This is a kind of selective attention like ‘Mental Filtering’ except this time you are discounting the positives of an experience. The moderation examples used in the last post would be equally applicable to this.
Or again using my blogging example someone might congratulate me on a post and I would dismiss it out-of-hand, believing it to be undeserved. I might also automatically inwardly interpret the compliment as an attempt at flattery or perhaps as a result of naivety on their part, as in ‘wait until you find some of the really good sober blogs’. I might then dwell on how much better these other bloggers are instead. This is a genuine thought process of mine at times and I’m not looking for people to blow smoke up my arse (thanks FFF!)
As with mental filtering, if you have to accept something as not really bad, then you discount it by saying well it wasn’t really good either. It was nothing. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t ….
Here it is important to remind ourselves that filtering out good experiences only leaves negative ones to focus on and that increases the risk of depression. I’m not suggesting we become all Polyanna-like but I think some balance in our thinking is critical and crucial to our recovery. We need to celebrate the wins of not drinking rather than dismissing or minimising them as that way drinking again lies. Sober treats and self-care reminder! 🙂