Euphoric recall is a psychological process where people exaggerate positive memories and block out any bad memories.
The process of euphoric recall is most associated with addiction. Addiction provokes the use of coping mechanisms that stimulate the brain. Self medicating coping mechanisms such as drugs, alcohol, sex, or even anger can feel good within a given moment. Euphoric recall focuses on these positive feelings without the context of negative feelings.
The Euphoric Recall Process
Addiction uses chemicals that promote short term good feelings, stimulating the pleasure center of the brain. Those pleasure centers are also linked with creating new memories.
If a person is in active recovery from addiction, the body is not getting the chemicals it craves. As a result, the body seeks those chemicals so the pleasure center can get stimulated.
The cravings for chemicals may also start a euphoric recall, which will remind a person of good feelings felt in the past and forget the pain, poor choices and consequences of the behaviors.
The positive memories lead to a romanticized sense of the events that fed into the addiction, which could lead to an inflated sense of safety from addiction; the person is in recovery, so relapsing just one time will not hurt, so we think.
For example, an alcoholic may see a group of people drinking and having a good time. This sight may trigger euphoric recall and increase the desire for alcohol, potentially leading to relapse.
How to Fight Euphoric Recall
Euphoric recall happens with more than just addiction recovery. You may remember a long hike or winning an event. While you might recall the results from those events, you might not remember how hard the process was to get there. That recollection is the process of euphoric recall.
If you decide to fight euphoric recall, you have to be able to acknowledge that you are having a euphoric recall. By denying that you are in a euphoric recall, you will deny yourself the ability to overcome these feelings.
Once you tell yourself you are in a euphoric recall, remember and reinforce the negative memories associated with your addiction. The negative memories can help you stay on your path of sobriety.
You do not have to fight euphoric recall alone. Find a friend, counselor, battle buddy or support group if you think you can’t do it on your own. Another person can help remind you why you need to fight your addiction in the first place.
Keep an honest journal of your memories. If you are in a recall spiral, you can read any thoughts you had regarding these memories while you were out of euphoric recall. The journal can give you clarity about your recall and help you build up a balanced recollection of your days of addiction.
If you are having a real hard time, look for a reminder of the bad times. A real reminder can show you where your life can go if you relapse. Keep the reminder with you during your road to recovery.
Ask yourself what will happen if you take this substance. How will it affect those you love? How will it affect you? Will it undo the work you’ve done to recover? Is the high worth the amount of shame you’ll feel?
Do you need help?
Euphoric recall is hard to deal with. Warriors Heart, veteran treatment center in San Antonio, can help you gain the necessary tools in dealing with euphoric recall, along with addiction, PTSD, and more. We can help you strengthen your resolve and be able to fight to get your life back.