Day 463: Accrual progress vs. All Is Lost

Turned out to be a weird, low-energy, snacky day yesterday — as it happens, “I want this but I want change more” doesn’t work so well in the moments when you really don’t want change more.

So it’s a bad morning on the scales and a sluggish morning overall today.

When you read a bit about sobriety, you run across interesting stuff. One thing is the science — and I have not seen this, and cannot verify it, it requires its own research and is right now just a “thing I’ve heard” — the science apparently says that relapses are less bad among people who dread relapses less.

Which is kind of counter-intuitive, right? You’d think people who really dread relapse would do it less frequently, and less deeply, than people who are a bit more casual about it.

But those who have more of an “accrual” method of sobriety — “I made it for 21 days, then I had some bad days, but I have 21 days of sobriety and now I want to add to that tally” apparently do better than people who use the “don’t break the chain or you’re doomed” method.

I guess it has something to do with self-imposed pressure, and the “well now everything is screwed, so what the hell” mentality that takes over when the chain is broken.

I can see how that works. I’ve been bringing a “chain” mentality into this from the beginning: be good, don’t stop, see how long you can keep this good thing going. The “accrual” method would probably be healthier on days like today: not oh no, I had a bad day yesterday and I’m boned, but hey, I had a great five-day run last week, I bet I can do six.