Letting Go of a Past Addiction
Once you’ve managed to break free from an addiction, another obstacle awaits you: letting go of the bad memories associated with the addict you used to be. Focusing on what you lost and who you hurt can make the recovery process much more difficult than it already is. These thoughts often lead to a great amount of stress and may ultimately cost you your sobriety.
Here are some strategies to help you let go of a past addiction:
Make a List
Write down all of the bad things that are clouding your mind, and then counteract each negative thought with a positive result.
For past situations, this result can be something that perhaps you’ve overlooked. Maybe you wasted all of your money on your drug or habit of choice, but you never stole from anyone in order to feed your addiction--that’s a good thing.
For current situations, your positive result can be a goal that you hope to achieve. Maybe you lost contact with a close friend while you were focused on your addiction, and now you would like to rekindle the relationship.
Work on Solutions
Creating a plan will help you achieve your goals. What needs to be done isn’t always obvious, so don’t be afraid to ask for help. A counselor or therapist may be able to assist you in devising a realistic plan in which you focus on one goal at a time.
Seek Professional Help
A counselor or therapist can help you recognize the thoughts that are preventing you from moving forward. He or she can also help you replace these negative thoughts with positive ones that will motivate you to stay on track and continue to live a healthy, sober life.
Join a Support Group
Interacting with others who are struggling through similar situations can help you accept the past and move on. Support groups allow you to share your thoughts and feelings, to connect with others who think and feel the same way, and to give and receive advice on how to stay sober and successfully deal with your past and current situations.
Participating in community service allows you to step outside of your own problems and feel good about yourself. Start with something small and manageable, and then work your way up to bigger and better things. Volunteering can give you a sense of purpose while taking your mind off of the negative things that are hindering your advancement in sober living.
Successful life changes take time. Keep working on your goals, and try to stay positive along the way.
Source: Promises Treatment Centers Website