn from mistakes.
But forget about justifying your actions. When you made a mistake, then you made a mistake. Period. Asking for pardon is BS.
Stay true to your principles, because otherwise, you make yourself extremely small. You are giving the other person power. Massive power.
And if you are feeling low the risk of relapse is quite high. When you made a decision then maintain that decision.
Quotes to live by
I am pretty sure you have also quotes you'll never forget. But how should they help you?
When I had my severe depression I went deep down the rabbit hole and was addicted to negativity.
I wouldn't mind dying. I enjoyed the horror, the abyss, the cruelty.
In that time I came across many quotes like the one by Stephen King, which hit me:
"Monsters are real, and ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win."
I will always remember that quote, especially regarding my addiction. I have created a massive monster inside, that only waits for the weak moment.
And if I'd give in the monster will win. That's why I want to stay drug-free forever, because I know I would not survive the next time.
Here's a second quote that helped and still helps me right now.
Ironically this quote is by Johnny Depp, a former addict:
"The problem is not the problem, the problem is your attitude about the problem".
And he's so damn right.
Think about this quote. It can not only be applied to cravings but life problems in general.
It's all about your attitude. The way you think about something.
And here's another one by Albert Einstein:
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough."
This is so true, in regards to your triggers. If you can't explain your triggers in simple words, you don't understand it well enough.
This has to be crystal clear.
Now let's come to the next chapter.
In a nutshell, the model consists of four variables:
- S (stimuli) - the trigger (an event, a situation, a specific moment, etc.)
- O (organismic) - the abilities or skills the person has
- R (response) - how the person acts due to S & O
- C (consequence) - the result of the response
There's always a trigger, that creates the desire. That creates the craving.
That's why it's so important to know your triggers and what they trigger.
Because when you know your trigger(s) you are no longer working on the symptoms, you are working on the root cause.
And this is way more effective than scratching the surface not knowing what the hell makes you wanna consume.
The next chapter is the most comprehensive one but extremely important further down the line.
Identify Your Triggers
What Are Triggers?
Addiction triggers can be described as "anything that brings back thoughts, feelings, and memories that have to do with addiction" according to Psychologytoday.
Those triggers can then be divided into the following categories:
- Environmental Triggers
- Social Triggers
- Emotional Triggers
No matter what triggers you, you need to know them.
Why You Have To Know Your Triggers
I know I am repeating myself, however, this is such an important point.
I cannot emphasize this enough. If you don't know your trigger(s) you are looking for a needle in a haystack.
I am an IT guy and there's a saying called 'garbage in, garbage out', meaning if you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always gotten.
So put the effort into the following steps, stop the garbage and find out your triggers.
I know this is hard work but it's worth the effort.
How to Find your Trigger(s)
The Real Reason(s) First
Now let's come to the first big step on your journey to resist your drug cravings in the long run. You need to know your WHY.
Why? Because if you know the real reason, why you are consuming (and what triggers you), you know what you are dealing with.
Otherwise, it's like having a buggy app you've developed. As long as you don't find the bad code you are just scratching the surface.
But if you know the reason, then you are working on the root cause. You are no longer eliminating the symptoms. You are solving the cause.
To get this straight, every time you were consuming earlier had an intention behind it.
And this intention is, to be honest, quite simple.
Let's start with the first one.
To Gain Pleasure
This is often at the beginning of your drug career.
You discovered drugs for the first time and you were amazed at how awesome the feelings are.
You couldn't get enough. There's no limit. You were doing drugs because you wanted to feel good.
You could no longer imagine a life without drugs.
And this works as long as you haven't developed a tolerance. Later on, only the first score of your day is the 'best' one.
Everything else further down the line is just a desperate attempt to keep the high. To keep your level of escapism.
- But why didn't you stop?
- Why did you continue using it?
- What was the exact thing the drugs gave you?
- Why did you not reach a point saying "I don't need it anymore"?
Questions To Find The Root Cause
Now let's make this personal. It's about you. This is your first task.
Grab a pen and paper and start writing. Nothing is bad at this point. It's about finding the truth. Ignore your inner critics.
- Why do you want to gain pleasure?
- What’s missing in your life?
- What are you trying to fill with drugs you don’t get without?
