The fact that you managed to escape an alcohol addiction is evidence that you must have been feeling fairly desperate near the end of your addiction. This pain gave your motivation a real boost, and if you could only sustain this level of commitment then it is unlikely you would ever be at risk of relapse. The problem is that once the memory of the pain of addiction begins to fade, you can begin to romance the drink – this is especially likely to happen at Christmas.
What Does It Mean To Romance The Drink?
Romancing the drink refers to a situation whereby you think back fondly on the days when it felt like you were enjoying drinking alcohol. The memory has a strange ability to romanticise the past; this means that it distorts what actually happened to make it appear better than what it was really like. This type of distortion is not usually harmful because it produces some sweet memories and if it didn’t happen then all your memories would show how you spent these highlights in your life feeling worried and thinking about trivial things. Sometimes this distortion of memories can be dangerous, which is definitely the case when it comes to romancing the drink.
When you are romancing the drink, it means that you are forgetting how much pain addiction has caused you in the past, instead focusing on the times when alcohol seemed to be your friend. You are enjoying a fantasy about something that never really happened because of your mind’s distortion ability.
When you first gave up alcohol, it is unlikely that you would have be doing much romancing of the drink. This is because the pain of this behaviour was still fresh in your mind. The problem is that, as the saying goes, pain heals all wounds. You could eventually forget how bad it all was, meaning that it becomes easier to romance the drink.
Why is it Dangerous to Romance the Drink?
Romancing the drink can appear to be a harmless activity. After all, you are not actually drinking and it isn’t harming anyone. The problem is that engaging in this activity is actually weakening your resolve. It is putting you on the road to relapse, and it might not be long before your daydreaming of drinking turns into a living nightmare again.
Romancing the Drink at Christmas and New Year
Christmas and New Year can be a particularly dangerous time for those in recovery, with a much higher risk associated with romancing the drink. This is because many alcoholics have good memories of drinking at this time of year; it may be the only time of the year when their excessive intake was viewed as normal. The fact that the festive season can also be very stressful could also increase the likelihood of people romancing the drink.
How to Avoid Romancing the Drink at Christmas and New Year
Romancing the drink at this time of year is putting your sobriety at risk. Below are a few tips on how to avoid doing this:
- Try to remember the pain you felt at the end of your addiction. Keep in mind that it must have been bad or you would not have stopped.
- Write down all the things you lost because of your drinking. Try to document some of the worst things that happened to you because of this behaviour.
- It can be helpful to be involved in voluntary work helping people still suffering due to addiction.
- Attend fellowship meetings and listen to individuals describe the pain of addiction; this should trigger your own memories.
- Do not just wallow in memories of your ‘good drinking days’; do something to distract yourself.
- Tell others in recovery that you are having these thoughts so they can offer you support.
- These thoughts of drinking are often a sign that you are off track in your recovery, so maybe it is time you did a review and make some changes to strengthen your sobriety.
List all the things you would lose if you retuned back to addiction.