Guilt is a big problem with recovering addicts and many times can lead them to depression, which can keep them from enjoying their present and future lives. It is important for the individual not to dwell on the past, but to put more focus on their present so they can build their future.
There are a few ways for a former addict to forgive themselves for their bad decisions.
Talk About it
If the individual remains silent and keeps their feelings to themselves, it seems only fitting that they will begin to self-destruct. To avoid this, it is a good idea to talk about the individual’s experiences because cements the reality of it being in the past.
It is imperative to discuss the wrong with a therapist or loved one until there is less of an attachment to it and you can defeat the feelings of shame or guilt associated with it.
Use Writing Therapy
Writing therapy works very similarly with talking, but it turns thought into something physical. When the person writes about their experience, it helps them to process it and let the emotions flow from them to the paper or keyboard. Write down anything that may be relevant.
This can include things like what happened, feelings he or she may have about it, who was hurt, etc.
Symbolize Your Forgiveness
For some, it is not enough to talk or write out the experience. A symbolic forgiveness may be the best way for those people to let go of their past. Write down the wrong on a piece of paper and burn it or drop it into a stream to float away.
By making this gesture, the individual is making the decision to let go of their past and preparing the way for their future.
Try a Meditation
Whether the individual is religious or conservative, meditation is an excellent way to release the past and focus on the future. According to the NCCIH, many studies have shown that meditation can ease the symptoms of anxiety, depression, and insomnia, which can help someone feel ready to let go of their past.
It can be helpful for them to follow the beliefs of forgiveness and to pray and/or meditate for forgiveness to help them heal from their past. According to the NCBI, religion is often used to simplify the progress of the individual’s spirit in a more individualized way by creating a relationship with something bigger than him or herself.
If he or she is not religious, it may be a good idea for him or her to practice mindfulness meditation. Mindfulness meditation type of reflection that can help an individual focus on the present moment instead of the past faults. In staying in the present moment, he or she is learning to let go and forgive themselves for their past mistakes.
It can be hard to let go of the mistakes an individual made in the past, but it is important that he or she let go of the past and look to the present moment. Some of the methods that can help with that is talking or writing about it, symbolically abolishing it or religious or mindfulness meditation.
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