A Craving To Kill For

What do you crave?

For me it’s chocolate. Dark chocolate. I have had a love affair with junk food since mom started going to the thrift store and freezing boxes of Devil Dogs, Ring Dings and Yankee Doodles. My brother, sister, and I went crazy for those.


Unchecked my craving will give me a bulge around the middle, high cholesterol, and a few other health problems that can be worked off by munching carrots and working out like a madman.


In the last two months I’ve been working on a project that involves more serious cravings for heroin. These cravings drive people to do tragic things to each other. The stories I’ve read have made me physically sick and writing this book has been difficult.

One particular aspect of my research has plagued me. Heroin addicts get clean using Methadone in clinics, or by sweating it out at home. Either way, beating the addiction means a horrible sickness that lasts a week and involves sweating in the fetal position with cramps, vomiting and the worst fever symptoms you could imagine.

Even while addicts are taking the drug, they require a larger and larger dose to “get off E”. In other words, addicts need more and more of the drug just to feel ok. It becomes harder and harder to get high and many times they are stealing or prostituting themselves simply to get rid of the sickness that will eventually consume them.

I’m awed by the power of not only the drug, but the other emotional and life issues that would inspire someone to go back to heroin after kicking it. Sweating it out is a deterrent for sure, but recovering addicts go back over and over. Some have been in detox dozens of times. Thinking about this boggles my mind and assures me of heroin’s power.

I won’t risk my life and my health by trying heroin, so I’m going to explore my own cravings.

I’ve made a bet with myself. Or maybe I’m conducting a psychological experiment on myself to help put me in touch with the three recovering addicts in my new book. Starting today, until I finish writing the book (or I crash and burn), I am going to go on my No Junk diet and get in touch with the cravings I have for junk food.

Anyone is welcome to join me.

Here is my official list of banned foods (yours may vary):

  • No Chocolate… granola bars with chocolate chips are ok
  • No Fast Food – McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, KFC… Subway is acceptable
  • No Donuts, Cake, Cookies, Pies… birthday cake for my kids is acceptable
  • No Candy
  • No Soda
  • No Ice Cream

I allow myself the following:

  • Beer and wine
  • Pizza
  • Chinese food

As time progresses I’ll check in with my word count, my success on the diet, and the affect my cravings have had on me over the week.

If you decide to join me on the challenge, don’t be shy. Post a reply and let me know how you are doing.


24 Comments on “A Craving To Kill For”

  1. Lil Gluckstern says:

    I’m not sure that pizza isn’t cheating 😉 I look forward to your book.

    • cjwestkills says:


      The challenge is mine. Some would argue that beer and Chinese food are cheating too. I could cut those things out, but my real challenge is chocolate and the list of banned foods. Skipping pizza wouldn’t be a hardship for me.

  2. redkattan says:

    Give up chocolate???? NEVER!!!!! I couldn’t do it. Although I don’t allow myself to eat very much, I’ll never give it up totally. And fortunately I like dark chocolate the best.

  3. JoEllen says:

    chocolate would have to be mine and wine. I don’t eat much of the other things you listed on your list, but I do eat them from time to time. Home made cookies especially. So I try not to bake them too often. Pizza once – twice a month. that I could give up, beere to me is a summer time thing. Any other candy (besides chocolate) ice cream, I guess chocolate I would kill for!!

  4. Terri says:

    When I was in high school, a friend’s older brother got really screwed up over a relationship, started doing drugs recreationally to escape and ultimately got hooked on heroin. He was one of the nicest, most standup guys I knew and within a year lost a great job and resorted to stealing to finance his habit – and, embarrassingly, often from people his family knew. He disappeared into a completely different world. It was surreal. The make or break time for him came the day he stopped by his parent’s house completely out of his mind and ended up pulling a knife on his mother because she wouldn’t give him the money he wanted. He was crazy about his mom and somehow her reaction and the horribleness of the whole event got through to him and he broke down and agreed to go straight to rehab. He relapsed once afterwards as I recall but was able to stay clean and rebuild his life … but he was very lucky.

  5. Marcia says:

    Chocolate is my thing. I can give up everything else but not chocolate. I guess that means it’s a craving/obsession/passion that would provide for an interesting trial period. Not sure if I’m ready to do that. But I wish you luck on your trial and will be anxious to see what you learn!

    • cjwestkills says:

      So far I’ve been tempted to cheat a few times. And Easter is this weekend UGGG. A house full of chocolate and I can’t eat any!

      Your moral support might be really needed next week.

      • Marcia says:

        I’m here for you, buddy! You can do this. My mom used to say you have to trick yourself into doing the right thing sometimes. Brainstorm ways to back away from the Easter basket! 🙂

      • cjwestkills says:

        “Put the bunny down!”

