How many times have you wished that you could go back in time and change that one mistake?
Fix the one bad decision that cost you everything?
Or go back in time to when life was good and take a different path? A better one?
At one time or another, we all have. Myself included. I can’t count how many times I prayed to God to give me a chance to do it differently. I pleaded with all my heart and really meant it but, you know what?
You can not change the past.
There is no chance for a do-over.
You definitely can not erase it or eliminate it.
And let’s be honest, when you had a past as horrible as yours and mine, there is no forgetting.
So how in the heck do you move forward with your life when the past keeps rearing its ugly head?
You must RECOVER FROM YOUR PAST before you can move on to improve your life or start over again. And lucky for you, I am going to tell you how.
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IT’S NOT POSSIBLE TO MOVE ON
I am assuming that your past is nothing to be proud of. Neither is mine. Come on. Why else would you need to recover from your past if it was all sparkles and rainbows?
The fact is that things happened in your past that you don’t want to remember. But you do.
You made choices that you wish you could take back. But you can’t.
Guilt, remorse, shame, and embarrassment keep you from moving on to bigger and better things. So you don’t even try.
I have done it too.
More or less, I chose to accept things for the way they were and the belief that this kind of life was all I was deserving of.
If something bad happened to me, I deserved it.
Again and again.
The MAGIC MOMENT
I’ve talked about the magic moment before.
It’s that epiphytal moment when everything just clicks and you know that it’s now or never. Shit needs to change and that change begins with you.The magic moment is the epiphytal moment when everything clicks and you know that it's now or never, shit needs to change. #sobriety #personalgrowth #addictionrecovery #selfimprovement #bestself #improveyourlife #fixyourlife Click To Tweet
At that very moment, you make a choice. The choice that it’s time to fix your mess of a life.
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HOW TO RECOVER FROM YOUR PAST IN 10 STEPS
This is a no-brainer but some people have a tough time with this one.
The truth is, it happened. Whatever it was, it happened. Don’t justify it, don’t blame, don’t glamorize it, or make it out to be less tragic than it really was.
Even if you can’t admit it to ANYONE ELSE. As long as you accept it and you know that it was real. The healing process can begin.
Quick example: One night I was blackout drunk and high. I remember the first 5 seconds of arriving at this house. Something happened. Something really bad. I had bits and pieces that I would remember now and then. I don’t think I need to explain but, I refused to believe it for the longest time. Yet, I knew. I subconsciously knew what went on. It hurt me to think that someone did that. Took advantage. Revenge raced through my mind. I tried to pretend it didn’t happen but, that didn’t work. It made me physically sick thinking about it. It wasn’t until I accepted what I knew, that I was finally able to emotionally and mentally recover from it.
YOU CAN BEGIN TO HEAL ONCE YOU ACCEPT THE PAST. WITHOUT ACCEPTANCE, YOU WILL NEVER FULLY RECOVER.
2. LET IT GO
Are you sick of people telling you to just let it go? To simply get over it. It wasn’t that bad.
That shit irks me like you wouldn’t believe.
While you can’t just let go of the past. What you can do is let go of the impact and hold that it has on you.
No one should have control over your mind and feelings other than you.
You are strong and you can no longer allow past issues to affect your present life and future goals.
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3. Tell Others To Shut The Fuck Up
In my opinion, in early recovery or long term-recovery, the last thing I want to hear is constant war stories and reminders of that lifestyle. Talk of prison life. Hearing about an addict’s past, present, and future.
That is one reason I don’t like any 12 step program. I don’t want to hear what it was like, what happened, and what it’s like now. Besides the fact, that the part about what it was like is ALWAYS the longest part. I do NOT want to know the details of you shooting up and smoking crack. I’m over that kinda thing.
To recover from your past, you don’t want to constantly talk about the past. Sharing your story with a therapist or supportive friend is different. That is great, I support that.
Yet, you know what I mean about talking too much? Enough is enough lady, I don’t like what your selling.
Quick Note: NA and AA are 12 step programs that help many. If that’s your thing, click here to find a meeting in your area. I don’t discriminate. It doesn’t matter how you choose to recover, as long as you recover.
4. Say Goodbye To The Haters
Eliminate people who suck the soul out of you and continuously bring up the bad times.
You know those people? The ones that ALWAYS bring up the dirt you did several years back. It doesn’t matter how much you have changed, improved, and have completely reinvented yourself, some people won’t let you forget the bad times.
Some truly think they are doing the right thing by bringing up the past. If it is constantly thrown in your face, you are less likely to repeat it. Wow? Can you believe that they actually think they are helping?
Explain to them how you feel and if they don’t want want to abide by your wishes then you need to remove that person from your life.
Even if it’s your mama. Maybe, she’ll get the hint if she doesn’t see or talk to you or her grandkids for months on end. (Sound personal? maybe just a lil bit but she got the point).
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5. Find The Source
What keeps you going?
What drives you to want to fix your life?
Are you wanting to turn your mess into a message and share your story with others?
Not only do you have to find your meaning in life but dig down deep and find your inner power. Empower yourself as the kick-ass woman that you are. If you need a hand with this, check out the Female Fury Freebie, it’s amazing. No lie.
You have to find the source of hope inside of you. It will give you the power to recover from your past, improve, create a new life, reinvent yourself, and conquer your dreams. All of that from the driving force inside of you.
