- Will the past ever change in sobriety?

Will the past ever change in sobriety?




Discussions related to 12 Step Recovery and Treatment

Will the past ever change in sobriety?

Postby ccs » Mon Jul 18, 2011 12:55 pm

Quote of the Week from MICHAEL Z @ Wisdom of The Rooms

"My recovery changed when I forever gave up the hope of having a different past."

I have spent a lot of time thinking about my past. Alternately feeling sorry for myself or being outraged at the wrongs - real or imagined - that were done to me, a constant theme in my thinking is how much different, better, happier I would be if only I hadn't had these parents, or stepparents, or those siblings, or on and on.

But it will never be different. My past will be my past always and, good or bad, it is uniquely mine. When I got to the program, I was taught that in recovery we stop fighting everybody and everything; in other words we surrender. One definition of surrender is to lay down our arms and join the winning side. By surrendering my old feelings about my past, I start to see it in a new light, and a new miracle has begun.

By working my program, I am able to make peace with my past, to look at my part and see the lessons and gifts it has to offer. In time, I come to see how valuable my experiences are, and how I can use them to help another. "One's deepest wounds, integrated, become our greatest power." Once I have healed my past, I begin to see how it can help heal another.

this ones a keeper for me :wink: :wink:
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Postby Dallas » Mon Jul 18, 2011 2:31 pm

Nice to see you Cessie!

My past is always changing. My past -- changes daily. And, I'm creating my past today. I can look at a particular point or points in my past and sigh, cry, or die. Or, I can look at the one's that make me feel high -- with enthusiasm, inspiration and laughter. The only place that my past exists is in my mind. Other people may remember my past -- but it isn't my past that they are remembering. It's their past. And, that lives only in their mind.

I can only change my past by changing my present. That's a lot easier than trying to go back in time and undo things. :lol:
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Postby Camel » Mon Jul 25, 2011 3:56 pm

Good topic. My past almost killed me. Couldn't shake it, so I continued to live in it. It was like a "hell hound", snapping at me all the time. I didn't know what to do about it, save oblivion. Then, by God's Grace, I walked into AA. Didn't have anywhere else to go, literally, in the world of the living. AA saved my life. As our literaure says, now my past is my greatest possession. It works if you work it.
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Postby sunlight » Mon Jul 25, 2011 8:54 pm

When I was new, I was told that, by taking the steps, the past would no longer have any power over me.

Boy did I ever want that! To wipe the slate clean & be one of those"bright and shiny people" that I saw all around me in AA. No more flippin' baggage, that now costs extra! :lol:

And the steps delivered what was promised. Now I'm sunlight! :lol: I can recall the past, but it's covered over with forgiveness and grace. It no longer hurts me. And I can use it to help others recover, especially those who think they can never get sober because of their past.

Now my son, who is not in recovery, tries to re-pack that baggage and send me on guilt trips. It doesn't work. I have made my amends and my restitution. I live the way of honesty, open-mindedness and willingness today. I love and give and work and laugh and play. I am useful and alive and free. I can even say I love my past because it's brought me to today.

Keep it simple friends. :wink:
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Postby Dallas » Tue Jul 26, 2011 9:31 am

To stay alive -- my past has to change daily. If it's not changing -- then, I'm not changing.

Sometimes, people have a tendency to focus on a particular point in time and refer to that as "their past" -- without referring to the entire whole totality of "particular points" in their past.

That, to me, is like saying: my life is screwed because I've only got one good eye. :lol:

If I can find something to be grateful about today -- I'll have something to be grateful about in yesterday -- as I look back on yesterday. Which means that -- yesterday, not all was bad or a waste. :lol:

When I stay present in today -- focusing on the things that I'm grateful for today -- it keeps me from trying to live in my past.

Gratitude -- brings a new Light into my darkest hours and it begins to make all things appear new, fresh and different.

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A newcomer shares

Postby Serenity Seeker » Thu Dec 01, 2011 2:00 pm

The thing I love most about this program is that we alcoholics can have an issue, no matter what it is... and I can go to my sponsor, this wonderful life changing tool 12Step.com, and an AA meeting and hear the same Steps and principles applied to all your affairs. Usually I hear from you what my sponsor says... that is probably because we work the same program? lol Anyway, wanted to give gratitude.

I have been praying for the strength and courage to take my second attempt at the fourth stept. My sponsor is not rushing me. in which I am grateful for. I have been practicing talking to God and turning my will and life over to him daily.

I have much fear which is getting better because I have been praying about it and listening in the rooms with my heart instead of my ears today. In my crazy head, my pain of the past I feel has so much power over me and in the past that has been my main excuse for picking up. Although, I realize today I pick up that first drink only because I am an alcoholic and have an allergy. Like many I am sure, I used it as an excuse to pick up that next drink/mind-altering substance, today that is not what I want. I just am afraid that knowing me, I will start it get into self pity mode, which with most of that I do not handle so well. However, after studying more in the BB about this step and the tools on this website, the meetings and extensive work with my sponsor and prayer, I feel the fear being removed. I realize the only way to a happy life is to take these steps with action not theory.


So, how this topic helps me tremendously as explained above. I heard in the rooms:

For most of my life I was either mad about yesterday or fearful for tomorrow.

Abandon all hope of a better past.

Today's "reactions and decisions" are tomorrow's past.

I have heard my sponsor say I do need to take the action of the fourth step, but we are slowly moving (I appreciate her for that). I trust in God to give me the stength to take this step with him. I like to beat myself up because I am not taking that action yet, but I just keep comin back to reach my higher power with my heart, speak with honesty from the heart, listen with my heart and know that I am today exactly where God wants me to be...

Dallas, thank you so much for your additional addition to these quotes I so earnestly have come to depend upon for positive affirmations in my life.