- Why do you only gain pleasure with your drug of choice?
- What do you get when you are consuming?
Answers like 'to have a good time with friends' aren't false but don't tell the full story. You have to go deeper. Way deeper.
How? By using why questions.
Imagine a 3-4-year-old kid. You know what they do if they want to know something?
Exactly, they are using why questions and they don't stop until they get the answer.
So to take this example further, you would then ask yourself why do I want to have a good time? Your answer: "because of X". Then: "why X?".
What you are looking for is a specific positive emotion you only get, when you are consuming. Have a look at the emotion wheel here.
Let's say you feel proud because you win praise and recognition by your drug friends when you are consuming, but you don't get it without drugs.
Now for you, that's a damn good reason, and why should you ever stop using, when you have the easy solution?
This would be an example of what's missing in your life.
If you don't get appreciation, recognition in your life and there's nothing you can be proud of, then it's no wonder, you are searching for other solutions, i.e. drugs.
The next question is of course: Why could I not be proud of something the time before doing drugs?
And this answer goes on with another why question and so on.
Also, look for statements your former "drug friends" made when you did hang out with them in the past.
Are there any specific phrases you don't forget?
I have created a template you can use as a worksheet. You can download this worksheet and the whole post here for free.
To Avoid Pain
This is all about avoiding negative emotions like misery, hatred, anger, shame, embarrassment, etc.
From my experience, that's the main goal I was focusing on when I was heavily addicted.
Ok, you gain pleasure in the first place when you are doing drugs, but the longer you consume, the less effective the drug becomes.
And in the end, because your problems get bigger and bigger, you just want to escape. You just want to avoid the pain. To numb the pain.
You suck at your job, you destroy your family, literally, everything is heading south.
The only thing you are doing extremely well is taking drugs beyond good and evil.
It's the emotions, the pain you don't want to deal with. The emotions are the real reason why you want to consume.
It's because you don't know better.
That's the 'O', the second variable of SORC's model. It's the skill the person has at this very moment. That was the same for me.
I didn't know how to deal with negative emotions without doing drugs. It seemed impossible.
And when you know you have the solution (your drug of choice) at your fingertips, you aren't interested in any solution, that takes time and effort when you have something, that fixes the problem instantly.
You will do everything to keep your drug available everywhere you go.
You get tunnel vision and nothing else matters.
This is such a sneaky trap because you don't see the negative results in your life instantly. They come gradually.
And it's so easy, to quickly suppress your emotions by knocking yourself out than fixing the root cause.
The root cause will still be there but you don't give a shit anymore. The problem is, life doesn't.
No matter how hard you try to ignore, suppress or drown your problems, they won't go away.
It's quite the opposite, those problems get bigger and bigger until they explode.
Then, you are forced to get your shit together, at least if you really care about your life.
Questions To Find The Root Cause
Ok, so how do you find your real cause?
Here are some questions, that should help you to dig for "gold". To find your sore point.
- What or which pain do you want to avoid?
- Why do you want to avoid that pain?
- Why is your drug of choice the only way to escape the pain?
- Why can't you solve that pain?
I know this is brutal, going back in time, looking for answers you have already buried.
But which negative emotion will be triggered in the first place, when you have a craving?
Let's imagine your childhood and youth was good, but you never got that much recognition and attention.
Everything you did was 'good'. No more, no less.
You grew up seeing all your relatives drinking alcohol, 'having a good time'.
You were still a kid and, for example, was asked at 1 pm if you have a bubble gum so the driver can reduce his alcoholic breath.
It was normal for you that people around you knock themselves out.
And you tried alcohol as well at the age of 12 and you completely knocked yourself out, but that experience was that bad, that you've decided alcohol is not your drug of choice.
You then came across a guy and he offered you Marijuana. You knew what it was but only heard about it, but you've never tried.
And because you grew up with people boozing all the time, there was no reason for you not to try. And you were hooked.
Then you started an apprenticeship and at a moment's notice you will be hammered several times a week by your boss with statements like "You suck" or "is there anything you are capable of at all?".
You had no answer, nothing to reply, no skill because there was no need to develop one in your youth because everything was alright.
You've never faced a problem like this before.
You could only answer with a desperate smile which got hammered back immediately.
