Having a Rough Time Doesn’t Mean You’re Doomed

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.

Don’t panic.

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.

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