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 Post subject: Is it better to wait for cravings before drinking?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 3:13 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2017 1:47 pm
Posts: 6
Hi everyone
I've read the book and watched the film. I'm familiar with TSM, even been explaining it to family and friends. However, I've read quite a few times on this forum that you should wait until you crave alcohol before popping a pill and drinking.
The reason I ask is that I have a somewhat regular drinking routine and often I drink because it's Friday night as opposed to reacting to a craving. Is TSM more effective if you only drink when cravings come? Because a lot of the time we drink for other reasons ;routine, social pressure etc...

Cheers

Week 1 45
week 2 50


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 Post subject: Re: Is it better to wait for cravings before drinking?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 4:09 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 06, 2015 11:28 pm
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Hi Charlestan -

Yes, TSM is generally more effective when you wait till there's a craving, as it normalizes the part of the brain that the craving comes from. Otherwise habitual drinking can be attacked in a more conscious fashion (craving comes from an unconscious part of the brain). As TSM targets the craving in a way that's similar to the Pavlov's Dog experiment by disappointing the addicted part of the brain, it's not going to work as well if the craving isn't present (hard to disappoint a dog that isn't there).


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 Post subject: Re: Is it better to wait for cravings before drinking?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 8:32 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2017 1:47 pm
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thanks six pack
that makes sense. But I wonder how that applies to the mice sinclair used because they don't know they're doing TSM and there's no reliable way to assess their subjective cravings, yet they get the desired result. Is it more a question of optimising the de-addiction process? so if you drink out of routine etc you should still expect a result maybe just not as pronounced as if you only drink when craving and not any other time?


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 Post subject: Re: Is it better to wait for cravings before drinking?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 12:27 pm 
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From what I've seen, people still get some benefit from taking the Nal when they aren't craving, but they're more likely to "stall out" in the process.


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 Post subject: Re: Is it better to wait for cravings before drinking?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 2:52 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 28, 2015 1:37 pm
Posts: 348
If you raise a glass and take a drink doesn't that mean you are craving it? I think TSM teaches you to jsut not worry about such things, if you want to drink then go right ahead and do it, just make sure you take a pill 60 minutes before you do.

I've been doing TSM for about 3 years now and still drink most weekends just like you simply.... because. It's just that now instead of drinking 18 beers and waking up in the morning wondering how I got home I have 3 or maybe even 4.

It all depends too on what you mean by craving. Before TSM craving to me was physical withdrawal. It was the torturous punishment my mind inflicted on my physical body in a manor of stomach cramps, irregular heartbeat, panic and so on till I finally caved in and fed the monster.

Now for me a craving is, gee I'd like a beer tonight. And that's about it.


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 Post subject: Re: Is it better to wait for cravings before drinking?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 3:35 pm 
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Good to hear from you again, Ocean!


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 Post subject: Re: Is it better to wait for cravings before drinking?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 3:01 pm 
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yeah thanks ocean

i agree. I find it hard to distinguish between cravings. I mean there are so many variables going on: stress levels, diet, time since last drinking, what's happening in your social environment, whether or not you have to work the next day etc... that it's not so simple to know why you feel like drinking... so yeah I like to just start tsm from there - I feel like a drink... and then pop a pill


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 Post subject: Re: Is it better to wait for cravings before drinking?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 9:58 am 
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Joined: Thu May 28, 2015 1:37 pm
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I like to check in once in a while :)

I think, well for me anyway, a lot still has to do with habit. I've been hitting the bottle hard for the better part of 20 years so you can imagine all the excuses I've used over the years to drink. And drinking has been normalized. SO it's trying to un-normalize it that gets difficult especially when it comes to old habits like it's Friday night or mowing the lawn on a hot day. That's where a bit of mindfulness can really help. Sometimes you have to catch your self in the mist of acting out old habits and stop them in their tracks. Fortunately TSM is a tool that allows us to do that. Without TSM I was so conditioned that I'd just reflexively drink one after the other. Occasionally I'd hear that voice in my head tell me to stop but then before I knew it there was another drink in my hand. With TSM and a bit of mindfulness I can stop it without suffering. In fact it's almost easy.


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 Post subject: Re: Is it better to wait for cravings before drinking?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 12:50 pm 
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Yeah, it kind of gives you "power brakes" that way. I remember when there was a sudden break in my routine after being on TSM for a few months. I'd started mostly leaving my beer in the fridge in between sips. I'd just drank the last of one beer, then started to reach for a fresh one and stopped mid-reach. All of a sudden I was suspicious of the urge to grab another, like someone was trying to pull a fast one on me. I decided to leave that beer alone and switch to a NA drink for the rest of the evening. That was an important turning point.


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