I was a tornado, a wrecking ball, a bull in a china shop. I did whatever the hell I wanted to do and left a path of destruction behind me without a care in the world.
I hate thinking about who I used to be and the things I used to do; it makes me feel like a terrible person.
I wish I could erase some of those mistakes and forget they ever happened. But who I am today is because of those mistakes; they led me to this very moment and ultimately made me a stronger person.
When Past and Present Collide
Part of my past includes a criminal record. I hate even typing that word: criminal. My name is filed away in the basement of the courthouse as a criminal – how terrible is that?!
Even though I’ve changed and moved forward, my past still haunts me. I recently applied for a new position at my company and had to go through a very thorough background check. I got a phone call from my boss to come to her office and, when she explained they needed more information about my offenses, I immediately started crying. It was an awful feeling.
I’ve been sober for over two years; I’ve been with my company for about a year and these people know me as the person I am today. They don’t know the crazy out of control party girl, but my background check gave them some insight on who I used to be…and that killed me.
Burning the Paper Trail
I’ve worked so hard to put the past behind me, yet there I was…dealing with all those old mistakes again. The information my boss requested involved writing a letter explaining my actions and obtaining a copy of the police report.
I wrote the letter and I went to the courthouse, one of the places I’d promised myself I would never step foot in again, to pick up a copy of the police report. I sat in the parking lot and cried as I read through the pages. I was about to hand over the script of a scene from my old life – a script that would surely change everything my co-worker’s thought of me.
But then I had an epiphany; that was the “old” me. The “new” me had already faced down the demons of her past, so I gave my boss all the details of the incident and hoped for the best. Because all I can do is move forward and let my actions today speak for themselves.
Remember: We all make mistakes. We all have a past. But that doesn’t mean the past gets to define the future…unless we choose to let it.
Additional Reading: Jumping Recovery’s Hurdles of Change – Without Stumbling
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