This is what I have been repeating to myself lately. One hard night or stressful day doesn’t mean that all the bad times are coming back. It’s just one hard night, one stressful day.
I wrote about euphoric recall a while back, the phenomenon of remembering whatever you have given up with a fondness that breeds temptation. It’s been really chewing on my brain for the last few days. I get little flashes of fantasy, memories of alcohol and that distinct “nothing is really happening” sensation. I dispute them, I “play the tape through to the end,” I remember all the bad things that have historically gone with drinking for me.
It’s frustrating, because the few months have actually been pretty easy, sobriety-wise. At some point I shifted from “I want to drink but I can’t” to “I don’t want to drink.” It felt like magic, this total restructuring of the world around me. And now I can feel myself taking little steps backwards, back to “can’t.” I know, from experience, that this can lead even further back to “shouldn’t, but…”
It’s just a hurdle. It’s just a rough night. I am busy refuting like hell the notion that this means I am going backwards, undoing the work I have done, or that I am now destined to screw up. It doesn’t work like that. You have to keep your sense of perspective.
Having a rough time doesn’t mean you’re doomed.