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Home Let’s Talk Blog: The Monkey on My Back Seasonal Cravings

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    • #9386
      Allison KernanAllison Kernan

      I love the summer time! It brings on all my favorite cravings; iced beverages, sun-tanned skin, beach trips, swimming, and taking walks at night. The summer also has 4th of July to celebrate and vacations to go on! Although it’s one of my favorite seasons to celebrate, it also brings other cravings; getting high.

      Not to be mistaken, EVERY season seems to bring it’s cravings of addiction. Some more than others, yes, but addiction doesn’t discriminate against any. My addiction tries to convince me how much better the season would be with some drugs along with it. Winter is better to cozy up by a fire high, fall is better to enjoy the changing of leaves scenery high, spring is better to enjoy the warm weather beginning high, and summer is more enjoyable high at BBQ’s and days at the beach.

      But, remember, my addiction is FULL of lies.

      Although I’ve gotten through every season sober, The Monkey tries to convince me, daily, why I should spend time with him by scoring a bag of dope.

      So there I was, driving with my windows down on a perfect summer day. I was heading to pick up some things that would go along great with a beach trip. I started to get excited for my family’s annual trip to the Jersey Shore. Music was turned up in my car and I had an iced coffee in my cup holder.

      “This would be so much more relaxing with me,” said The Monkey. “You think you’re relaxed now, imagine just a little bit bringing on even more relaxation. You can do it just this once.”

      “You’re kidding me right?” I actually said aloud to this voice. I was frustrated and annoyed with the thought itself popping into my mind. There I was enjoying my day, then BOOM, these thoughts just had to appear.

      “Think of something else. Anything. Hm, ok, the sun is perfect, this music is great, I’m so blessed to be able to do all of these things I want to do today,” I told myself. I reassured myself that it is in fact a great day and I will NOT be distracted by this voice in my head.

      However, that one thought, just that ONE, didn’t completely alter my mood, but definitely put a strain in it. Now here I was, part of me fighting the temptation and the other half entertaining it, despite my desire to eliminate it.

      But I didn’t use that day.

      I didn’t care how tempting it was. I didn’t care how weak my flesh can be. I fought the good fight. I didn’t use, no matter what.

      I replayed the feeling of not being able to enjoy the warm weather because I was so hot and sweaty from withdrawal. I replayed the feeling of disappointment of not being able to attend 4th of July celebrations and BBQ’s because I was too consumed with chasing a drug. I replayed the feeling of being delusional while being high lying on the beach. I replayed the feeling of the worry and struggle of having to hide my track marks while wearing summer clothes; an impossible and tedious task.

      Replaying those memories over and over helped me not pick up. Fighting through the day and holding onto faith that the temptation and desire will go away helped me not pick up. Facing the temptation and “grinning and bearing it” as they say, helped me not pick up.

      I accepted the seasonal cravings. I focused on different, healthy seasonal cravings. Sometimes that way to fight the bad craving is to replace it with a good. I did that the other day that I had felt another bad seasonal craving.

      The craving of getting high to enjoy my summer day came. I went out to a local ice cream shop and got a cold ice cream cone instead. I enjoyed every bite of the ice cream and I remember taking a deep breath after a few bites and thinking, “this is JUST what I needed.” That satisfaction of filling the craving in a whole new way was so much more rewarding than filling the drug craving.

    • #9397


      That is so awesome. Very proud of you. I know for myself a common theme whenever I get derailed for anything negative is the “just one time” – which is definitely a lie because it can keep building from there. Listen we can get ice cream whenever you want to – it happens to be one of my favorite things! #mintchip4life

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