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Making Peace With The Past

Articles, Australia, Education, Malaysia, Treatment, Understanding Addiction, United Kingdom, United States

Congratulations On Your Decision To Get Sober

If you have made the brave decision to get sober and stop using drugs or alcohol, we want to applaud you. This is a difficult decision. And, the action required of you to stay true to your commitment requires hard work, dedication, strength, and courage. Although recovery isn’t easy, it’s worth it. You deserve the very best this life has to offer. Addiction only brings about negative consequences. Recovery promises an end to the chaotic existence you once knew.

Are Shame And Guilt Consuming You? 

When you enter recovery, you bring some baggage with you. While you were using drugs and alcohol, you made some poor decisions that you aren’t proud of. You hurt people you cared about, but most of all, you hurt yourself.

Feelings of shame and guilt are common for those who make the decision to stop drinking alcohol or using drugs. You probably feel incredible remorse for the things you did while you were in your addiction. Sometimes, the decisions you made can keep you up at night and leave you feeling worthless. You might have even convinced yourself that you are a bad person who doesn’t deserve love and forgiveness. This is not true. You are a beautiful person who is worthy of every good thing this life has to offer.

Coming To Terms With The Past

Coming to terms with the past isn’t easy, but it is something you must do if you want to move forward with your life. You did what you did and you can’t go back and undo it. While you may not be proud of the things you did, you have to accept personal responsibility and forgive yourself.

Remember, you weren’t in your right mind when you carried out the actions of your past. You were sick when you were under the influence. Your mind was dominated by the need to fuel your addiction and it didn’t care about who got hurt in the process. This is not your true nature. It is the nature of addiction.

One of the ways you can make peace with your past is to continue to walk along the road to recovery. If you return to drugs and alcohol to alleviate the shame and guilt you feel, you will be setting the clock back. You will disappoint those you care about yet again, which will only make you feel worse.

Making Amends Sets Things Right Again

When you are in early recovery, there is only one thing for you to do – stay sober. That is all you have to work on and that is difficult enough! But, when the time is right, you will have the opportunity to make amends with the people you have hurt.

When you make amends, you apologize to the people you offended and you take action to right the wrong. If you stole money, you repay it. If you destroyed property, you pay to have it fixed or if you said harsh words, you sincerely apologize. You take responsibility for your actions and you make a sincere promise never to repeat the behavior.

Making amends goes a long way in relieving you of your shame and guilt. In time, you will get there. In the meantime, be kind to yourself. Forgive yourself. Make the commitment that – one day at a time – you are making a better life for yourself and you are letting go of the past.   

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Anne -

Anne Lazarakis joined the DARA Rehab team from Sydney, Australia. She writes about addiction and mental health on a global, local and community level. She also relays personal accounts of substance abuse and recovery through the stories of our clients, their families and our own team members.

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