Alert: Video contains language that some viewers may find offensive.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.”
– Marianne Williamson
“One of the most difficult things about reverting back to “normal” or moderate drinking after the excess of the holidays is getting yourself to a place where your brain is back to optimal operating mode for good decision-making. Here’s where Dryuary can help…”
Hypofrontality is a condition of the brain which arises out of high, binge, or daily consumption of alcohol. This condition exists because mother nature protects the most conscious part of the brain from neurotoxins by reducing blood flow to the prefrontal cortex to less than 15%. (www.youtube.com/watch?v=jkOl7QIXxlQ). The only way to fix this is to give the brain a rest from drinking, allowing blood flow to return to maximum levels and feeling the brain fog begin to lift. Nearing the end of your Dryuary, the pay-offs are going to begin to show through clearer thinking, the ability to find solutions faster, think critically, and catch the nuances of conversations and facial expressions. This is what the prefrontal cortex does. It’s vital for navigating through life.
You can manage cravings in at least 4 different ways: distraction, tolerance, extinction and tapping. Distraction is probably the most familiar and recommended method for managing cravings. The problem lies in that this only works for so long. After a while, you become a human-doing rather than a human-being which leads to feeling overwhelmed and giving up.
The second method is tolerance. This method requires that you white knuckle yourself through cravings and urges, counting down the days (or hours) until your next drink. Focusing on the idea of “I can’t drink today” only causes you to run towards that which you do not want. You are better off focusing on the “things you CAN do today”which probably includes a list longer than you can imagine that is more fun too. White knuckling is the most difficult of the three because willpower depletes throughout the day. The later in the day it is, the less likely this method will work.
The third method is extinction. This is permanent, it works, and is easier than you think. Psychological extinction means rather than distracting yourself from the craving or just surviving it, you use it as a detective uses clues to solve a case. Here’s what to do: The next time you have a craving, sit down and go into it. Describe it using your 6 senses – Hearing, seeing, smelling, tasting, touching, and feeling. Write it down or say it out loud. Where is it in your body? Try to describe its shape, color, texture, and location. Stay with it. Don’t be afraid of it. You can’t die from being present in the moment. Then, notice something. It’s gone! Repeat this method until you no longer have cravings. You’ll know it’s working when cravings happen less intensely and less frequently.
Pharmacologic extinction includes the use of a drug called Naltrexone in the Sinclair Method. Rather than take the prescription once a day in the morning (which affects more aspects of your life than maybe you want),you take it an hour before you plan on drinking and over the course of the next 6 to 9 months it is 78% effective in reducing or eliminating the desire to drink. You can find more info on the C Three Foundation website. (I have no affiliation with the C Three Foundation).
Lastly, tapping is the use of energy psychology to stop an unwanted feeling in its track. Learning how to do this is easy and there are literally hundreds of Youtube videos on “Tapping for Cravings.” What this does is send signals to the brain to disrupt emotions and change your response to the craving. For North American’s this seems a little airy fairy but it’s free and worth trying. If it works for you, you’ll be glad you checked it out.
So, what comes next? Once you master the art of managing cravings you get to a space of freedom, personal growth, and discovery. Ironically, alcohol IS the distraction. It distracts you from who you are and who you are meant to become. Alcohol fights the evolutionary impulse within all of us to transcend and transform into a better version of ourselves. Taking a break from drinking allows your brain to come back online maximizing your potential to rise. It creates a beginning to becoming part of the flow of positive change on the planet.
Afterall, this isn’t about drinking at all, its about growing as a species into our full potential. Its about common goals, sticking to a commitment, helping a friend, not letting yourself down, and learning to really accept and love yourself. It’s a chance to wake up and smell the coffee and choose anew what you really want for yourself. It is the awakening of consciousness. It’s realizing we are powerful beyond measure.
Post Submitted By: Michele Perron, PhD, LADC, CCSAC, ICADC, CAPP
Michele is a private international addiction consultant and has
been in the field at all levels of care for over 12 years. She is the author of
“Tools for Life.” To hear more about Michele, a Wellness podcast can be found at