Garbage in, garbage out

One thing we don’t need in our lives is garbage from the past. Yet many alcoholics say that old thoughts and bitter memories often sneak devilishly back to spoil what should have been a pleasant day. Why do we let garbage from the past befoul our lives for a second time?
Computer programmers use a certain expression when their systems turn up errors: “Garbage In, Garbage Out.” If you feed erroneous, useless information into a computer, that’s what you get back.
We seem to have built-in computers that work the same way. If we waste time and energy talking about past injustices or old mistakes, we are unwittingly calling them back into our lives. We are bringing back garbage that should have been discarded permanently to make room for better things.
There is no benefit in bringing back old garbage. We can’t change the past. We can’t change our mistakes by brooding about them, and we can’t obtain justice by remembering how badly we were treated by plotting revenge. When we bring back garbage, we allow it to occupy space that should be devoted to constructive and positive things.
If we don’t want garbage in our lives, let’s not put it there by bringing up matters that should have been released, forgiven, and forgotten.

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Very wise words @Rikk as always :purple_heart:
Thank you for sharing that :smile:

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Love it Rikk,
I know self forgiveness is by far the most difficult thing for me. I have always held myself to a higher standard than I hold anyone else and than anyone else holds me. Therefore when I have messed up, I am very unforgiving. It’s hard. I have learned to forgive myself on any things, but on others, I still sometimes despise me.
It is a huge struggle during sobriety, but more so when I was drinking.
Best,
Chandler

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I was just talking to my therapist yesterday about that very thing. I’ll forgive others long before i forgive myself for the things I’ve done. I am my own worst enemy… he told me that knowing that about myself is a great step in learning how to forgive myself. Holding ourselves to a higher standard then we did others isn’t always a bad thing, but we need to accept that we are only human and we will make mistakes, sometimes bigger then others, and when we learn to let it go, learn from it and forgive we can move forward in a More positive direction.

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There’s another thing about memories @Rikk, which can be worrying or even insidious.
Recent theories about the brain’s storage of memory and the splitting of memory into hard and soft data (‘facts’ like 2+2=4 or the more personalised memory of a childhood friend or pet) lean towards hard and soft being handled in different ways.
Hard data is written and only changes if new information comes to light that the individual decides they agree with.
Soft data is overwritten each time it’s called up. So it can be affected by how a person’s feeling at that moment, what drug they’re using, physical or mental stimulus, the whole 9 yards.
So after calling that memory up a thousand times it’s no better than an image that has been copied and recopied a thousand times. And throw in our particular bias at each recall and before we know it our family were sinners or saints, our very normal human first loves become angels or demons, and on and on.
Unless we’re wired very differently, like some of the savants who remember their whole life, day by day, it’s possible that much of our past recollections may well be garbage!

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lol that was… confusing!
I have had a traumatic brain injury so my memory works when it wants to work. I might meet you in person one day, have a nice conversation with you and go on our way, next day we might see eachother again and ill totally forget your name and our conversation completely.
But it seems that the bad things I’ve done or had done to me i always remember… the traumatic things always seem to take precedence over missy of the good things.

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Makes sense - my sense of smell (and therefore taste) virtually disappeared years ago (maybe the coke, although it was at the same time my allergies all shut down).
However - I still smell the bad things.
So I’ve lost the ‘nice’, but not the bit that might protect me.

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Sorry to hear that @Rikk. It certainly puts my giving up booze into perspective.

My therapist broke it down for me… my left frontal lobe was damaged in my tbi, the frontal lobe is what controls our reactions to things, emotions, etc… and also memory.
One of the reasons im such a train wreck when i drink

Smell actually triggers the strongest emotion and memory by far.
I grew up on a lake here in GA. It’s the time period I remember my dad being around. He taught me to swim and those were the best days of my life. The smell of creosote is such a positive thing.
Think about a woman’s perfume. Smell it again years later and you rem what girl wore it :0)
Best,
Chandler

Yeah - I pretty much miss all of those!

My HS cafeteria made killer yeast rolls. I smell yeast rolls today and it smells like HS…I graduated in 1988 :0/

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