On the Job: My Past Does Not Define Me (Part II)

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Everyone has a story…and though we can’t rewrite our histories, we can start a new chapters and change the endings. No matter the urge to rewrite, the most important thing is to avoid letting the past interfere the present.

Back With a Vengeance

I had a hard time with this a few weeks ago. A background check brought my criminal past front and center into my present. I had to revisit pieces of the old days I thought I’d never see again. I got really depressed, cried a lot and felt like a complete failure. I was so scared of what people would think. I started punishing myself all over again for something that happened almost 10 years ago.

I wallowed in negative emotions and made myself miserable. It wasn’t easy, but after a few pep talks, I got up and brushed myself off.

Everything happens for a reason – and I can’t control anything other than my reaction to the situation. I knew sitting there, feeling sorry for myself wasn’t going to do any good, so I chose to do a few things to get my mind right!

If mistakes from the past start to overwhelm you try using these tips:

  • Work Out:  To start my day off right, I get up early and head to the gym. I have a love/hate relationship with working out. I hate going to the gym, but I leave feeling so good. It gives me a feeling of empowerment and I’m able to take out my aggression in a healthy way.
  • Pray:  I won’t lie and say I pray every day. When I first got sober, I prayed every morning and night. I believe that prayer helped me get through a lot of tough situations. Obviously the Serenity Prayer has become engrained in my mind and nothing could’ve been more fitting for this situation. It also made me realize I need to pray more often, because it really helps center me.
  • Write:  There’s something therapeutic about watching my words and emotions transfer from a pencil onto a piece of paper. Every time I write in my journal, it’s like a weight is lifted off of my chest and I’m able to breathe again. I used to keep all of my feelings bottled up inside until I eventually exploded like a ticking time bomb. Even if I don’t share those words with anyone, I’m able to clear my mind when I write.

Image Source: iStock

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