You felt like a piece of garbage.
You then developed fear when going to work, because you were crushed almost all the time and you were powerless.
You got panic when you were alone with your boss. So you hid whenever you could.
You felt horrible, helpless, useless, unworthy, not good enough.
And as you had already experience with Marijuana earlier, you chose the easy way out, the quick fix to escape. To numb and avoid the pain.
It was the first thing after work and the last thing before going to bed.
I hope you can feel the pain and all those described negative emotions are the real cause.
I have created a template you can use as a worksheet. You can download this worksheet and the whole post here for free using the button below.
Here are the tools I used myself and helped me to come to terms with the past.
And there's a high chance that something happened in your past as well.
This can be a single specific event or something that evolved.
In a nutshell behavior analysis is a method to understand your behavior.
This is the method I used to analyze a situation, where I knocked myself out, to understand what happened, why it happened, what I was trying to achieve, etc.
It was the behavior analysis that helped me to identify the reason why I was consuming so I can highly recommend it.
Here's the template:
|An event you crushed yourself||What did you think before you consumed?||What did you feel before consuming?||What did you hope to achieve?||And what happened actually?|
I have created a template you can use as a worksheet. You can download this worksheet and the whole post here for free using the button below.
Ok, let's look at every single point in more detail.
Situation or occasion you knocked yourself out:
I'm pretty sure you have lots of occasions, you took drugs, but use an event you went overboard and never forget - like a horror trip.
And this is the situation you choose for your behavior analysis.
Then we come to the next point.
Thoughts you had before consuming
Go back in time mentally and try to remember the whole event in the most detail possible.
The following questions can help:
- What did you think?
- What were your thoughts about?
- What were your thoughts focusing on?
- What did you imagine before it happened?
- What was the most important?
Write as much as you can.
Feelings you had before consuming
Almost the same as before but now you are looking for feelings and the underlying emotions.
The following questions can help:
- How did you feel (e.g. calm, anxious, alone, etc.)?
- What did you feel? (e.g. in your body)
- What did you feel before it happened?
- What was the most important?
Write as much as you can.
Now, this is the part you use and write everything down what you thought will happen. In essence, what you wanted to achieve as specific as possible.
Again, think deeply about the event and go through thoroughly.
Write as much as you can.
This is all about what actually happened. List everything that burned into your mind. All the drawbacks, all the shame, all the downsides.
Again, write as much as you can and in the most detail possible.
Drug-Career-Method & Drug-Graphs
The following method is quite comprehensive.
The intention behind this method is, you know exactly why you did drugs, why you couldn't stop, when you took more and why and much more.
Coming to terms with the past using this method, helped me tremendously because now I knew exactly my triggers.
And I began to understand my childhood and youth and why it was no wonder it happened the way it happened.
Grab pen and paper and go back in time again and start with the first consumption of your drug career. There's no template, write as you talk.
Try to remember "milestones" (with dates) in your drug career, but start with the first contact with your drug of choice.
You don't need the exact minute but at least the year better the month as well. Imagine the event and write down everything that you can remember.
Again, write as much as you can. This can take a while...
Once you have completed the first part you then create a simple graph
If you are polytoxic make a graph for every single drug you did consume.
The y-axis equals your consumption and has 4 markers. The x-axis is simply your timeline.
Here's an example:
Note your reason for the peaks and the troughs
If you do that you will know why you took more, made a break and for example why you started again.
I have created a template you can use as a worksheet. You can download this worksheet and the whole post here for free using the button below.
Work On Your Trigger(s)
Things You Must Do In The Beginning
You now should already know what your triggers are and this step is an absolute must.
The question you need to ask yourself:
"Do I have Triggers That Can Be (Immediately) Avoided?"
When you have triggers you can avoid, then you need to avoid them.
What are you waiting for?
- Cut out your drug friends
- Move to another city
- Avoid your hot spots
- Block the number of your dealer(s)
- Get a new phone number
Note these are just examples. You likely have other triggers and ways to avoid them.
You know your story, you know the crap.
If you do nothing, don't expect a miracle to happen.
Grab a pen and paper and list all of your triggers and decide which of them you can definitely avoid and do what's necessary.
