How do you stay clean and sober when temptation is everywhere?
Especially around the holidays, watching people happily take part in champagne toasts or spiked eggnog can make a recovering addict or alcoholic feel like they “miss” those “good old days of drinking.” How can you stop that kind of thinking in its tracks, and prevent relapse?
One helpful tool of recovery is remembering your last drink or drug.
It doesn’t even have to be the very last one, per se, but when you find yourself thinking back warmly on your drug or alcohol use, try to take yourself back into the moment of one of your binges.
Maybe you’ll remember the moment of coming to…
Head pounding, mouth parched, stomach tied up in knots, the shame washes over you.
What have you done?
You crack open your dry eyes and look around you, moving slowly so you don’t spill your guts.
Is it day or night? Where are you?
Maybe you found yourself strapped down in a hospital bed. Maybe you were on the floor of a jail cell. Maybe you were safe and sound in your own bed, but horrified and humiliated as you started to remember what you’d done the night before.
Everyone’s story of addiction is different, but the feelings associated with those times are often the same: fear, shame, and pitiful and incomprehensible demoralization.
It’s not hard to remember how awful that felt.
But the good news is, you don’t have to live that way anymore.
Remembering your last binge can help you stay strong in your decision, just for today, to stay clean and sober.
You might not need to do this every day, but use it as a tool to help you through on days when the idea of dipping back into your substance use seems like it might not be a terrible idea.