For people who have been involved in serious substance abuse for many years, there can be a lot of bad memories and negative events in the past that still seems to affect them now. It can be common for people to hold onto negativity and focus too much on bad memories instead of letting go and living in the present.
Sometimes it can seem natural for our mind to focus on negative things more than positive ones but it is important especially in addiction to recovery to learn the skill of leaving behind the past and forgiving yourself or others. When you are not able to let go of the past, things can build up and it can cause emotional issues that can hinder your recovery.
Allowing things to go unresolved and letting them linger in your mind can be dangerous and even lead to relapse in some cases. Learning to let go is one thing that every addict must focus on at some point in their recovery.
Negativity Accumulating in the Mind
When you are working on recovering from addiction there may be a lot of memories of things that went wrong, times you were hurt or hurt others, and everything that you lost because of your substance abuse. All of the negative things that you remember can have a cumulative effect or pile up in your mind and become too much to bear.
When things accumulate it means you are not dealing with them as much as you should be and they are remaining in your consciousness creating more problems in your day-to-day life. Allowing stressful thoughts or memories to build up can take its toll on your physical and mental health. You could feel plagued by worries or insecurities that things in the past might occur again or problems will not be resolved.
Working with a Therapist or Group
Instead of letting emotions get out of control and allowing negativity to dwell in your mind, it is a better idea to learn how to find a solution and develop strategies for better mental health. If you are in a recovery program, this is something that you can work on with your counselor or therapist.
Talking to a therapist can help you find out what the underlying reasons are behind your current stressful state. Talking about bad memories and trying to analyze events with a professional can be cathartic as you begin to understand things at a psychological level.
Another way to help resolve issues from the past is to go through a 12 step program that will encourage you to make amends with people and talk about any unresolved issues that may be holding you back or affecting your relationships. You can start to work things out with people and communicate more effectively, even about events that happened years ago. Once you work through negative events of the past with your therapists and with friends and family you will be in a better place to start letting go.
When you are constantly thinking about past mistakes or worrying about things that you have no control over then you should work with a therapist or a twelve-step group to help you create solutions. If you develop some strategies for dealing with problems instead of allowing them to accumulate and affect your mental health then you can start being more active in achieving positive results.
It is a good idea to keep in mind that change doesn’t happen overnight and it took years to build up all of the negative thoughts and habits that contributed to your current state. It will take time and hard work to let go of the past but it is necessary in order to experience recovery.