The road to recovery comes with dozens of mixed feelings and emotions – some helpful and some harmful. One such feeling is nostalgia, or a wistful longing to return to past times or circumstances, which can be tricky and may even lead to relapse if you’re not careful.This is because nostalgia can enable you to romanticize things and remember only the good – whether you’re nostalgic about getting high with friends, bar hopping with buddies, or a past romantic relationship or friendship you had during active addiction. And you’ll likely forget all of the bad – feeling sick the morning after, embarrassing yourself in public, hurtful remarks uttered to friends and family, etc.
Remind yourself daily why you choose to commit to sobriety – and then try these tips to use nostalgia to support your recovery:
Be selective. You can be conscious about what you are and are not nostalgic about. For instance, it’s okay to summon pleasant memories of your loved ones – and, in fact, these memories might even help give you the strength to get through some tough times in rehab. Reminiscing about your drinking or drugging days is dangerous, however, and can work on the mind to tempt you back to addiction.
Focus on your new sober life. It’s not easy to get past the positive feelings you associate with your addictive days – it was likely a big part of your life for a long time. However, you now have the chance to find fulfillment in experiences, people, and activities that will ultimately improve your life.Make new memories. Recovery is the perfect time to repair past relationships, form new friendships with peers, and create new sober memories. The more you focus on the present, the less likely you’ll be nostalgic for the past.
Your Individual Path to Recovery
Everyone’s journey from addiction to sobriety is different and we’re here to help guide and support you in yours. Red Oak’s addiction programs utilize many paths to develop lasting change in emotional and spiritual growth. To learn more, call today: 866.457.7426.