Cravings Are Proof

I read an article by Russell Brand after the death of Phillip Seymour Hoffman. You might have seen it around… I found it here after reading it somewhere else first. There was a part of his article that got me thinking about how powerful addiction really is. I’m not sure if Russell Brand is an alcoholic, but he is a recovering drug addict and addiction is… addiction. There are similarities to be found regardless of the substance. Anyway, I have been thinking about his words ever since. The truth of them really struck me.

“Recently, for the purposes of a documentary on this subject, I reviewed some footage of myself smoking heroin. I sit wasted and slumped with an unacceptable haircut against a wall in another Hackney flat (Hackney is starting to seem like part of the problem), inhaling fizzy black snakes of smack off a scrap of crumpled foil. When I saw the tape a month or so ago, what was surprising was that my reaction was not one of gratitude for the positive changes I’ve experienced. Instead I felt envious of this earlier version of myself, unencumbered by the burden of abstinence. I sat in a suite at the Savoy hotel, in privilege, resenting the woeful ratbag I once was who, for all his problems, had drugs.” -Russell Brand

Shit. I get that. I have felt jealous of my old self, my drinking self, even though I am so much happier and better off now… simply because I could drink. I hadn’t yet drank the sober kool-aid and my alcoholism could go on with its walls of denial securely in place.

Whenever I have cravings for alcohol I now think of them as proof that I am an addict. Why? Because my life is better without it! Like… way better! Cravings for a substance that was hurting me and making my life shitty is not logical. Last night I actually thought about drinking again after my son goes to college… he is 15 months old. Is that logical? No. Is it comical? Maybe. Is it happening? Hell no. Why would I want to do that? I LIKE MY LIFE BETTER SOBER. Sorry to yell. It is just so true.

So now I look at my cravings as proof that I really am an addict. Thank you for letting me know, craving. I think I will pass. I will beat you because you do not hold power over me unless I give in to you. I will try to be grateful for you because you are teaching me about myself every time you show up.

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12 thoughts on “Cravings Are Proof

  1. This is spot on. Alcohol is the only thing I crazily crave.

    That Russell brand article just never gets old. Whenever I think of the notion “ooh, just one glass of wine would be fine!” I think of the line he wrote where sipping a “timid glass of chardonnay on a ponces yacht” leads to him necking the bottle and swimming to shore to find a crack house in hackney.

    Thanks for posting this- it helped me reconnect with a very important idea.

  2. Interesting thoughts. I don’t want to believe this, I don’t want to believe that I can never again slip back into that warm fuzzy cocoon of alcohol. But I am afraid it may be true. My life is better, and I am stronger and fitter and more present and connected than I ever was when drinking. Yet there is still that allure. Quite puzzling.

    • The allure is puzzling, isn’t it? I am speaking for myself only, Carrie. I have found alcohol to be too sneaky to let back into my life. You have the year to figure it out so relax and enjoy your time. xx

  3. Well said. When I read that Russel Brand article it hit me to my core. I found it early on in my journey. It has been banging around in the recesses of my mind ever since.
    He is right, all of the people who have been in recovery longer are right. If we give in to cravings, we will be right back to where we were, or possibly a worse place.
    I have also read that it is really hard to get back to where we are, newly sober, again. That scares me, and keeps the alcoholic terrorists at bay.
    Until I got on this road to recovery, I thought Russel Brand was an ass, but the more I read about his recovery, I have to admit, he is brilliant.
    Thanks for a great post.

  4. He conveys so well what we all feel Jen. I miss the drinking me too – the allowed to get ripped, off my face, irresponsible, don’t give a f**k, live fast die young embodiment of drinking. The thing is my kids don’t as all that stuff made me a pretty inconsistent and at times scary mum. Their gain is worth a little discomfort for me 🙂 xx

    • I don’t miss it most of the time, but when I do I know that it is a crazy thing to miss. It shows me that my brain is wired differently. My babe is worth so much more, too, as is living my life to its fullest. Glad your kids have you. xxx

  5. I love the Russell Brand essay, and the Chardonnay line is one of my favorite bits–makes me laugh in recognition and shudder in recognition at the same time, even though in my case it would just be swimming for lots more wine, not crack (thank heaven for small favors). Brand has really grown on me a lot. Great post, Jen.

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