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How to quit ruminating on the past?

Old 06-28-2017, 06:55 PM
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How to quit ruminating on the past?

I keep thinking about the awful things I've done in the past. I also almost died twice as a result of getting black out drunk and taking my prescription Vicodin (I don't take that now that I'm sober). I woke up (not sure how) one morning had taken 11 pills next to 2 bottles of wine. I am a mother of two beautiful girls. How the hell could I have done that. So selfish. So awful. I never intended on taking the pills until I was drunk and then chased the buzz. I hate myself for that. There are so many humiliating things I've done while drunk but this I cannot let go of. I look at my two little girls and just cannot forgive myself. How can I move past this? Any tips or stories of rumination. It's haunting.
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Old 06-28-2017, 07:02 PM
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The more I built a new sober life for myself, the less I worried about the past Jellybean.

I can;t forget the past, because I don;t want to make the same mistakes again, but I've forgiven myself for the maistakes I made.

A large part of my early recovery was trying to make a difference in the world every day. That was my way of atoning, in a million small ways, for the not so great things I'd done.

D
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Old 06-28-2017, 07:12 PM
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You can't change the past but by not drinking today you're building a better future for you and your loved ones. Give yourself some good, sober time and try to live in the present for now. Or as one oldtimer I used to see at AA meetings said a little more crassly, "If I'm living with one foot in the past and one foot in the future, then I'm peeing all over today."
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Old 06-28-2017, 07:13 PM
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You get over it by not beating yourself up and instead getting on your knees and thanking the lord you survived. I understand you being upset with yourself, but the other side of that coin is that you lived to tell the tale and now its behind you.
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Old 06-28-2017, 07:21 PM
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some of the self guided meditation on youtube could help. There are some on forgiving yourself. It helps you focus on the present moment and maybe could help with the ruminating.
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Old 06-28-2017, 08:07 PM
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I did die- 3 times. My family disowned me that same night. I have constant punishing thoughts. My answer is to throw as much energy into my recovery as I did in drinking. The goal- acceptance, letting go- self love 9I hate that last one). Lots of posts here, rehab perhaps, psychologist, lots of meetings ,lots of journal writing, lots of research, gp, addiction counselling, budgeting- everything.
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Old 06-28-2017, 08:33 PM
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That is certainly some bad stuff jellybean ... you survived and here you are thank god. I have some of the same kind of rumination issues and talk therapy doesn't work well - for me a zillion years of talk therapy didn't work at all so about 2 months ago I tried EMDR therapy... it seems to help free things up. I would reccomend trying it. perscription medications are not really going to help over the long term IMO plus they may be/they are dangerous if taken within a window of drinking any alcohol.

i have done many other things/types of therapy and meditation .. etc and from my research EMDR is the cadillac of brain reprogramming, freeing up PtSD and OCD type ruminations / traumas.... I enjoy it much more than any other therapies i've tried in the past 12 years.

an emdr session is a zooming light on a bar your eyes follow, while you hold a small buzzer in each hand. your eyes follow the light to the right side of the bar and the right hand paddle buzzes, your eyes follow the light to the left and the left side buzzes in your hand... this happens all while the practicioner asks you to think about the crappola that you have been stewing upon.

the left / right eye movements and hand buzzer helps to move the thoughts from the right side of the brain to the left side ... open up some new pathways in your mind it helps let those thoughts escape . i would highly recommend it.
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Old 06-28-2017, 08:49 PM
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Jelly,

My issues pale to those I've read here.

I obsess way more than i like.

I am positive it is part of the brain damage booze has done to us.

The reason i believe this is because when i had fewer sober days, i obsessed more.

So, i am still not making any big decisions for a while.

I have some demons that i use prayer to routinely quell.

Thanks.
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Old 06-29-2017, 03:45 AM
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I did my utmost to repair the damage of the past, I changed my behaviour so there would be no repeat of past mistakes, I don't do the things I used to do, I have a completely different attitude to those around me. Somewhere in that process I found I had forgiven myself, and the past is no longer a burden.
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Old 06-29-2017, 03:54 AM
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Live for today and work towards a better tomorrow..... The past is "the past" it's done it's over. No matter how hard you try, you will never be able to "redo" it. So why not accept it (own it) and know in your heart that it's not the real you. The "real you" is the person you are (not the one controlled by substance).
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Old 06-29-2017, 04:52 AM
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Originally Posted by jellybean80 View Post
I look at my two little girls and just cannot forgive myself.
Look at your two little girls and realize they are precisely the reason YOU MUST forgive yourself. If you don't your addiction is still stealing from them the mother they deserve.