Stuff I Did & Recommend
I did a short-time behavioral therapy and CBT (approx. 1.5 years) and I have learned a lot.
It's not only the things you learn like dealing with emotions, thoughts, and understanding behaviors.
It's also about being persistent in your actions to change your life for the better.
- Committing yourself to keep appointments
- Enduring difficult situations
- Willing to implement unpleasant tasks
And things, in general, you have avoided like the plague for so long.
But it can take some time to find a therapist you click with. Everyone's different, but try to find a therapist with the same gender.
Also, it's sometimes difficult to tell whether their statements are really true.
They might have a degree, but:
- Have they gone through addiction?
- Have they ever tried drugs?
- How can they know how it feels like to have a drug craving to numb the pain?
I once had a young therapist and she was trying to give me advice on my drug addiction so I asked her if she had ever tried drugs.
And the moment she said "no" I was no longer listening because it was pointless. It was a waste of time.
It's like asking someone for advice about children. Would you ask parents or a nurturer without having own kids? Which one would you take for granted?
In essence, your therapist is nothing but a coach.
He can help, support and improve you, but YOU have to do the hard work. It's your job.
He can't do this for you.
I was really surprised by the effect of going to meetings. Only listening to like-minded addicts and their stories and why they were here was eye-opening.
All of them were forced to change their life.
You could tell at which state an addict was.
Some of them were just in the beginning, full of grief and loss that there heart and soul (drug of choice) is gone, but they were committed.
Some build great confidence and developed very good and healthy coping skills to resist their cravings.
Testing Different Coping Skills
Coping means to invest one's own conscious effort, to solve personal and interpersonal problems, in order to try to master, minimize or tolerate stress and conflict.
That's the broad definition from Wikipedia.
Coping skills for addiction are more targeted and CAN help you to resist your drug craving (some of them can help instantly if you apply them instantly like Mantras). That can be short-term or long-term depending on the skill's difficulty.
I have tested a lot of them and some can really help. That's why I have created a list of 30 skills here you can choose from.
In essence, it's the first step in finding a new hobby, which I will cover later on.
That's why it's also a good idea going to meetings because you simply get inspired how other addicts deal with their urges and what they have developed - as healthy alternatives to cool down.
Stuff You Can Utilize (I Accomplished It Without)
I took a lot of pills. At a certain point, I was taking more than 10 pills at the same time.
I was really thinking there must a pill that cures it all.
Guess what, there wasn't. In the aftermath, it was ridiculous I believed it.
I am no longer a friend of medication because it's just a different way of escaping. It's literally looking for the magic pill. Looking on the outside.
The psychiatrist Carl Jung once said: "Who looks outside dreams, who look inside awakes."
If you have to take meds for some other reasons, then only take the least dose possible, this is what I do.
But I don't completely rely on them. That's when radical acceptance takes place.
If there were a magic pill we all would have no problem. Pills can only help to a certain degree.
I understand when you need subs to survive in the beginning but this isn't a solution until your old and feeble.
I met several former heroin addicts in meetings and they made it without subs. It took time but they made it.
The only medication I take is Methylphenidate because of ADHD.
I am well aware, that this is an amphetamine derivative but why should I go overboard? (I easily could because I have more than enough in stock.)
But what would be the fucking point? I know exactly I am not able to control my consumption.
Every high is temporary. No matter how much you take your problems are still there.
And they will explode if you ignore them all the time.
The earlier you work on problems the less impact they have.
Rehab was something I wanted to avoid at all costs. I didn't want to be away for months from my family.
I wanted to accomplish it without residential treatment because I had decided in my mind to stop my drug addiction.
Depending on the rehab's center experience and your mindset this can be a good decision (as long as they don't have greenhorns only).
But it's def worth to think about it.
Identify Your Early Warning Signs (EWS)
What Are EWS?
Warning Signs per se are described as:
"[...] a type of sign which indicates a potential hazard, obstacle or condition requiring special attention."
To get this straight from the beginning. The early warning signs I mean are not the 'typical' warning signs or red flags like:
- Financial or legal issues or
- Displaying periods of lethargy, lack of motivation, or being highly distractible (e.g. spaced out) or
- Periods where you are anxious, fearful, or suspicious or paranoid
In case you have those red flags, you've already got things into a mess.
