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Cravings — Do They Cause Addiction?

Good question!

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“I stop drinking for a while, and then, all of a sudden I start to crave again right out of the blue.”

“They told me in rehab that I will always crave, and that recovery is my only chance of fighting through that.”

“I get cravings for crack every time I go into the city, so I avoid it as best I can. But sometimes the cravings are too much and I go on a run.”

Each of these statements have been said to me, along with hundreds of other varying stories about the destructive power of cravings. There is little doubt that people crave, and it’s not just in the substance realms that people struggle with cravings. You can crave someone you love, an activity you enjoy, food, sex, or any other “shiny object” you prefer. But do cravings compel people to act beyond the power of will? Do they drive out-of-control behaviors? Do cravings happen to you, or do you actively crave?

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Cravings – What Are They?

These are important questions, and they get to the heart of issue. The commonly held view of a craving is that it comes out of nowhere and compels that individual to act in contrast to what they really want. It drives “bad” behavior. It drives the addiction. And most of all, the belief holds that a craving is something other than a creation of your own free will or mind; that a craving comes from somewhere outside of you, and in essence, attacks you. This attack ends with out-of-control behavior, and thusly the addict is compelled to continue their use whether they like it or not. These cravings are seen as “powerful urges”. In this view, we are taught that the best we can do is distract ourselves from these attacks of craving with all sorts of recovery activities such as 12 step meetings, relapse prevention classes, therapy, trigger free living, alternative coping mechanisms, etc. But eventually you fall outside of the recovery community isolative protection and all its daily distractions, and you need to muster up the grit and willpower to fight through the cravings. It’s an exhausting lifestyle this recovery bit.

Unfortunately, this view is based on the myth that a craving “happens to you” or is a thing outside the scope of your own mind and desires and preferences. This lie creates an unnecessary battle that results in a huge waste of time and energy. Only the truth can set you free from craving something that you are truly ready to let go of.

Let’s start with the facts: Craving is not something that happens to you. It is a mental thought or series of thoughts you create within your own mind, based on the belief that you want the object of your desire. It is nothing more and nothing less. This last statement does not mitigate how strong a human desire can be. The craving for a spouse or child lost to an early death can be heart wrenchingly overwhelming. The craving for food or drink after a long, tough day at work can be strong. The craving for crack, heroin or alcohol can be equally gripping. So the question is, how do you resist them? In the book, The Freedom Mode for Addictions, Escape the Treatment and Recovery Trap, this question is answered in some detail. Take a look:

How Do I Resist Cravings?

You don’t get cravings; you actively crave, so no resistance is needed since it is something you choose or decide not to choose for yourself (emphasis added).

Recovery ideology has renamed wanting substances as “getting powerful cravings.” This language distorts what’s actually happening when a person wants to use a substance, or even thinks about a substance. It leads people to believe that there is an objective force called a craving that they “get” or that otherwise happens to them. This mythical craving then becomes something to fight, resist, or prevent by some complicated means. Seen this way, it becomes something that requires strength and support or a special coping technique to overcome or resist. The truth is that craving isn’t a thing or a force; it’s an activity that you choose to do. You actively engage in craving, by thinking in some way “a drink/drug would feel good right now.” It feels “stronger” when your thought amounts to “I need a drink/drug right now.” And there are various shades of wanting in between these extremes. To crave is to actively think that using is the preferable option. So, like quitting, “dealing with cravings” is essentially a zero step process once you know what you want. When you change your perception of substance use, and see using less or none at all as your preferred option, craving will no longer be an issue because you won’t be thinking “I really need a drink/drug right now.”

Until you’ve changed your perception of substance use, you may find yourself revisiting the thought that you “want or need a drink/drug right now.” All you need to know at this point is that there is no powerful craving that’s forcing you to use, and that when you think you need to use, you are free to challenge that thought. You are free to ask yourself “do I really need a drink/drug right now?

Habit will play a role, as you will be more apt to think these thoughts in the situations in which you’ve always thought this way. If you recognize that’s just habit rather than a “powerful craving” thrust upon you by the disease of addiction, then you will realize there is nothing to battle or resist, and the habit of ideating about substance use will quite naturally die.

In short, know that craving is just thinking favorable thoughts about substance use, and – most importantly – you are free to think differently. It isn’t something that happens to you, it’s something you actively do. And that, you can change.”

If you want to know more about becoming free from cravings, you can get your own free copy of The Freedom Model for Addictions, Escape the Treatment and Recovery Trap at www.thefreedommodel.org/products/ and use the coupon code FREEDOM108 at checkout. For The Freedom Model for the Family use coupon code FAMILY100 at checkout.

Or call 888-424-2626 for help with your addiction.

If you would like to get away and learn the Freedom Model with a certified FM Instructor in a residential retreat setting at The Saint Jude Retreat, call the number above, or go to www.soberforever.net

If you want to learn about The Freedom Model Private Instruction Program, a program you take from the safety and comfort of home, go to www.leaveaddictionbehind.com

Entertainment

DirecTV Removes Conservative News Network in Blow to Free Speech

The move is just the latest incident in which conservative bandwidth has been arbitrarily limited, and it certainly won’t be the last. 

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In our nation, we’ve long held the belief that the diversity of opinion is a tool for sharpening our abilities and ingenuity.  The freedom to speak as you want is the best way to keep the evil among us from snatching up the entirety of the American Dream for themselves, and it levels the playing field among the masses.

That it why the latest move from DirecTV is so egregious.

The largest satellite provider in the United States said late Friday it will drop One America News, a move that could financially cripple the rightwing TV network known for fueling conspiracy theories about the 2020 election.

