Selective memory can be dangerous

I few minutes ago I walked to the corner shop on my street to buy soda. On the way there, I passed a Nigerian man who was walking and talking on his phone. He reminded me of a dealer I used to know, and just for a moment, I remembered how much I loved being high on meth. (Yes, you read that right.)

I recall being in an NA meeting a few years ago, and when the subject came up, everybody denied missing their drugs of choice. Everybody except me that is. I loved that shit and I see no reason to pretend otherwise.

What is the point of pretending there wasn’t anything you liked about it? I do miss it, and I’m OK with that. I’m OK with always missing it. I also remember where it led. I remember the good and the bad, and that there were a couple of years of good, followed by several years of bad. That’s how it goes, and if I stupidly chose to use again, it would continue the bad years.

The way I see it, if you pretend there was nothing good about those years, you set yourself up for potential failure. You just might be exposed to drugs again, and what if, just for a moment, you see someone high and having fun –  enjoying themselves and coming to no harm? What if, just for a moment, your little white lie that it was all bad and no good, the lie you tell yourself, is shown to be untrue? What then?

That’s a risk I am not willing to take.

And earlier this year, I was exposed to a small temptation. My ex was staying with me, and she tried to convince me to go out and buy meth. I refused, no matter how many times she asked. I believe that by keeping it real, by remembering how it really was, the risk of being tempted is smaller. When she tried to convince me to use, I didn’t consider it even for a moment.

So… keep it real. Remember the good, the bad, the ugly… remember it all. For me, it was all part of my life journey, part of what made me grow and learn and become the person I am now. Don’t create a false narrative to protect yourself because that could backfire.

Edit: Yeah, I know… I should stop reminding everybody how much I hate 12 step programs, sorry… but this does remind me how much I hated those NA meetings. Not only did I have to sit through nonsensical discussions about a higher power and “just for today” (which I also despise, by the way), but meaningless platitudes and false narratives about the past. I see those meetings as a huge waste of time. And by the way, selective memory works both ways: In active addiction, we only remember the highs and forget the lows, while in recovery, many of us pretend that there was nothing good about using drugs. I see both examples of selective memory as equally dangerous.

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