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The Tenacity of Craving, Excerpted from Craving

"What is allowed us is disagreeable, what is denied us causes us intense desire."--Orvid

Many of the people I have worked with over the years point out how stubborn cravings are. They often describe the sense that something has sunk its teeth into them and is not letting go. The harder they tug to try to remove it, the deeper the bite. Many of my patients describe this as wanting what they cannot have.

But we don't always want what we can't have... What you believe about the reason you can't have something affects whether or not you want it. If you believe that the primary power that controls your life is also the primary reason you can't have something, you want it more. This has significant implication when it comes to cravings, because it means that if you can develop a different perspective about why you are experiencing cravings, you may be able to reduce the depth of the bite. In my successful patients who believe in a higher power, when they experience cravings, they don't blame God. They simply describe it as a part of their illness that they can diminish or alleviate by talking with others and practicing their programs.

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