I think I mentioned in another thread, it took about a year of pretty intense craving, and another year or two of vague longing, which sort of mirrored the amount of time I was using. And I've since been offered/exposed and have had no interest at all.
I'd be pretty damn offended if someone judged me as an addict because I have been in the past.
From experience, I think the most important thing was to identify the reasons for engaging in the addictive drug or other behaviour (I'll just stick to drugs to keep it simple). Why is being high/drunk better than reality, what is it helping you to cope with, and are there other ways to achieve this?
It sucks being patient, but time does help - as long as there are other coping strategies in place to help until then as well.
And assuming you have stopped using, then thinking of yourself as still being an addict can potentially be damaging, it can make you feel helpless and that the drug still controls you. Being able to ignore cravings makes you pretty damn strong and in control and you should be proud of that.
(I know the 12-step program promotes the whole, always an addict and it's out of your hands thing, and that does totally help some people, but I don't personally agree with their philosophy).
Hmm, sorry for the long reply!