Euphoric Recall. When you overlook negative experiences – Nick Kypriotis
20.08.2018 - Articles, Mental health, Therapies
Euphoric recall is basically looking at something through rose tinted glasses or only remembering the good bits.
Imagine that you are watching a trailer of a movie; the general plot is given but only the highlights (the good bits) ARE SHOWN. Highlights of a movie can make it seem really good and make you want to watch it. The reality is often that these were the best bits of the film and the rest is not up to expectations, and you wonder why you’ve bothered going to see it.
Euphoric recall with mind altering substances or compulsive/behavioural addictions can act in the same way, in that only the good memories are shown and in effect help build up your expectations of anticipation related to drug use and acting out behaviours. However, the reality of living the film “Some of My Using Experiences” is that you are left feeling unsatisfied, depressed, anxious, paranoid etc. In addition to these feelings you may also end up in debt, facing the consequences of your actions and in trouble with partners, family and friends.
You need to build up an awareness of the effect euphoric recall has on you and also how other people can make it spark off.
Think of how many times you have been talking with other users about experiences and how that has triggered off a craving. Once you are aware of how these discussions about the “good times” affect you, try to avoid them.
The good and bad of using:
Look at the reality of using so that you may understand the facts behind your own experience with it. List both the good and the bad aspects of your using. Be truthful and honest and don’t fool yourself!
Check some example list of the “good and bad aspects” of various events:
This is your reality of using, no trailers and no highlights; remember this the next time you want to see the film. Ask yourself: Is it worth it? Is this what I really want to do?
Methods that you can use to deal with euphoric recall.
Forced Memory Connection:
This involves your remembering the reality of your using. In essence, it’s remembering that you have seen the film lots of times before and it doesn’t get any better. Use the good and bad list to help you remember the realities of your using and what has brought you to this point of wanting to stop it.
When you have become aware that you are thinking about the so-called “good times”, stop the thought. Recognise where you are heading and stop it there, look at what has sparked off these thoughts and deal with the situation. This will usually be a trigger.
Once you are aware of what you are doing, you can replace these thoughts with ones that are more positive for you. Think about the goals that you want to achieve and the positive things in your life, no matter how small they may seem. Don’t give in to depressive thoughts as this can lead you back into thinking about using crack or cocaine to make you feel better.
Points to remember:
Euphoric recall will often lead to feelings of craving. Remember that this is just an exaggeration of your “fight and flight” response. You don’t really need crack or cocaine, you just think that you do.
Use some of the following techniques to help reduce the levels of adrenaline in your system:
Burning relaxing oils
Relaxing herbal teas
Talking to somebody you trust and who will offer positive support
Relocating into a safer environment
Also be careful that you don’t start to set yourself up and provide yourself with justifications as to why you should use, such as:
X I’ll only have one drink, pill, line etc.…
X Not using is boring
On occasion you may find yourself dreaming about the lead up to using, and when you awake it feels like you really are just about to use. This is a process similar to having a nightmare. When you feel threatened and scared in the nightmare, you release adrenaline and wake up with rapid heartbeat, fast breathing and the sweats. The same is happening in a using dream. Adrenaline is being released because of the anticipation of using, and once you awake, the physical feelings of use feel very real.
The points above can also be used to help reduce adrenaline levels after a dream.
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