Pathways Wellness

Taking the Time to Look Back With Pride

Taking the Time to Look Back With Pride
Raul Haro
May 29, 2023
It is essential for those still navigating their sobriety to take time to look back at how far they have come on this journey. Recovery is filled with a plethora of experiences. It shares both good and bad moments, and while many of the struggles may have felt disastrous, taking the time to look back […]
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Taking the Time to Look Back With Pride

It is essential for those still navigating their sobriety to take time to look back at how far they have come on this journey. Recovery is filled with a plethora of experiences. It shares both good and bad moments, and while many of the struggles may have felt disastrous, taking the time to look back on how one has overcome challenges can be motivating to keep moving forward.

Taking Time to Look Back

Looking back on one's recovery journey can be difficult. There may still be many complicated feelings harbored about oneself. Things like guilt and shame can be difficult to face, especially when one has grown so much since taking part in those behaviors. However, looking back can open the gates for contextualizing successes. It can also be stressful, as difficult memories can cause feelings of shame, doubt, or guilt to become prevalent. However, it is an integral part of the process. 

Processing these feelings is instrumental in starting a new chapter. By meeting with a professional and processing these memories in a safe environment, individuals can move past these events emotionally. They can also focus on their plans moving forward. 

While these meetings can help inform effective goals, they are also a time to confront, process, and relinquish difficult memories, guilt, and blame. Working through difficult feelings keeps them from growing and risking participating in unhealthy ways to cope. 

Acknowledging Success and Progress While Taking Time to Look Back

One of the most challenging aspects of recovery is identifying and taking pride in one's successes, even when feeling stressed. However, even if daily life still contains struggles or a continual battle to face urges and cravings, overcoming these feelings is a great accomplishment. One's accomplishments in recovery are worthy of celebration. While navigating these memories can be difficult, it can also be instrumental in proving to oneself the skills embodied and traits adopted into one's sober identity. 

Objectively Viewing Success

There are a number of ways that an individual can step back and acknowledge their accomplishments from the past. Even an individual taking a breath and getting ready to set off on a new journey with their sobriety is a testament to one's resilience. However, there are also other ways in which an induvial can further identify their accomplishments. 

Reflect by Keeping a Journal

Journals are an invaluable resource during this time. They are a fantastic emotional outlet that allows one to edit and understand their feelings and struggles and act as a log of one's successes. Looking back on the feelings and stressors one used to struggle with can indicate how far an individual has come. 

During the infancy of one's recovery, going through a meal without drinking at all may have seemed close to impossible, and one's goals may have surrounded coping with the withdrawal symptoms that may have dictated daily life. 

Given this context, struggling with an urge or craving once a day, a week, or a month are all incredible accomplishments. Not only in that they are proof that one's recovery is making progress but also in that the strides being made are proven to be effective for sustained sobriety. 

Journals are also a way to document the development of thought patterns, serving as a receipt of innate emotional responses. Even though an individual may still feel the continued stress of sustained sobriety, identifying these positive steps can contextualize the progress that one has made. 

Support Can Help When Taking Time to Look Back

One's support network can also offer a significant amount of context for progress. Living through the stresses of recovery can alter one's view of their successes, and an outside perspective on one's accomplishments can be invaluable as one looks back on their journey. 

Support systems are not only a source of comfort and change in recovery but also a source of perspective. Pathways Wellness Center provides alumni support to keep individuals in the recovery community connected. It is important to continue to meet with groups and individual therapy to remind one that one is never alone in their journey. Support networks also help in times of challenge, especially when processing complex thoughts.  

Pathways Wellness Center: Looking to the Future

Looking over one's journey, struggles, and successes is not just a way for an individual to realize and celebrate accomplishments that may have gone overlooked – it is also a way for each individual to prepare for the future. 

Only by knowing where one is in their journey can one better plan for the next step. Celebrating the accomplishments of past experiences while relinquishing the stresses and doubts of the past can help one move forward with a clean slate. It can also help one focus on their sober goals and potential. 

Looking back on the previous year can be a very revealing time, and we at Pathways Wellness Center are prepared to help you understand and take pride in your successes in your recovery journey. Being able to take pride in one's accomplishments is a powerful feeling, and having a supportive and inviting atmosphere filled with like-minded peers and professionals can help you begin to take stock of your successes throughout your recovery. Art therapy, writing, yoga, mindfulness practices, individual and group therapy, and even family programs are all available to you. For more information on how we can personalize your time with us or to speak to a caring, trained staff member, call us today at (888) 771-0966.

About the Author

Raul Haro
Raul Haro is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with sixteen years of experience working in both the inpatient and outpatient setting. As an LMFT, He has trained in trauma focused cognitive behavioral therapy and EMDR. Raul has furthered his training in the drug and alcohol field by obtaining a Masters in Drug and Alcohol Counseling through CCAPP. Raul has a background in nursing where he has been an LVN for over 25 years. Recently, he has returned to school to complete a degree in Registered Nursing. Future plans are for Raul are to eventually complete a degree as a Nurse Practitioner combining his therapy practice with his nursing skills.

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