      • Marcia says:

        LOL!! Here’s a serious tip, though…eat lots of fruit so your sweet tooth will be satisfied. Also, try peanut butter or cheese as a substitute…no kidding! It really works! Hang in there!

  6. Elena Aitken says:

    Hey CJ,
    Glad I found your blog. Looks good. 🙂

    For me…I try to ban anything processed. If it comes out of a package, I ‘try’ to avoid it. Not always easy.
    But…processed or not, I will never give up red wine. 😉

    • cjwestkills says:

      Good advice Elena.

      My doc has been hounding me to eat fruits and vegetables and to skip processed food and junk. It has really been helping. I’m staying up working longer, exercising more and feeling better!

  7. Candy corn is my downfall. I’m soooo grateful Halloween is only once a year. I’ll eat those things until I’m sick.

    On my to be avoided list – pizza – that and cheese. I love them way too much. And the Cadbury eggs. I think I’ll hide from the Easter Bunny this year. I’m with you on the beer and wine.

    Good luck on your list!

  8. Kent Travis says:

    CJ–great post and great introspection/research for your book. As the Oracle at Delphi had posted above the entrance, “Know Thyself.” knowing how you are with your cravings, even if they’re not as obviously destructive as heroin, will help you know your characters better (not to mention yourself). I hope it goes well for you and that you get further than just recognizing the struggle. Feeling it and seeing how it affects you, those around you, how you treat people (because of your vices or because of theirs), etc., all worthwhile lessons. There are more, I’m sure.

    Anyway, great post. Glad some of the women who commented here pointed me in your direction.

    • cjwestkills says:

      Thanks Kent.

      So true. I hope to get just a glimmer of what these guys face. The real problem is that their issues stem from much deeper emotional and structural issues in their lives. I don’t want to replicate that.

      Great comment!

  9. Okay, this is bigger than the issue of candy corn…I was thinking about your comment “recovering addicts go back over and over” and “thinking about this boggles my mind and assures me of heroin’s power.”

    Have you considered discarnate entities?

    By way of my own research and personal experience (within my own family), I’ve discovered it’s not always the substance that holds the body prisoner. In the spiritual world, there are entities that have not yet crossed over for one reason or another, and as energetic beings that we all are – in physical body or not – we vibrate at certain levels, thereby attracting like vibrations. Discarnate entities seek those living who share similar beliefs and lifestyles as they did. In the case of heroin addicts, their habits create major holes in their auras. This allows the discarnates (who in their own previous life were addicts as well) to slide right in and set up camp, allowing them (the discarnates) to continue experiencing the feeling of addiction. So, when an addict gets clean, he’s raising his vibration, in turn kicking the entity out, and unless the “host” body continues on a higher vibrating level, he can fall prey once again to another entity that had an addiction problem. These entities can suffocate the will to quit, projecting thoughts in the host’s mind, keeping them from getting clean again or making them return time and time again. It’s dirty pool to be sure, but there are bad guys in the spirit world too.

    Some people may think this is too “woo-woo” to be plausible, but I’ve been involved with metaphysics long enough to be able to see how it can play out this way. I’m not discounting the fact that there is definitely a physical addiction that is hard to shake. I’m merely throwing out a possible explanation for the root of the psychological problem that leads to the physical problem.

    Just sayin’.

    • cjwestkills says:

      Wow Diana, that is really deep.

      I hadn’t considered discarnate entities.

      What I have been discussing with others in my research is that there is something missing in the person’s life. It could be an emotional trauma, lack of relationships, or fearfulness. It also seems that some personalities are prone to addiction while others are not. I am really exploring this now and trying to understand so I can capture their stories.

      Thanks for such an insightful post.

  10. This one hits home with me. Since becoming a full-time writer, my eating/snacking has increased…combined with my inactivity (aka sitting on my butt thinking deep thoughts at the laptop) – the result? Each book has piled on the weight. I was commissioned to write my first book which took 9 months AND 824 packs of Tic Tacs AND ten pounds added. My second book took 6 months AND an embarassing number of donuts and Doritos AND another ten pounds…and so it continues. Its as if writing and eating go hand in hand with me. And I used to be the woman who ran a 102km relay. Twice. I think that food is the worst addiction of all because you literally cannot live without it. You cant ‘get clean’ or truly remove it from your life like a heroin addict must strive to. My love/hate relationship with food needs to be addressed. And I will. Right after i finish this next book.

    • cjwestkills says:


      I read a little about you and your relationship with Doritos and Donuts on your blog! It’s laugh out loud funny every post (your blog, not your addiction).

      Thanks for sharing it here!

  11. […] March 29, I posted about Cravings and the new book I’m writing about addiction. I decided that I could get in touch with what my […]

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