Have you ever run into someone from your past, could be an ex or an old friend and you are flooded with memories of your life during that time. It could be mixed feelings of sadness or joy but regardless of how or when it ended, it still stings just a little bit. Well same applies to running into someone from your former life, your life of addiction.
You can move away, change your name, disconnect your phone number but somewhere, somehow, something will either remind you of who you used to be or someone will appear at random to remind you of who you were. It is inevitable, so brace yourself.
It can be extremely painful to recall these times. The times in our lives when we hurt people, did things or said things we normally wouldn’t and a time when we would succumb to all our selfish desires and ultimately lose the ability to distinguish right from wrong. So when forced to revisit that pain, it can cause us to feel restless or short-tempered as the horrors of our past are now in the forefront of our mind. These brief encounters, I believe, are of no coincidence but rather an act of your higher power.
Maybe just a few days prior you were beginning to rest on your laurels, maybe you have not been to a meeting in awhile or called your sponsor. Maybe you have been romanticizing about the drink or the drug, recalling all the good times as opposed to the bad. Just maybe that rekindled moment of your past saved you from destroying the years of sobriety you had accumulated.
We have suffered trauma. We have suffered loss. We have felt unimaginable pain and fell prisoner to our addictions as our lives fell apart right before our eyes. There are songs I cannot listen to, streets I cannot drive down, people I cannot speak to and places I cannot go to, all because of my past, my addictions and my devious mind. There are times when I lay in bed at night overcome with memories of the things I have done and the fear of how capable I am to sabotage my entire existence. Some nights I simply cannot shake them.
So what do I do, I pray about it. I ask my higher power to relieve me of these thoughts and most of the time it subsides. I then have the ability to douse myself in gratitude that I no longer live that life. That I live now a quiet peaceful life while I choose to stay away from triggers, confrontations and things that cause unease. I go to a meeting or talk with a friend, I write, I read, I bring myself back to me, the person I am today. It is true however to not forget who you are or where you came from, but it is also important to not let yourself stay there for too long. Give yourself the time to feel these emotions, own them and then, victoriously continue on.