What Finally Tempted Me To Drink
You might have some questions right now from the title. What does a beach ball in a pool have to do with alcohol? Didn’t I just write an article about how I’ve forgotten all about drinking?
That’s the great thing about being in recovery- you never quite forget about it, even if months go by without a craving. And this new craving was brought on by the most surprising of events.
So what happened?
The temperature is rising
As dumb as that sounds, what eventually brought on cravings for alcohol was as simple as it being close to summer.
It had been a couple of days with above 80 degree temperatures with high humidity and I had been doing my daily walk when it hit. It’s getting hot already and it’s so humid, you know what would be really refreshing? A nice cocktail or a hard seltzer. The urge to drink spiked from 0 to 100 and I was starting to feel the stress. I finished my walk and popped open a nonalcoholic beer, hoping that would satisfy my craving for alcohol.
Of course, it didn’t.
The next day, I had the craving again and tried to think of ways I could satisfy the urge that wasn’t drinking. I knew at a logical level, I didn’t want alcohol, I wanted something refreshing so we went to the grocery store to stock up on kombucha and sparkling water.
Topo Chico has a seltzer
When we arrived, one of the first things we saw on a giant display were the new Topo Chico hard seltzers. If you haven’t kept up with my sobriety journey, what set me back last year was giving into the hard seltzer craze. I started drinking White Claws shortly after my year milestone and it only took a little while to realize that no matter how much I thought I could handle drinking, I would never be able to.
There I was trying to stock up on drinks that would hopefully curb that urge to drink and there the display was, magnificent and grand. Surrounding the display were smaller ones of sunscreens, because hard seltzers are sold as the perfect refreshment, especially during a hot summer day.
In defiance, I grabbed a couple of nonalcoholic Topo Chicos and hoped for the best.
It’ll only get harder from here, but I’m prepared
I’ve learned that what really can make or break sobriety is understanding what can trigger a craving. For me, summer time was always when I drank the most. There were outdoor parties, relaxing times out on the porch, and an abundance of refreshing tonics. It’s hard not to imagine hanging out by a river with a cold alcoholic drink in your hand. Even if I knew that unlike most people, I would be drinking until I made a fool of myself, throwing up or crying.
But even though I understand it, this time last year was also when I had started to consider if I could drink again. Summer meant more social interaction and my mind would immediately go to being able to drink again. The lies I told myself were that I had gone a year without it, so alcohol wouldn’t have as tight of a hold on me. What kept me going until almost the end of summer had been meeting my yearly goal but almost immediately after I met it, I drank. Sobriety came once again, after realizing that I would go through a six pack of White Claws on my own and would want more.
History shows that I can’t drink without becoming addicted to it again but as soon as the temperature starts rising, so does my craving. Now that I’m armed with how my last attempt at sobriety went, I know I’m more prepared but it’d be a lie to say this won’t be hard. There will be days coming up where the craving will be more intense than usual, and I will have to deal with it as it comes.
But it’s worth it.