Starting on your path towards recovery will be a tough journey. It will be even harder if you keep what was in the past with you as you try to better your life. It is important to let go of the past so that you can have a successful recovery and experience a sober life with a positive outlook.
Taking the first steps in recovery involves saying goodbye to the past. This means that all of your bad influences and tools that you used when you were an addict need to go away for good. The first thing you should do to let go of the past is getting rid of any drug supplies that you used. Search through all of your hiding places in your room and other parts of the house and get rid of your needles, flush down any remaining drugs, and send any remaining medication to a take-back center in your area. Anything around you that will trigger you to use again also needs to go away. For example, if you were a cocaine user and sex was your trigger to use, get rid of pornography and escort services. Make sure that you do not sell any remaining drugs to anyone even if you think that means it will help you get clean.
Drug dealers will never support your recovery as they want your money and to continue having you as a customer. They will tell you anything to get you to use again such as reminding you what made you use in the first place and how the drugs made you feel. You need to cut off all of these bad influences away from you. This means that it is not enough to just delete the phone number of the drug dealer as they still have your phone number. You need to block their numbers and their emails so that you never hear from them again. You should also never open the door for them again as they can come in with abusive substances which can trigger a relapse. If the drug dealer is a relative, friend, or co-worker, it may be tricky to avoid them. Just speak to your therapist about different strategies to use when you see them. Also, tell them never to bring drugs into your home again. If you have friends that abuse drugs and they will continue to tempt you to join in, cut those people out of your life as you need to be around those who support your recovery.
You also need to let go of being a victim. It is possible that you have dealt with trauma in the past that you never got over like dealing with abuse, grief, or if your parents were addicts as well. Instead of placing blame on everyone around you, you need to just look positively towards the present and the future. List all of the things that make you want to wake up in the morning and what you have to look forward to. If you want to symbolically let go of all of the people you blame, write those names down on a piece of paper and then tear it, burn it, or throw it away to show those people have no effect on you anymore.
You also need to stop being so hard on yourself. You could have done something in the past that you regretted and were using drugs as a way to cope with those memories. Understand that we are all human and we all make mistakes. We will be in a lot of emotional pain if we keep trying to change what we cannot change such as the past. What you are in control of is your addiction and how far you are willing to let it go as well as how far you are willing to let your recovery go. If you have learned from your experiences and your mistakes, then those mistakes do not become mistakes anymore if you refuse to repeat them.
What you also need to let go of is comparing yourself to others. Remember that every person is different in their recovery. You may see others on social media and feel like they are more successful than you and that they are flawless human beings. You should know that not everyone posts everything that is going on in their lives on social media. Let go of thinking that everyone will go on to be more successful and that your addiction is all you will have going for you. Your recovery will be a success that is worth being proud of.
Let go of the idea of trying to be perfect. Perfection is something that you and everyone else in the world will never achieve. The same goes for recovery as it will not be successful. You have have started using because things in your life were not perfect and drugs gave you the illusion of perfection. Go on with your recovery acknowledging that you will make mistakes and come up with a plan of what to do if those mistakes reach the surface. Your past will always be a part of you but you do not have to let it consume you. You can turn over a new leaf and start a new life where you will be healthy, sober, and more full of life than you ever were before.
Located in Tacoma, Washington, Bayview Center’s mission is to offer clinically-driven programs and services to treat a number of substance abuse disorders along with anxiety and depression using cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, trauma therapy, yoga therapy, and more for a successful recovery. For more information, please call us 1-888-570-7154 at as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.