6. Make a Life Plan
Another essential step in being able to recover from your past is to have a plan for your life. Once you have a clear-cut plan and goals to achieve you begin to change your focus. You are now looking forward instead of going backward.
In active addiction, you didn’t think about having a future. It was a roll with the punches, live in the moment kind of thing. Now, you live differently.
Make a plan, a sincere, goal achieving kick-ass plan. Set goals and actually accomplish them. It makes a world of a difference.
Quick note: If you are anything like me goal setting is Not that damn easy. Of course, it’s easy to write down goals but, to take actionable steps. Not so much. I highly highly highly recommend the Slay Your Goals Planner by Nadalie Bardo. They don’t call her the master at goal slaying for nothing. If you don’t have a clue where to start with what your goals should be, take the FREE What Should Your Goals Be? Quiz first.
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7. Start with a clean slate
Do you ever wish you could start all over again? Be in a different place where people don’t know you or anything about your past.
You can’t change your criminal record, or bad credit score or, make the wreckage of the past simply disappear. Although, that is the stuff that you can improve and make better.
Sometimes it’s better to move away from the place and people who know all about you and start fresh. A place where no one is aware you are a recovering addict or convicted felon or about the times you were homeless or about your 6 overdoses in 2 weeks.
Building a new life in a place where no one knows about your shit and won’t know unless you tell them gives you permission to recover from your past and be the authentically new you.
It could just be what you need and if you don’t want to completely move. A new apartment or house or job can also make a difference. A change of scenery is always good when you are healing from old wounds.
I’m sure you have heard this a thousand times. You have to forgive yourself in order to move on with your life.
Well, I’m saying it again because it’s the truth. You must forgive yourself for all the bad shit that happened during your addiction, your childhood, the damage you caused, and the pain you had to endure.
Forgiving yourself releases those feelings of shame, remorse, regret, guilt, embarrassment, and disgust.
I know you have felt every single one of these in your life and in recovery. I know because I have too. So trust me when I say, forgiveness is a must in order to recover from your past.
Quick tip: Forgiveness is not saying sorry to every single person that you did wrong in your life. That is pretty damn impossible. Personally, I would let it all out to my Higher Power and tell him to pass it on to those I hurt. Believe it or not, I felt better. As for forgiving myself, that took longer. Journaling, a therapist, and bettering myself + my life got me to the place I needed to be.
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9. Call in the Professionals
I will be the first to admit that I like my alone time but, everyone needs someone to talk to.
In addiction recovery, you will need sober support which is why there are groups such as Narcotics Anonymous. For those of us who don’t like the 12 step hoopla, we have to find other options.
Having other like-minded badass recovering addicts that have overcome the same shit is awesome. Yet, that mixture can be a disaster waiting to happen. If one of you are contemplating getting high. Even if it’s just a mere thought, the other person can be influenced rather easily. You feed off of each other’s weaknesses. So not cool but, it happens. It happens a lot.
That’s why I suggest a therapist, counselor, or coach for the first few years of your addiction recovery. In methadone maintenance treatment or inpatient rehabs, individual therapy and group therapy are requirements. Seeing a therapist on your own is great for you emotionally and mentally.
Talking to a professional allows you to dig deep and let it all out. It helps you to recover from your past without putting your painful past on blast for everyone to know.
Quick note: Personally, I like talking with a person face to face. I’m a visual person. Although, you can always talk to an online therapist. Here are online recovery resources to help you now.
10. Don’t stay stuck
This is the most important damn thing you will do. In order to move forward and FIX YOUR LIFE, you actually have to TAKE ACTION!
You can read all the self-help books, have a plan mapped out on how to achieve every dream you ever wanted and the exact steps to get there. If you don’t follow through with it and take the necessary action, it will not work.
YOU MUST TAKE ACTION IN ORDER TO RECOVER FROM YOUR PAST. SITTING THERE FEELING SORRY FOR YOURSELF IS NOT GOING TO HELP A DAMN THING. IS IT?
Don’t stay stuck or you will never recover from your past. It will replay over and over again in your mind. Do something about it.
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Don’t make it harder than it has to be
Going from a bad past to badass is not an easy task. I know this but, I also know it’s possible. And I know it’s worth it.
Here are 10 ways to dive head first into recovering from your past so you can move on and move up.
- Accept It For What It Is. Don’t minimize. Don’t Justify.
- Let go of what can’t be changed. Do not let the past impact you or have a hold on you.
- Don’t listen to people who glamourize life in addiction.
- Eliminate people who constantly remind you of your mistakes and how bad you fucked up.
- Know your reason for wanting to change your life. Know what gives you hope and the power to move forward.
- Make a solid plan including intentional, goals. and get specific.
- Relocate. A change of scenery. A new room, new house, better job opportunities. Not near people + places that remind you of a bad past.
- Forgive yourself. You are not the same person. You have changed for the better. Forgive the old you. It led you to become the badass you are now.
- Use therapy, counseling, or coaching to get some shit off your chest. Talking to a professional is safe and it truly helps.
- Don’t stay stuck. Writing a plan, having a therapist, and knowing what has to be done is one step in the right direction. But if you don’t take action then all the hard work was for nothing.
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