The only place the past exists is in my head.

I can only change my past by changing my present.

I hope I did not get off topic. If I did I do apologize.
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Postby Dallas » Thu Dec 01, 2011 5:01 pm

Thanks for your post!

Serenity Seeker wrote:I pick up that first drink only because I am an alcoholic


And, that's the WHOLE truth for each and everyone of us alcoholics!

It's real easy for alkies to run the mind games of: I drank because of this, or that... For reasons good or bad... There is only ONE reason that we drink... and that is: because we ARE alcoholic. We are living, walking, breathing -- alcohol magnets! That's why for me, regardless of what Step I'm on -- I MUST ALWAYS daily be practicing Step 1.

For fear: There is a little formula that I use to get rid of fear, that's found on pg 68 of the Big Book. It's part of the Fourth Step on Fear, but it still works for many people that have not gotten to Step Four yet, or... those that have taken the Steps, and have fallen back into fear.

It's basically this: (read it on pg 68)

1. Ask God to remove the fear. (Be sure to name what the fear is).

2. Direct your mind to thinking about something that God would want you to do. It can be something totally unrelated to the fear... the principle is: to "direct your thoughts on something else."

3. AT ONCE... immediately, you'll start to grow out of the fear. IF you don't IMMEDIATELY begin to grow out of the fear... re-read it, and re-do it, because you left something out if you do not get results "at once."

I use this tool often and I KNOW that it really does work.

Dallas
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Will practice this

Postby Serenity Seeker » Sat Dec 03, 2011 8:19 pm

Dallas wrote:Thanks for your post!

Serenity Seeker wrote:I pick up that first drink only because I am an alcoholic


And, that's the WHOLE truth for each and everyone of us alcoholics!

It's real easy for alkies to run the mind games of: I drank because of this, or that... For reasons good or bad... There is only ONE reason that we drink... and that is: because we ARE alcoholic. We are living, walking, breathing -- alcohol magnets! That's why for me, regardless of what Step I'm on -- I MUST ALWAYS daily be practicing Step 1.

For fear: There is a little formula that I use to get rid of fear, that's found on pg 68 of the Big Book. It's part of the Fourth Step on Fear, but it still works for many people that have not gotten to Step Four yet, or... those that have taken the Steps, and have fallen back into fear.

It's basically this: (read it on pg 68)

1. Ask God to remove the fear. (Be sure to name what the fear is).

2. Direct your mind to thinking about something that God would want you to do. It can be something totally unrelated to the fear... the principle is: to "direct your thoughts on something else."

3. AT ONCE... immediately, you'll start to grow out of the fear. IF you don't IMMEDIATELY begin to grow out of the fear... re-read it, and re-do it, because you left something out if you do not get results "at once."

I use this tool often and I KNOW that it really does work.

Dallas


Dallas,

Thank you so much. I am going to start placing this in practice. In a way I guess I have been trying that. I tell God what worries I am having and ask him to help me to turn that will over, because it usually sticks in my head. So, the 1,2,3 action you have layed out visions it so simple for me. I can not thank you enough. I will let you know how it works for me. ):
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Postby Toast » Sun Dec 11, 2011 12:37 pm

If we dont like our past we can write a new life story starting from today. And now that we know what we know its up to us what we put in it. 8)

It can be a story about a person who was once ignored and avoided who is now liked and respected. 8)

In the story we can create a new self image. We can change from that absurd phalacy that we were the 2nd best conman in town (John Barleycorn was the number 1) to being a person who is kind, careing and considerate to those around him. :D

Its all down to us and how we define ourselves today. :lol:
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Postby Serenity Seeker » Sun Dec 11, 2011 10:44 pm

[quote="Toast"]If we dont like our past we can write a new life story starting from today. And now that we know what we know its up to us what we put in it. 8)

It can be a story about a person who was once ignored and avoided who is now liked and respected. 8)

In the story we can create a new self image. We can change from that absurd phalacy that we were the 2nd best conman in town (John Barleycorn was the number 1) to being a person who is kind, careing and considerate to those around him. :D

Its all down to us and how we define ourselves today. :lol:[/quote

Toast, thanks for the inspiration. I finally "know" what it is I have to do today to change my life the future. Six Daily suggestions and I will be okay one day at a time. It is funny you spoke of people we once ignored or avoided. I have (thanks to my sponsor) been practicing loving others for who their are instead of judging them, ignoring them... etc. I reached out in a small way to a person in the program I feel I was avoiding, due to my pointing the finger... whatever was inside of me. My sponsor said, "Did this person ever do anything directly to you?" NO this person did not. So, instead of the normal hi and hug which I really at that time did not want to give, I started prayin first. Then real hug for the other alcoholic, working this program to the best of her ability. It is funny, within two weeks of "getting out of myself and judging" step back, we both are able to help each other. I find that her heart is in the right place, and God would want me to love her.

Something that just came to mind... when we say we can not change the past... of course we can not change the things we have done, but eventually through this program we can make what ammends we can, and the ones we can't make those ammends to God. In a sense doesn't that actually change the past? In what my sponsor has taught me so far with resentments in dealing with my mother, God rest her soul, I can see she was as sick of me... if not even worse but she did the best she could. I had to break down those expectations I set so high to only be let down for a hard emotional fall. All the pain of feeling she never really loved me due to the awful things that were directly done to me... is reversed into forgiveness, understanding, and less expectations. This has changed how my vision of the past is... and helps me to change my perspective in so many ways. Which in the end... for me, does change my past.

So, I missed this website this week. I am finally gettting blessed at being able to be to sleep a little earlier. Been busy with interviews. Not getting to come to this website even just to read others share is kind of like that feeling you get from missing just one meeting. I have had many meetings this week though.

Hugs to you all!!!

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