As awful as an alcoholic’s life can become during the drinking days, there are times when in recovery an alcoholic will remember when things were pretty good – and this can lead to problems. Remembering when times weren’t so bad when drinking can certainly take you down memory lane – like having a few beers on a hot summer day after mowing the lawn while listening to a ball game. An enjoyable experience at the time and if you weren’t an alcoholic this would be much more than a memory.
But you see, you are an alcoholic who is recovering from a determined addiction. You have an illness that will eventually kill you, just as certainly as if you stepped off the curb in front of a bus. Absolutely there would have been fun times in the early days of your drinking when you could still function close to normal, attend work regularly, spend at least some of your time with family and actually enjoying yourself (albeit with a drink in your hand and a buzz in your head).
‘Remembering when’ works both ways. The good times you experienced when you drank were far outweighed by the horrible times and the suffering you endured because of alcohol. You are in recovery now and presumably will be for the rest of your life because alcohol came close to destroying you. Fear, anger, depression, anxiety, and pain eventually replaced the laughter, fun, and stimulation you experienced when drinking. The unmanageability of your life brought it critically close to a fatal ending and in isolation and misery no less.
‘Remembering when’ can be a curse or a blessing for an alcoholic in recovery. By remembering the lowest points in your life, revisiting those times when you were lost, alone and frightened by what was an uncontrollable force that was enveloping your very being and you were powerless to stop it. You eventually gave in to its insurmountable influence allowing it to confiscate all hope and any last shred of optimism. You experienced the horror of living in your own addicted head while suffering from physical pain and drunken misfortune.
‘Remembering when’ can keep you living sober in the Here and Now by simply remembering the There and Then as it really was – not as you would like to remember it at a time of weakness in recovery.
To set up an appointment with Michael Pearlman, M.D., Call 1 (866) 285-3400 toll-free or (617) 620-2230,