The Phenomenon of Craving

Dr. Norris Von Curl, II, MD

Dr. Norris Von Curl, II, MD

Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the word craving as: an intense, urgent, or abnormal desire or longing for something. The thought of it being abnormal does seem very relevant when you think about it. Cravings usually occur because of something specific evoking them. We wake up and perform through a 24 hour day, in one way or another, and having a craving is something out of the norm- at least for normal people. They just kind of occur every once in a while when a good strong hankering for some pie kicks in or something like that. Then you can bring the addicts and alcoholics like myself into the picture. We take that very thought process and flip it with our demented alcoholic thinking. As the old Narcotics Anonymous saying goes, “one is too many and a thousand is never enough.” We, the addicted, leech onto anything that makes us feel good and gives a reaction to the pleasure center in our brains where all the dopamine is released. This can range anywhere from sex to chocolate, from gambling to exercise, or from drugs and alcohol. The last of the “feel goods” mentioned is what most usually revert to, but keep in mind that the phenomenon of craving can occur with any addiction.

After we find our substance of choice and are hooked- it’s all we think about typically. We make it a point of being attached to whatever it is that is filling that hole inside of us. Often times there is this void that we have yet to discover that typically is a systematic root of our abuse but is not the full reason for it. Keeping that void filled becomes our sole mission and an obsession over something is created. Addiction and alcoholism are not something that can just be cured and gotten rid of. It is a mental disorder, a disease, or an allergy that the inflicted carry for life. It is important to keep in mind for us true addicts and alcoholics that the allergy we carry for alcohol and other “feel goods” never goes away. It’s this little devil pacing from shoulder to shoulder and just whispering soulless morals into your ears. Even upon getting clean and sober for an extended period of time, neither addiction nor alcoholism will disappear completely. The big book of Alcoholics Anonymous states in the pages at the front, “all the different classifications of alcoholics have ONE symptom in common: they CANNOT start drinking without developing the phenomenon of craving”. This statement is truer than true and will lead even the wisest of men and women down a road of powerlessness and unmanageability.  

With this disease comes great mental burden and agony. The disease of addiction steals your soul and morphs you into a hollow shell of the person you once were. It’s a harsh reality but once this phenomenon of craving becomes your life, it’s all pretty much downhill from there. Once the obsession has been awakened, the only way to describe it is like carrying a 100-pound weight with your mind. This weight is just crushing your thoughts, hopes, dreams, and aspirations all day. This reoccurring thought just constantly appears in your attic and bounces around making mere sentences hard to complete. It rules every aspect of your life and the only way to release this heavy load is to act on your addiction. Every inch of your mind has now caved into this fixation and the only choice left is to get high to relieve the mental pressure.

girl having drug cravings

Remaining Stronger Than Our Addictions

It’s unfortunate how our alcoholic thinking just takes over like it does, and for some, it goes on for years and years into decades and decades. Some addicts and alcoholics never find a solution to the problem and end up enduring the torment that chemical dependency brings. Yes, however, there is a solution and not all addicts and alcoholics are doomed to wander the earth in an uncomfortable stupor. A bit short of a hundred years ago, the program of Alcoholics Anonymous was created by Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob. They too were individuals who dealt with the grips of alcoholism and were doing everything they could find to let loose of the bottle. It was upon this founding of A.A. that the 12 steps were based and created, as well as the building of a fellowship around the world that has saved countless thousands and thousands of addicts and alcoholics struggling with the phenomenon of craving. This brings us to a foundation of the solution to this alcoholic blunder. As long as we catalog our past, we are not doomed to repeat it in the future, or so the saying goes. Learning from your problems and creating a solution is what it boils down to and such is why we get a sponsor and practice the 12 steps. It is once we start looking at our actions and changing our ways, this is when things start to clear up a bit. This is when the obsession we have been holstering starts to fade away and we start reeling in from the principles we’ve been practicing.  Usually, due to our addictions, most of the problems we deal with are self-inflicted. Admitting it starts with us sometimes is difficult, but spending time complaining doesn’t have a benefit. Looking at every situation from multiple perspectives is the best perspective and talking about the cravings with somebody who understands can make a world of difference.

Tired of Obsessing?

Life likes to sneak up on people but addiction and alcoholism grab you up by the ankles and flip your whole world upside down. It gets old quick- but there are alternatives to being chemically dependent. If you or a loved one has been struggling with getting a firm grasp on sobriety please call 844-489-0836 or visit www.firststepsrecovery.com. Our teams of specialists are waiting by to help figure out what options are best for sending your life is a comfortable direction that you can proudly stand behind.

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