Updated on April 23, 2024
3 min read

I've been sober for six months now, but I still get cravings from time to time. Is this normal, and what can I do to manage them effectively?

First of all, staying sober for six months is an amazing achievement, so good job. But you might still feel some cravings, which is completely normal.

Feeling triggered doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to relapse or that you’re doing something wrong. This happens because alcohol addiction changes your brain chemistry, making it reliant on alcohol. 

You might also feel cravings due to triggers and stress. Fortunately, there are ways to manage cravings healthily.

Tips for Managing Cravings

Here are some strategies to manage your cravings:

  • Therapy: Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) helps you understand negative thought patterns and develop healthy coping skills to manage cravings. During CBT sessions, you'll work with a therapist to identify negative thought patterns that might be triggering your cravings.
  • Support groups: Alcoholics Anonymous and other similar support groups offer understanding, support, and guidance to deal with cravings. These groups offer a safe space to share experiences, get advice from others who have successfully managed their cravings, and feel supported in your journey.
  • Mindfulness: Meditation techniques can help you be aware of your cravings and help you ‘ride the wave’ until the cravings pass. When a craving hits, mindfulness allows you to observe it without getting swept away by the urge to act on it.
  • Healthy activities: Healthy hobbies can keep you preoccupied and distract you from cravings. Explore activities that bring you joy and relaxation, whether it's reading, playing a sport, spending time in nature, or creating art.
  • Talk to your doctor: Your doctor might prescribe medications to help reduce cravings as part of your treatment plan. These medications can help reduce the intensity of cravings or address any nutritional deficiencies that might be contributing to them.

Building Your Toolbox

A toolbox for sobriety is filled with different strategies for managing cravings and preventing a relapse. But what works for one person might not work for someone else.

Here’s how to get started:

  • Identify triggers: Pay attention to feelings, situations, and places that can trigger your cravings. Keep a journal to track patterns.
  • Have a plan: Work with your therapist to create a relapse prevention plan. Include specific coping skills to use for different triggers and cravings.
  • Support network: Let trusted friends, family, or your sponsor know when you need extra support during cravings.
  • Take care of yourself: A healthy body can help make managing cravings easier, so consider eating healthy, sleeping well, and exercising regularly.

Remember, recovery isn’t a linear process, and there will be good and bad days. Be patient with yourself, keep building your toolbox with more skills, and reach out for help when you need it.

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Additional Resource

There are a lot of people and programs that can help you manage cravings. But if you need some more help, here are some resources that can help:

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Updated on April 23, 2024

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