The announcement by DirecTV, which is 70% owned by AT&T, comes three months after a Reuters investigation revealed that OAN’s founder testified that AT&T inspired him to create the network. Court testimony also showed that OAN receives nearly all of its revenue from DirecTV.

The sudden change comes after years of cooperation.

DirecTV, with approximately 15 million subscribers, is by far OAN’s largest carrier. According to testimony by OAN’s accountant reviewed by Reuters, DirecTV provided 90% of the conservative network’s revenue.

“We informed Herring Networks that, following a routine internal review, we do not plan to enter into a new contract when our current agreement expires,” DirecTV said in a statement.

The OAN-DirecTV contract is set to expire in the next several months. DirecTV began airing OAN in April 2017, a deal that began shortly after OAN and AT&T settled a lawsuit over alleged oral promises during negotiations.

The move is just the latest incident in which conservative bandwidth has been arbitrarily limited, and it certainly won’t be the last.

In our nation, we’ve long held the belief that the diversity of opinion is a tool for sharpening our abilities and ingenuity.  The freedom to speak as you want is the best way to keep the evil among us from snatching up the entirety of the American Dream for themselves, and it levels the playing field among the masses. That it why the latest move from DirecTV is so egregious. The largest satellite provider in the United States said late Friday it will drop One America News, a move that could financially cripple the rightwing TV network known for fueling conspiracy theories about the 2020 election. The announcement by DirecTV, which is 70% owned by AT&T, comes three months after a Reuters investigation revealed that OAN’s founder testified that AT&T inspired him to create the network. Court testimony also showed that OAN receives nearly all of its revenue from DirecTV. The sudden change comes after years of cooperation. DirecTV, with approximately 15 million subscribers, is by far OAN’s largest carrier. According to testimony by OAN’s accountant reviewed by Reuters, DirecTV provided 90% of the conservative network’s revenue. “We informed Herring Networks that, following a routine internal review, we do not plan to enter into a new contract when our current agreement expires,” DirecTV said in a statement. The OAN-DirecTV contract is set to expire in the next several months. DirecTV began airing OAN in April 2017, a deal that began shortly after OAN and AT&T settled a lawsuit over alleged oral promises during negotiations. The move is just the latest incident in which conservative bandwidth has been arbitrarily limited, and it certainly won’t be the last.

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News

My Pillow CEO Blackballed by Banking Institutions Over ‘Reputation Risk’

The left is taking their war on conservatism to absurd new lengths.

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As the 2022 midterm election remains just over the horizon, casting an already dark cloud over the coming months, there has been a concerted effort among those on the left side of the aisle to exploit the events of January 6th, 2021 for political gain.  And, as Democrats continue to fear for the worst in 2022, they are casting an ever wider net.

The tactic is essentially spray and pray:  Throw subpoenas and accusations all over the place, and then beg the heavens above that something sticks.

This is making life very difficult for those who are, or were once, associated with Donald Trump.  This includes the CEO of the My Pillow corporation, Mike Lindell.

During a Friday episode of right-wing political strategist Steve Bannon’s War Room podcast, Lindell claimed that Heartland Financial and Minnesota Bank and Trust are attempting to “de-bank” him over concerns that they could face fallout related to having him as a client. During the podcast, Bannon and Lindell played an audio recording that they said was a call with a bank official.

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“Just because of our organization saying, ‘Well, why are we connected with somebody that could be in the news.’ And, not that the FBI is even sniffing and looking, but what if somebody came in and said, ‘You know what, we are gonna subpoena all his account records…and then also we make the news,'” the person in the recording said. “So it’s more of a reputation risk.”

Lindell went on to tell Bannon that the financial institutions want him to shutter his accounts within 30 days. But the pro-Trump businessman insisted that he is refusing to comply.

“I said, ‘I am not being part of this. I’m not leaving. So you’re going to have to throw me out of your bank,'” he said. During the segment, Bannon put the phone numbers and contact information of top officials at the institutions onscreen—urging supporters to call and complain.

And, finally…

“Where does it end everybody? Where does it end?” Lindell asked, suggesting that he is being persecuted for his controversial activism. He contended that the banks’ decision was related to his refusal to comply with the House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021 pro-Trump attack against the U.S. Capitol.

As the January 6th committee grows bolder and brasher, we should perhaps expect more examples of such political discrimination to make headlines.

As the 2022 midterm election remains just over the horizon, casting an already dark cloud over the coming months, there has been a concerted effort among those on the left side of the aisle to exploit the events of January 6th, 2021 for political gain.  And, as Democrats continue to fear for the worst in 2022, they are casting an ever wider net. The tactic is essentially spray and pray:  Throw subpoenas and accusations all over the place, and then beg the heavens above that something sticks. This is making life very difficult for those who are, or were once, associated with Donald Trump.  This includes the CEO of the My Pillow corporation, Mike Lindell. During a Friday episode of right-wing political strategist Steve Bannon’s War Room podcast, Lindell claimed that Heartland Financial and Minnesota Bank and Trust are attempting to “de-bank” him over concerns that they could face fallout related to having him as a client. During the podcast, Bannon and Lindell played an audio recording that they said was a call with a bank official. “Just because of our organization saying, ‘Well, why are we connected with somebody that could be in the news.’ And, not that the FBI is even sniffing and looking, but what if somebody came in and said, ‘You know what, we are gonna subpoena all his account records…and then also we make the news,'” the person in the recording said. “So it’s more of a reputation risk.” Lindell went on to tell Bannon that the financial institutions want him to shutter his accounts within 30 days. But the pro-Trump businessman insisted that he is refusing to comply. “I said, ‘I am not being part of this. I’m not leaving. So you’re going to have to throw me out of your bank,'” he said. During the…

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