3 Benefits of Keeping a Craving Log in Recovery
There are numerous benefits to documenting cravings on an official craving log. Managing cravings is perhaps one of the most challenging barriers you must face in recovery. If addiction is like an earthquake in our lives, cravings are the continual and sometimes catastrophic tsunamis that follow. I define cravings at the mental, emotional, or physical reminders that tug at your soul and remind you that your addiction still exists. They tend to be at their most extreme in early recovery, but in some cases, cravings can be experienced for years following your sobriety date. So let's see how beneficial a craving log might be for your personal addiction recovery.
What Is a Craving Log?
A craving log is a tool designed to track each specific craving you have, the severity of the craving, potential triggers, and more. Craving logs can be helpful for all different types of addiction and can be tailored to meet your needs depending on your sober time, the drug of choice, and so on.
For example, in my recovery from sex addiction, I utilized a craving log to document when, where, and why I had certain triggers that led to cravings to partake in my personal drug of choice (compulsive sexual behavior). I thought I could keep track of all my cravings in my mind but soon found out that my triggers were sometimes so subtle that I didn't discover them until it was too late.
How Does a Craving Log Help You?
Because the craving log tool was so beneficial for me, I want to share the exact ways that it helped and how it gave me a better outlook on my recovery and ultimately a more substantial method to surviving my cravings.
- Trigger tracking -- Likely the most obvious benefit of keeping a craving log in recovery is being able to spot triggers and possible patterns that may occur. In my chart, I had categories like "time" and "who," "what," and "where" that allowed me to discover if there were any trends that occurred at a specific time of day or at certain locations.
- Craving severity -- I recommend including a severity column that shows you if your cravings are worse at night or if they are getting progressively better over time. This helps you to track progress and figure out when you might be at your weakest in recovery.
- Learning to cope -- Logging how I coped is probably my favorite aspect of the craving log. After a few short weeks in recovery, you have a complete list of which coping skills work (and don't work) for each specific trigger. This really sets you up for success when you face future cravings and triggering situations.
I highly encourage the use of a craving log in your recovery so that you can achieve complete victory in fighting your addiction and personal drug of choice. You'll quickly be surprised by how impactful small choices can be and how subtle life changes can either make or break you on this never-ending journey of fighting your addictions.
Richardson, A. (2019, August 15). 3 Benefits of Keeping a Craving Log in Recovery, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, October 20 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/debunkingaddiction/2019/8/3-benefits-of-keeping-a-craving-log-in-recovery