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Surviving a Crave Wave
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Surviving a Crave Wave

NU 11:4 The rabble with them began to crave other food, and again the Israelites started wailing and said, "If only we had meat to eat!

There is a pattern that typically happens after we quit an addiction that will usually lead us right back to a relapse if we are not truly aware of what is happening at the time. Being fully prepared before we quit is just as important as quitting. Here's how the pattern usually goes:

1. We get sick of our addiction and of all the trouble, pain, and expense it is causing us, so we make a quitting date and feel relieved, but still a bit apprehensive as the day approaches.

2. We finally quit our addiction and vow that we will never go back to it again. We may even tell many others that we are quitting just to reinforce our willpower not to go back to it again.

3. We start to experience mental and physical withdrawals, so our body and brain tells us that something is missing, and that if we don't put it back right now bad things will happen.

4. The fear and discomfort of the withdrawals start causing your mind to make excuses, negotiate, and rationalize that you picked a bad day to quit, and should just try again later.

5. We finally run back to our addiction and relapse, now even more depressed and defeated than before we tried to quit. We feel trapped and doomed to be our addiction's slave forever.

6. We try to think up new ways to quit like cutting down, modifying our use, telling someone not to give it to us, or trying to make it impossible to get it. None of which usually work out.

7. We once again get so sick of our addiction that we make a new and more "quittable" quit date this time that is sure to work, but usually it too just leads us back to another relapse.

I just want to encourage you today that the quitting/relapsing cycle can end, and you can make it through a wave of craving and find lasting freedom, but you will need to prepare your mind, heart, and spirit beforehand. Here are some tips to help you to survive a "crave wave".

1. Quit one addiction at a time, and it helps to start with the most destructive addiction first. Your quitting is not about redeeming yourself or looking like a hero, it's about you being free.

2. Think your quitting through beforehand and just know what to expect. Recognize what is to come, but don't fear it. Withdrawals are actually much bigger in our mind, than in reality.

3. Try to quit at a less stressful time when you can relax more. Be prepared to take naps, baths, or whatever keeps your blood pressure down. Exercise may, or may not be helpful.

4. Have some non-destructive pleasure ready to indulge in to help you psychologically not to feel so deprived and endangered without your addiction (TV, movies, computer, or whatever).

5. Tell yourself the truth when a crave wave hits. Remind yourself that your addiction is your enemy; about all it has stolen from you; and how it is destroying everything good in your life.

6. Tell yourself the good things about quitting, and how you will no longer be a slave to a plant, chemical, or habit, and you will be free to be in control of your life and money again.

7. Get support and encouragement from people around you, or call someone. Do things that can distract your focus away from the pain or fear you feel, and pray and ask God for help.

8. Tell yourself the truth that your withdrawals are just temporary and they will get less and less every day, and that if you quit now you will just waste the time you have gained so far.

9. Remind yourself of other addictions you have successfully quit and no longer have ruling your life. Those addictions seemed "unquittable" at the time, but now you don't need them.

10. Your crave wave will feel permanent at the time, but it will pass. Your danger alarms are supposed to go off when your body and mind think it is missing something, so don't worry.

11. Bind up all evil spirits connected to your addiction in Jesus name. We will feel fear when we think we cannot just run back to our old pacifiers, so bind up fear, idolatry, and addiction.

12. Spend time in prayer and reading your bible. God has promised to give us strength in our time of need if we asked Him, so trust Him to do and be what you need when you quit.

We use addictions because of fear of life, and a need to feel in control of everything in our life to feel self-protected through pleasure and a controllable substance or habit we can run to if a threat comes. You can survive a crave wave my friend, so get free right now for good.

Some extra scriptures to help you and use when you are hitting a crave wave.

PHP 4:13 I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

1JN 4:4 You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.

ISA 41:13 For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.

JAS 4:7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come near to God and he will come near to you.

REV 21: 7 He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son. 8 But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars--their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death."