Healing From the Past - from the Recovery Learning Series at SupportNet.ca - Resources for Your Recovery.

Recovery is learning to enjoy life - without the use of alcohol or drugs that alter mind or mood.

It is treatment for the condition of addiction - an approach to the challenges of life - and a path to personal growth.

Recovery requires us to learn - about the true nature of addiction.

It may be personalized - but it has its necessary Principles and its Ways.

The Principles of Recovery provide direction - to the choices that we face each day.

The Ways of Recovery provide us with tools - that help us to heal - and to enjoy life on life’s terms.

This Learning Seminar helps you to learn about Healing From the Past -

What you need to know - and how to grow beyond the events and habits of yesterday.

Past and Present

A most pressing issue of early recovery - is that problems of the past intrude today.

The mind seems pulled to the worst of past events.

Its memories stir feelings of guilt, shame and remorse.

And the only way that we know is to use.

The past is a huge place. It is easy to get lost - or stuck - in its many dark corners.

The feelings that come may be as raw as the day they were born.

They bring urges to use - at a time when we are most vulnerable.

Recovery respects the risk of relapse - a compulsion to run from leftover feeling.

But recovery offers different ways - to grow beyond the past - one day at a time.

And its way begins in our learning the difference between present and past.

I may be doing the right things today - attending to a meeting - and talking with honesty.

But my mind jumps to a memory of the past - and my body is filled with anger or shame.

It is memory that stirs feeling - and brings the past alive inside of us today.

Boundaries, education and support are necessary to early recovery.

Boundaries in mind and time - between our self and our memories of the past - are a necessary first step in healing.

Don’t Go There - is a traditional message to those early in recovery.

It means to hold your mind in the day - to deal with the challenges that you face today - to learn how to calm and to ground your self right now.

A misunderstanding of this message - is that recovery says to ignore the past.

This is an error - as recovery offers clear and powerful means to heal from the past.

But we do not try to climb a mountain - the day after we break our leg.

And we do not learn how to swim - by diving to the middle of an ocean.

Recovery offers a path of healing - that does not lead us to relapse or to drown along the way.

Healing Ways

In recovery or healing - the first step is always the same.

Accept that the past has happened - and that its events cannot be changed.

The past is a part of us that cannot be removed from our life.

The second lesson to understand is that the past is not today.

To heal from the past means to learn the difference between yesterday and today.

It is not necessary to spend our day reliving the past - and it is seldom our benefit to do so.
If our mind is not here - We will miss the opportunity of today.

Ground your self now.

Take a breath deeply to your belly - and let go of the chatter in your mind.

Rest your mind on what is happening right now - feel your body - and listen to the sounds around you. Ground your self in the moment right now.

When a memory comes - notice it - and let it go.

Take a breath deeply to your belly. Feel the movement of your body - and bring your mind back in to your self.

Ask for help to stay in the day - and to move on with what needs to be done.

Healing from the past means to not let it disrupt your day today.

Memories will of course stir feelings inside us.

But it is the feelings that are happening right now - and it is the feelings to which we respond.

Talk - Journal Write - Get some exercise - Learn ways to calm your self - and Don’t run - don’t let a few feelings push you around.

Learn how to deal with what is inside you right now. Notice feelings - accept them - consider and question them. Learn what you can and let them pass on.

Recovery does not say to ignore or to disregard the past - and it does not make memories or feelings disappear.

Recovery just says to not tackle its mountain of issues all at once right now.

Learn to face memory and its feeling - one bit at a time as they come to your mind - to calm and ground your self - as you let them pass on their way again.

Ask for help to stay in the moment - and to not let the past take over your day.

The past may sometimes roar in - with vivid memory and overwhelming feeling.

These times require all effort to strict boundaries within your mind.

Distract your self and call on a recovery support. Apply your strategies for self calming and relapse prevention.

And through it all remind your self that - This Too Shall Pass.

Confidence grows as we face the past and hold to our ground.

We learn to settle our selves and to not be so pushed about by memory and feeling.

The mountain of the past does not seem so large as we learn to rise above.

Healing from the past means to not disregard it - or to let it consume our day.

We have feelings to face - and amends to make.

But if this is done too quickly - if we have not taken time to heal and to learn how to settle our self - the past can be a grave risk to recovery - to our health and life.

In Summary

Recovery helps us to learn the difference between what is past and what is now.

It helps us to grow - above and beyond - what seems at the outset like a mountain of past events, problems and held feeling.

In the beginning, we need to set the past aside for a bit - the whole mountain of issues, events and feelings.

The Principles and Ways of Recovery help us to face the past as it turns up in bits and pieces today.

As we learn to hold our ground and to settle our selves today - we learn that we can face the past - one day at a time.

You have now reached the end of Healing From the Past.

Look for this and other Learning Series topics at www.SupportNet.ca - Resources for Your Recovery.