The early warning signs (EWS) are signs BEFORE you have your craving.
Why You Have To Know Your EWS
You need to focus on them because they will help you later on when you create your cool-down-methods to resist your drug cravings combined with the WCS Method to beat them within seconds.
How To Identify Your EWS
What you are looking for are mental or physical activities that begin unconsciously.
- Racing thoughts
- Rapid pulse
- You stop speaking, you get silent
- You are thin-skinned
- Nervous muscle tremor
What can you recognize yourself? What's going through your mind? What do you think? What does your body do?
Look at your mimic, gestic, tonality, etc. Is there, for example, a specific pattern of thinking that makes you wanna explode?
What does your behavior look like before it's too late?
Create your personal EWS list.
When you followed the chapters so far and made the behavior analysis as well as the DCM (drug-career-method) you should already have a list, an overview of your thoughts and feelings, before your consumption.
Look closely at the information you have gathered so far. This should not take that long.
Immerse yourself into that situation again.
If you would be an observer watching your former self. What could you recognize? And that's the information you put into your EWS list.
Don't skip this step. It looks like you are doing twice the work and it almost is. But that way you get more aware of yourself.
Create your CDM’s (Cool-Down-Methods)
What Are CDM's & Why You Need Them
Cool down methods are your strategies, to resist your drug cravings, once you recognize your EWS (early warning signs).
It's something that helped and still helps me to react before it's too late.
Because escaping or numbing is not an option any longer.
The goal is you have a checklist in place with all your triggers listed and what you can do instead to resist your drug craving.
To build a solid system in combination with the WCS-Method later on.
How To Create CDM’s Using Your EWS
This exercise builds on the previous work you've done so far.
You know your triggers. You know your early warning signs.
Now it's time you use that information and create a checklist to put everything in order.
The following template will show you the basic template's structure with examples.
|A Statement By Your Boss||"What an asshole. I could kill him"||rage, grinding teeth||inferiority, hangover, lack of concentration||Mantra, deep breathing, going for a walk, calling a friend|
Imagine you were crushed at work due to a statement from your boss (trigger).
You are angry, feeling helpless, useless and your thoughts are focused only on getting high after work so you can numb yourself and forget the shame.
You are tensed up and grind your teeth.
Now, of course, the former response would be you consume, but what else? Which negative results were also included, for example, a hangover?
This is also about your personal drawbacks, your cons, you have made so far. So list all of them here.
And I mean EVERYTHING because you will need them later on when I show you my WCS method.
Go through your (handwritten) notes. Go through the drug graph(s) and re-experience all of the bad experiences you've had so far with your consumption.
Feel the pain again. That's the minimum you will get if you can't resist your drug cravings.
This will definitely happen again if you don't change your behavior.
Then write those drawbacks, the cons down.
Once you have listed the negative results in most detail, the next section is to list things (Cool Down Methods) you can do instead.
And those Cool Down Methods (CDMs) are typically coping skills or methods, you have already tested or developed so far.
Those CDMs you learn for example in meetings, therapy, etc.
You need at least 3 - 5 CDMs.
Personalize My WCS-Method
How It Works
WCS stands for a worst-case scenario and is nothing but thinking about the end result, i.e. what will happen when you start doing drugs again?
And this should be a freaking nightmare.
This is about personalizing my method.
This method is quite simple because this method is reminding yourself of all the drawbacks you have made so far in your drug career.
And I'm pretty sure you've had a lot of them.
You have already listed them when you created your cool down methods, and you will do it again here in even more detail, just to make sure you are completely aware of them.
It's my bulletproof method I use successfully all the time.
I have developed this method gradually and it became so powerful, that I can immediately crush my cravings the moment they come up.
I have tested many other coping skills but this works best for me.
It works because I have experienced so many drawbacks. And that was the key in developing this method.
Because I went through all the massive drawbacks mentally.
I immersed myself in those situations again and again. Trying to feel that bad emotion again.
Soaking up the pain deeply. And it was frightening as fuck.
It was so bad that only thinking about those experiences instantly made me feel I don't have any reason to have this experience ever again.
And that was the first step.
I have already lost many things, but I asked myself what would or will happen if I don't learn from my mistakes?
