It’s Time to Let Go and Move Forward
We’re coming to the end of yet another year, and it’s normal for people to look back at their regrets from the last year. For addicts in recovery, this is something they live with on a daily basis. Aside from trying to stay sober one day at a time, we must also learn how to let go of the past and move forward. Sometimes, the path to relapse is paved by the weight we carry from our previous life in active addiction. By learning how to let go and move forward, you’ll be able to learn from your mistakes and strengthen your recovery.
There Are No Losses; Only Learning Experiences
In the AA Promises, it states that we do not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it, and it also discusses how we’ll see how our experience can benefit others. When many newcomers come into the rooms and hear these promises, they don’t sound like they’re achievable. In the early days of recovery, all you can think about is the people you’ve hurt and what you’ve done to your life as well.
Part of the process of doing the steps is to learn how to forgive others, but you must also forgive yourself. It’s not benefiting you in any way to beat yourself up for the past, and this is why you must turn your past into a strength. Ask yourself what you can learn from the past. Is there anything that happened that led to a previous relapse that you can avoid in the future? How have your past behaviors affected your relationships, and should you work on these behaviors?
Not only can you learn from your mistakes, but your experience can benefit others. When you share your experience in a meeting or with another person in recovery, they can learn from what you’ve been through. This is one of the beautiful parts of group therapy as well as attending 12-step meetings.
Avoiding Hindsight Bias
Although the recovering addict or alcoholic thinks a little differently than the average person, hindsight bias is something that all people suffer from. Whenever you look back and think about what you “should have done” or how you “knew” something was going to happen, this is hindsight bias. When we’re in the present and look back, it’s easy to believe we could have made better decisions at that time, but sometimes this just keeps us in a cycle of beating ourselves up. One way to move forward is to recognize this bias and realize you made the best decision you could at the time, and now the only thing left to do is to learn from what happened so you can make better decisions in the future.
We’re All Human
Part of recovery is realizing that we’re all human and just trying to make it through life one day at a time. Life is too short to dwell on the past, and this is why we must turn our past into a learning experience that can strengthen our recovery. By doing this, we can avoid relapse while also strengthening our relationships with the people who matter to us the most.
If you or someone you love has relapsed or is struggling with an addiction, call Enlightened Solutions today at 833-233-7336.