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As we work towards recovering from our addictions, one thing that can help us move forward is to focus on our future and really believe we’re capable of creating a happy, healthy life for ourselves. So often we find ourselves consumed by our pasts, weighed down by the shame we feel and the disappointment of our mistakes and regrets. We feel unable to forgive ourselves and to feel as though we can let go of what has happened in the past. We replay memories of our traumatic experiences constantly, repeatedly compounding our pain, or we block and suppress them, being unable to process them and move through the pain so that we can continue forward in our lives. Many of us become obsessed with the past, unable to think of anything else. We’re unable to focus on what’s currently going on in our lives, and we think about our past more than anything else. We feel as though our identities have been reduced to the mistakes we’ve made and the wrongdoings we’ve committed. We drink, use drugs, gamble and use unhealthy relationships to distract ourselves from the memories of our trauma. Our addictions can become a form of escapism, a way of trying to detach from the pain of our past. 

To help ourselves move forward, we can start envisioning our future, the life we want to create, and the person we want to be. We can use this vision of our future selves to manifest the lives we want for ourselves, to inspire us in our daily lives to make healthy choices that empower us and that serve us in becoming that version of ourselves. We don’t have to be limited or held back by the past anymore. We can choose to focus on the future instead, and all of the exciting possibilities it has in store for us. We can choose to see ourselves as full of potential rather than as failures. We can focus on all the things we want to get right rather than all the things we’ve gotten wrong. We can choose to see our future with hope, positivity and optimism rather than with the dread and pessimism we’ve accumulated from years of holding onto regret, disappointment, shame and remorse. Holding a vision of our future selves and our future lives, and working to believe in them, can help shift our focus away from the pain of the past to the beauty of the journey ahead.

If you’re struggling with addiction, you’re not alone. Reach out for support. The community of Riverside Recovery has personal experience with addiction and recovery. We’re here to help you reclaim the life you love. Call (800) 871-5440 today.