What will happen if I still ignore the problems and continue doing drugs? I already felt the bad experiences, but I wanted to take this to the next level.
I wanted to make this worse.
No.. "better", I wanted to make these the worst-case scenarios, so that the already horrible experiences would be an absolute freaking nightmare, which scares the shit out of me.
And because this was even more terrific, this method became my number 1 method to resist & beat my drug cravings within seconds.
You bet some situations triggered me and the desire came, but I found the best way to eliminate that desire is to immediately apply this method.
Don't let time pass and I mean not even a minute!
You need to apply this method within seconds.
That's why it's so important you know your early warning signs. No matter what they are you need to act instantly!
The longer you wait the more likely the chance your desire becomes action.
That's why I have started with the mindset in the beginning.
I found to look at your drug of choice with negativity only, finding it disgusting the best way to deal with drug cravings.
And that's also the reason I have mentioned to forget the term abstinence. You need to twist your perspective.
I was so sick of the 20 years of life I have lost. Totally wasted. And I will never get them back. Never.
I was grumpy about that for weeks, almost months.
I began to see only the negative in using drugs.
I said to myself I had 'fun' with drugs but in the end, it's nothing but crap.
In the end, there was not a single positive outcome.
Re-experience all your drawbacks, all the cons, everything bad you have experienced so far in your drug career.
Go through every single massive pain. Feel the pain. Remind yourself this pain will be repeated again and again if you don't stop.
Think about how you can make this worse. What would be the worst-case scenario you never want to happen?
Write as much as you can and once you are finished you pick the 2-3 worst ones.
Those are the 2-3 WCS you immediately think of once you have a craving.
This following step is completely up to you, but when you do, make sure you have access to your 2-3 WCS (as a list) within seconds.
- the home screen on your phone
- using a bill-board, little note in your wallet, etc.
Face Your Trigger(s)
You can't avoid your trigger forever. That's quite obvious.
You need and you will face a situation that triggers you.
That's why you have worked on so many parts so far to resist your drug cravings in the long run.
You should now have created some CDMs (cool-down-methods) and you have personalized my WCS-Method, to pull the ripcord before it's too late.
How To Resist & Beat Drug Cravings Within Seconds
- You've created a list of all drawbacks, cons you had with your drug career
- You've gone through those cons mentally and re-experienced the pain
- You've created worst-case-scenarios for those cons & created 1 - 3 top WCS
- You use those WCS within seconds once you have a craving
When it's foreseeable
There will be situations or locations you know you will be triggered for sure.
And that makes the event a bit better to prepare yourself mentally for what you can do in this specific moment.
Look at your CDM list. Go through this list several times. Go through this future situation mentally.
Know your EWS and if your cool down methods don’t work immediately apply my WCS-Method you have personalized.
When it’s unexpected
That will happen more often than you think in the beginning.
The moment, the second you recognize your EWS and your personal CDMs don't work, immediately apply the WCS-Method you have personalized.
I have never relapsed since using this method and it's this method I use to resist my drug cravings & beat them within seconds.
How To Kick Boredom
Boredom is something you will face in recovery. It's because doing drugs has been your hobby for so long.
It was the thing you have used to fill the time, to fill the void.
You didn't learn how to deal with problems. You didn't learn how to live life on life's terms.
What you did learn, is how to delegate responsibility in your life.
That's why it's so hard when you start, as it's with everything new you learn.
From that moment you stop, everything you do seems incredibly hard.
And you will suck in the beginning because you are not used to it.
You will have a lot of brain fog first, that was my experience.
I wasn't able to focus on any task for more than 30-60 minutes a day. That was the absolute maximum.
I know because I have tracked the time and that was extremely annoying.
And this can take weeks, months or even years, depending on your drug career.
I remember one quote by a therapist in psychiatry and she said:
"The psyche of an addict takes three times as long to recover, compared to the time he was addicted to the substance".
Meaning if you were 20 years addicted your psyche needs 60 years to recover.
Fat chance, right?
Why You Need A 'New' Hobby
What happens the moment you no longer have drugs at your fingertips?
A big void will come into your life. Another problem is, in the beginning, no matter what you do, nothing will give you any kind of satisfaction.
That's brutal in the beginning.
Avoiding boredom in your life means breaking old unhealthy habits.
