Discounting the Positives of Not Drinking

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! 🙂

6 thoughts on “Discounting the Positives of Not Drinking

  1. I definitely do this, particularly when I’m feeling low, which tends to start a spiral… Also, I tend to “re-scale” things, so that when I do achieve something, even if it was something that seemed a big deal before I did it, it immediately becomes unimportant and unimpressive *because* I have done it – my thinking goes, it really can’t be that much of a big deal if you’ve done it. I find a gratitude journal a good way to counteract this effect (even if I am hopeless at keeping mine!) as it does focus the mind on the positives, and makes you notice them throughout the day, too. xxx

    1. Me too MTM, me too. Upscale the negatives and downscale the positives. We are kind to ourselves arent’ we? 😉 Hope the rain has stayed away for your camping xx

  2. Now this I can relate to. Never mind discounting the positives of not drinking I am an expert at doing this in all areas of my life. I am sure this is another manifestation of our old friend ‘low self-esteem’ But I do believe we can move on from this thinking – and being sober is the foundation stone to achieve this. I actually had a professional review at work yesterday and had to score myself in key areas. My manager upped all my scores and when she gave me a nudge and reminder about things I had done/achieved I realised she was right. I left the office feeling quite lifted. I do actually do a good job; other people value me and I should start remembering that. Why does it take us until our 40s to stop comparing ourselves to other people. Something for the school curriculum??? Anyway I am determined to start trusting myself, my judgment and my instincts. I tend to allow other people to have their say and go with the flow, but you know it is just possible that some of my ideas are more valid than I give myself credit for. So that ‘s the next challenge – finding the happiness in just being me xxx And Lucy – no smoke, but I for one love your blog. I don’t follow many so you must be doing something right. Think you need to take up this challenge too xxxx

    1. Hey Kim Yep this leaked into all areas of my life too. Thank you for the kind words and you are definitely right that this is something I need to work on too xx

  3. Oh yeah… nice. Sober treats and self care. Very important on day one.. or day one thousand (which I am almost at). Lovely post well written post and yes I really really mean that! Take care xxx

    1. Wow Mrs D 1000 days – that’s bloody amazing! And thank you 🙂 xx

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