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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Selective Memory Mode

A human beings capacity for remembering things never ceases to amaze me. I recall incidents that occurred when I was so completely hammered out on drink and drugs that I couldn't even walk yet I have almost complete recall of that entire evening, the next morning and the following afternoon including a significant conversation that took place between myself and my boss.

i'm bringing up the subject of remembering...memory really because readers of Shell Shock Serenade have noticed that recollections from my past almost always are negative as written here. Surely, they question...there must have been some good times in there somewhere. I mean I did drink and take drugs for nearly 30 years.

The answer to that question is yes, of course there were many very good times in my life that involved alcohol and drugs. In fact many more good times then bad...but because things became so bad in the latter part of my active addiction, I am inclined to focus on the negative.

I have referred to this in previous posts as being in the SMM...the Selective Memory Mode. This is when we only remember what we want to remember, typically the good stuff and not the bad. I have seen this happen to people in recovery where they get so inclined to selectively remember the good that they go out and drink/drug again...often with disastrous results.

I've seen this happen a multitude  times and almost always the person will admit, if they make it back to recovery that they had forgotten where they came from and what can happen when they drink or use dope. In other words they convinced themselves, based on all the good memories that they didn't really have a problem and they could handle it. They often found out the hard way that they cannot...

I for one tend to take the opposite tack, as readers here will know...I focus on the reality of the situation. I don't see a lot of reason to focus on the good drinking times, the war stories as it were...because those good times? Well, they didn't last. And ultimately I ended up having to face the real facts of life for an alcoholic/addict: That I was going to die if I didn't find a way to stop and learn how to live a sober and productive life. That was the only way I was going to make it...and by the Grace of God...that is what is happening...One Day At A Time.

I can't afford to kid myself about my addiction and when I start reminiscing about the good times, all the crazy days and nights, the fun I had...well it just so happens that those seem to be the only times in recent memory when I feel like I want to reminiscing is definately not a good thing for me! So I just avoid doing it all works better for me that way.

There are plenty blogs out there that cover the partying scene and do it with humor and are good, fun just isn't the thing for me.

(PHOTO by Ansel Adams)