Avoiding routines, because too many routines make you bored.
But starting a new habit is not that easy. I know from experience but read on and I will show you how you get started.
This method will help you to find a new hobby, to find what you want and what you can focus on (if you didn't find any coping skills to make it a new hobby).
And it's quite simple.
Step 1 - Grab a pen and paper and draw a circle
Step 2 - Inside the circle you write down everything you currently have
Step 3 - Outside the circle you now write everything down what you would like to have
You then pick one of the items outside the circle and apply the divide and conquer technique (algorithm).
The principle of this method is picking one problem and dividing it into tiny fractions so you can manage the problem way easier.
Let's imagine you aren't fit and want to lose weight and you want to lose 5kg in the next 60 days.
And you want to achieve it by exercising, but you suck with push-ups.
You can't even do more than 10. Maybe only 5. And that can be quite frustrating.
So why not starting with only 1 push up? One push-up a day for the next 7-10 days and you then increase it by one.
Only doing one push-up is quite easy.
And if that's way too easy, then adjust the difficulty to a degree which still makes it no problem to leave your couch.
The key is to do it daily and it's easier if you divide your problem into very small achievable pieces.
A new habit takes about 30 days to acquire but you need to do it consistently.
On average it takes about 51 days to break a bad habit.
If you are struggling with finding a new hobby and the couch potato exercise doesn't work, use my hobby finding method.
It's more in-depth on how to find a new hobby. You can download this pdf for free here.
It's not all about Motivation
I can relate to the lack of motivation or when you are lazy.
That's normal because you only see the big problems you have to face.
You are facing problems you have avoided for so long and you don't know where to start.
Everything seems unbearable, but you now know the divide and conquer technique. Use it.
There will be days that suck but keep doing what you are doing.
The point is if you are working on a problem or a goal, then integrate it in your day even if it's just a tiny fraction of your goal.
Then it's not motivation it's integrity. No matter how your day sucks.
Just do it.
So to recap, the beginning of your recovery journey is hard and frustrating, that's why I mentioned one part in the mindset, that there's shit you have to deal with.
But as long as you have the willpower to change your life for the better, there's a high chance you will succeed.
I knew I couldn't give up because I was so sick of my former life.
You need to avoid boredom at all costs and I showed you what you can do about it using the couch potato exercise and the divide and conquer technique.
You need to keep your mind busy!
Because if you are like me, free time means thinking time, and thinking time is dangerous, because that way boredom is on its way.
And boredom itself is highly dangerous for former drug addicts.
When your life sucks, then do this exercise.
It's called Maranasati and what you do is you think about (your) death.
Note, this is what I did. Make it yours. Make it personal.
What I did was imagining people come to my house and put my corpse into a body bag and later on there was the funeral with shitty weather.
My family was there and all my relatives. All were completely shocked and everybody was crying. And when I saw all the people crying and grieving I had to stop. This was so intense.
I did this exercise for 15 minutes maximum.
Afterward, I felt so glad of being alive, breathing fresh air, having something to eat, a house I can live in, etc.
It helped me so much to appreciate life, to appreciate what I have.
So I can highly recommend doing this method. I did this exercise after breakfast.
Here's the method I have developed and mentioned in beginning at the radical acceptance section.
This is the method or my approach, how I solve every problem, every day.
I simply call it the PS-Method (Problem-Solving-Method).
No matter which problem, event, whatsoever I face, I use my PS-Method.
I have problem X:
Then I go through the following steps:
- Is there anything I can about problem X?
If so, then fucking do something about it.
- If there's nothing I can do about problem X, by no means,
then accept the crap and move forward.
And when you can do something about a problem, you then use the divide and conquer technique I described earlier.
This was a long post and I could probably write more, but I had to decide to stop, otherwise, this post would have found no end.
The message I wanted to convey is, you need the mindset to no longer doing drugs. You must have made the decision in your mind.
The desire to change your life comes from yourself.
If you are not willing to change your life for the better, this whole process is nothing but wasting your time.
Furthermore, it's so essential that you come to terms with the past, that you are working on your drug addiction right now and you are making sure you are on top of things in the future.
It's about understanding the context of your story.
I know this post is far from perfect, so let me know what's missing.