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answered 08:01 AM EST, Mon November 07, 2011
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anonymous anonymous
I am one month sober from alcohol. I have always been a huge NFL fan but watching football games is something I would always do with beer and now even the thought of a game gets me craving. My sponsor says I just have to stop thinking about it and that it will be a while before I am ready to put myself in front of that kind of temptation again. It’s killing me to be missing the season. Is there any way I can learn to watch again a little quicker without having it become a relapse trigger for me?

Jennifer Hamilton Says...

Jennifer Hamilton J. Hamilton
LCSW, CADC

First of all, if you have a good sponsor, you need to learn to trust and listen to your sponsor.  That is a process in and of itself to turn over our self will to the care of someone else and not try to "fix it" ourselves.  Craving is a neurological function that is designed to keep you alive, therefore, it is VERY powerful.  It does not respond well to simply using thought stopping.  I feel for you greatly because when you love something, like football, it can be tortuous to choose to give it up.  I do want you to recognize though that you have a choice.  No one can make you not watch football.  You are choosing to not watch because as you said "now even the thought of a game gets me craving".  I think you answered your own question with that statement.  A good counselor can teach you some anti-craving techniques, but in comparison to the freedom you will gain from long-term sobriety, I believe choosing to watch a game this early in your recovery, even using these tecniques would be risky.  Sorry.  I know that wasn't the answer you were hoping for.  You will be able to do it later.  Right now your brain needs more time to not have that which it craves (alcohol).  Allow it to adjust to this new state of not using the alcohol.  Think of this as a consequence of your use.  It has allowed something you would love anyway to become intricately entangled with something your brain now thinks it needs to survive, making it difficult to do the one without the other.  I hope I didn't overwhelm you with information!

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