You weren't perfect then. You aren't perfect now. But you're better now. And better is enough.
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Old 06-29-2017, 05:58 AM
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In AA, the steps help with this, particularly 4, 5 and 9. Admitting what we have done, our part in the damage our drinking caused, etc, sharing them with another and making amends to those we harmed (when possible) are key to letting things go. Not easy, especially at first, but as I have learned to live in steps 1,10, and 12 - continued acceptance of my alcoholism; righting wrongs as I go along; and focus on (service to) others, it is easier to put the past in the past and only have it as a reminder of what are not like now and never have to be again.
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Old 06-29-2017, 10:06 AM
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Every day that you stay sober and do better, you are making up for your mistakes. Replacing those memories with good ones happens gradually, be patient.

You are not a bad person. We are not bad people. We do bad things when our judgement is impaired because we are under the influence. We were not in control at those times. We're in control now.

Give yourself some credit for taking back control and wanting to do better. There is no reason to keep beating yourself up for past mistakes. We all make mistakes.
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Old 06-29-2017, 10:18 AM
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I thought I'd never forgive myself. I thought no one else would ever forgive me. I was in despair for months, thinking I'd never shake off the past. Constantly haunted by memories and regrets. I was going to AA, working the steps, going to treatment, doing all the right things. But I kept going, because people kept telling me it would get better, that the promises of AA would come true. I just put my faith in that. And you know what? Things have gotten better, over time. Do I still have regrets? Sure. I always will. Do I dwell on my past mistakes and hate myself because of them? Not anymore. Every sober day heals a little bit of the wounds. Every day that I do the right things (or apologize quickly if I don't) I feel better about myself, and the people I thought would never forgive me begin to do so.

Give it time, jellybean. It does get better. Just stick to sobriety. And remember that you are not defined by your past mistakes.
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Old 06-29-2017, 11:03 AM
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Jellybean, I completely understand how you are feeling. I think forgiving ourselves is a very hard thing to do. For me, it sure didn't happen all at once. It was an ongoing process and I had to forgive over and over again. I found that journaling helped by getting the words out of me and onto paper. When those thoughts come to your mind, try to simply recognize them and let them go, rather than getting caught up in the emotions. You can do this!
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Old 06-29-2017, 11:26 AM
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Jellybean, I agree with everyone here suggesting ways to stop obsessing about the past, but I wanted to mention that I have found that the antidepressant lexapro has really helped me with this. I'm the type to constantly go over the painful things in my past and have found this med to really help stop the obsessive thoughts. Of course it has no affect if you are drinking. Hope you find peace!
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Old 06-29-2017, 01:09 PM
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Hi Jelly:

I just wanted to add: please look at this from the AV RT perspective. All those negative feelings and thoughts are your AV trying to pull you in. Do not let it. You are not going to be that person anymore and your now is going to become your past, that is what you're working towards!!!

You are so much more than the worst thing you've ever done. Be kind to yourself!!!

Rely on us. We are here to help.
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Old 06-29-2017, 05:54 PM
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As is oft said, we were not bad trying to be good but sick trying to get well. How should we treat a close friend who is coming through an illness? Without mercy.....not likely.

Rolling around in the muck is never the best way to get clean. Make amends by staying sober. Be engaged in life and try not to repeat past mistakes. That is what I attempt to do daily. Some day are better than others, but regardless.

I don't pick up that first drink.......
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Old 06-29-2017, 06:41 PM
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Thank you. I am in tears. I know I need move on for my sake and my girls. I hope time makes it better and yes I have to be a good, sober, present mom now.
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Old 06-29-2017, 11:22 PM
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Originally Posted by jellybean80 View Post
Thank you. I am in tears. I know I need move on for my sake and my girls. I hope time makes it better and yes I have to be a good, sober, present mom now.
Hi Jellybean...I hope #1 from the 7 rules of life is of some use (my post that you responded to). Also I have found self forgiveness guided meditations very helpful in order to overcome specific events I have felt overwhelming shame and regret about x
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