Will I Ever Stop Looking in the Rearview Mirror?

Will I Ever Stop Looking in the Rearview Mirror?

The past is something that is truly important to someone who is in recovery as well as something that is really painful to deal with. You were probably taught early on in recovery that your past can be an asset for your future. The past, however, can be really difficult to work through especially because you used to drink and use over any anguish you felt to forget it. 

Now that you are in recovery, your past seems to come alive in every part of your program and you are wondering if you will always be looking in the rearview mirror in consternation. What you need to consider is that your past can be beneficial to your overall recovery if you work through it and then use it to your advantage.

Your past can formulate your breakthrough.

Recovery entails going to therapy, working the 12-Steps, and using your tools to continue your cessation from drugs and alcohol. During this time of discovery, your past will be talked about and written about to identify the patterns that could lead you right back to using and drinking. Steps 4 and 9 are used to help you get to a breakthrough in your past. Rather than blame everyone else, you can see your part in previous situations to stop making the same mistakes and to examine the painful truth of the past. Having this type of information to comprehend can allow you to gape what you can do moving forward to foster healthy relationships, make wise choices, and continue to be courageous in your recovery. 

Your past can illicit hope. 

When you have been in recovery meetings, you probably have heard things that sparked your attention and made sobriety more relatable. Hearing what others have done in their past that are in accordance with what you tried to pull off when you were drinking and using can give you hope. Seeing how well they are doing by putting one foot in front of the other in their recovery can lead you in the right direction in your own life. Then the same will go for you. Once you start sorting out your past and discerning how it can be helpful to you, in turn, you will be able to help others who can put themselves in your shoes to find hope to stay sober. 

Your past is your past.

The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous states in The Promises on page 83, “We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it.” Ultimately your past is your past, but hopefully, you will not want to live there anymore. You can just use it to see what you can take from it to understand where you do not want to go. Regrets will only keep you from living your full potential. Admit fault in with what you did and then let it go. This does not mean to completely forget about it to prevent feeling bad about it. This just means your past can keep you grateful in the present moment and provide plenty of teachable moments to show you where you do not want to go back to. 

Your past can dictate your future.

One of the tools to stay sober is understanding the lengths you came from, so you no longer have to continue down that path ongoing. Remembering the incomprehensible demoralization that you experienced in order to keep up with your addiction should never be forgotten. Those memories should be locked in your mind so that when you feel like you want to drink or use, you will remember exactly where you left off. If you were in jail, estranged from your family, or became homeless, having the recollection of the misery surrounding your bottom is crucial. You never have to be in that place again. All you need to do is remember the past and do not drink or use no matter what. 

Your past is the key to freedom.

The past is often heinous to look at for someone who suffers from addiction. No one really wants to sort through all their unspeakable schemes because they may be viewed as embarrassing. Letting out everything that is stuffed down deep and sharing them with a sponsor, or a therapist could be the biggest relief of your life. Emotional baggage and secrets will keep you sick although bearing your soul will set you free. You should take out all the skeletons in your closet and dress them with the truth of your past. Defending yourself against the burden of your former days is one of the most liberating things you can do.

The time is now to move forward without worrying about your past. Clean up your wreckage and then take some time to understand why the past is so painful. Let go of the negativity that holds you back in the past so you will find some joy in your preset that makes life worth living.  

Offering a full range of recovery and mental health services, Detox Center of Colorado offers “Expanded Recovery” to enrich our clients’ lives in mind, body, and spirit. Through evidence-based therapy options and the endless adventure of Colorado, Detox Center of Colorado fosters connection, encouraging clients to get connected to themselves, their peers, their families, and their higher power. With the power of recovery, clients are restored to full health and experience life-changing healing. Call us today for more information: 303-536-5463

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