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The Myth of the “Last Time”

When we’re still embroiled in our addictive patterns, one of the things we tell ourselves the most is that this time will be “the last time.” This will be the last time we go on a binge or bender. It will be the last time we use at all. It will be the last time we go back to a certain relationship or be intimate with a certain person. We tell ourselves we’ll allow ourselves to enjoy our drug of choice this one last time, and then tomorrow we’re getting clean, we’re stopping. We tell ourselves there will be no more back and forth, no more deliberating, no more dilemmas. We’re understandably tired of the pain our addictions and our behaviors are causing us. We’re fed up with our indecision, the confusion and overwhelm. We’re so drained, so exhausted. We don’t want to cause ourselves pain anymore, but we need just one more time. We have to get this person or this drug out of our system. We need one last time to say goodbye and to properly let go. We tell ourselves that we’re addicts, that we don’t have control over our impulses, that we’re powerless over our desires. We use this idea of “the last time” as our rationale for giving in just one more time, because we convince ourselves that it will in fact be the very last time.

For many of us, though, this idea is just a myth. It’s one of the many things we tell ourselves to allow ourselves to keep using our drug of choice. It’s an excuse we make for continuing the same destructive patterns, because on some level we already know that this last time isn’t going to be the last. Sometimes we feel deeply and strongly that it will be the last time. We don’t feel like we’re lying to ourselves, but we are. Our addictions cause us to be impulsive, compulsive, obsessive and needy. We become desperate. We need our drug of choice to be happy, to survive, to cope. We can’t stomach the idea of letting go of it, so we give ourselves just one more time, to say goodbye, to wean ourselves off of it, to ease the transition rather than going cold turkey.

If we continue to use this idea of “just one last time,” there will continue to be one more last time, and another, and another. We have to put our foot down with ourselves, and say “no, that last time was the last time. I want to be happy. One more time is only going to cause me more suffering. It’s not worth it. I choose to let it go.”

If you’re struggling with addiction, you’re not alone. Reach out for support. The community of Riverside Recovery has personal experience with addiction and recovery. We’re here to help you reclaim the life you love. Call (800) 871-5440 today.