Actually I don’t know if the statement made by my title is true. I can only speak for myself, in that it’s been two years and a couple of months since my last hit of crystal meth, and I still get a craving now and then.
But first, let’s backtrack a little and give some context… A week or so ago, I was chatting with some of my new atheist friends on Facebook. By “chatting” I mean commenting on a share, in this case a share regarding hallucinogenic mushrooms. The share was with regards to an article that conveyed some apparent benefits of mushrooms. After I commented that my drug of choice had no benefits and I wished it were otherwise, one of my friends apologized for their discussing drugs. But you shouldn’t have to.
I don’t want my friends pussy-footing around drugs just because of my past. In the same way, I would never go to a party and expect people not to drink in front of me, or expect people not to keep alcohol in the fridge just because I used to be a meth addict. The reason is simple: The idea that I can’t drink is bullshit. I do drink, but not a whole lot. I drink champagne once a year on two days: Christmas and New Year’s eve. The rest of the year, there is no alcohol in my house, because in general I don’t like the taste of anything containing alcohol (especially beer – I hate the stuff).
But the idea that I can’t drink just because I used to have a problem with crystal meth is patently absurd; it’s part of the 12-step program which is not based on any evidence, but rather on dogma going back decades that has become entrenched into recovery “culture”.
Having written that, I will not take a hit of meth, or a line of coke, or smoke crack, or any other hard drug, not even cannabis, because I know where that would lead…
But that doesn’t mean that the thought doesn’t cross my mind at times; it doesn’t mean that I never think of using. When things go badly, that thought still comes up: “I could do with a hit right now.” And I still have to do what I did two years ago, and choose not to use. Granted, it’s no longer a difficult choice, and I always dismiss the craving in milliseconds. I no longer have any dealer’s numbers, and I have put a lot of effort into ensuring that I am psychologically safe and secure. In addition, by being completely open about my recovery, I have made absolutely certain that there are multiple people who would know if I did use. My brother would know. My mother would know. My son would know. His foster mother would know and that would ruin all I have worked for in terms of getting him back. My colleagues would know. Even my neighbours would know that something is wrong. I have gone to great lengths to ensure that were I to use, I would not get away with it for as long as even two days.
But the fact is, I am not going to use. Those cravings do still come, but they don’t even last a whole second when they do. I have made peace with the fact that they do still come, and am more than competent at dealing with them. So don’t apologize for drinking in front of me, or discussing drugs in my presence. It doesn’t bother me at all. (However, it wouldn’t be wise to use drugs in my presence, because I will not hesitate to call the cops on anyone who does.)
To conclude, cravings in recovery are normal. They happen and they are not a big deal. So if you are like me and crave occasionally, don’t worry about it. Focus on what’s important in life. Focus on why you are not using drugs, and if you really need to, think about the terrible consequences that would occur if you did use. But honestly, I don’t even need to think about consequences anymore. When things go badly (for example at work) and I have those momentary cravings, I focus on what I can do to make things better. And it should be no surprise that the solution does not involve drugs.