Making a list about the worst times in your life may seem like you would be focusing on negative events or aspects. The point of the list is not to bring yourself down, but to become clear about what part you played in these times. Of course, some of the worst moments were out of your control, like the hospitalization, long illness or death of a loved one, or things like natural disasters.

In sobriety you can make time to reflect on your past mistakes, again, not to punish yourself, but to look at ways you could have done things differently. We all make mistakes, and yes, it is necessary to forgive yourself for them. You are not perfect. No one is. Looking at the worst times can offer you an opportunity to observe your strength. For example, When the hurricane hit, I was able to keep my family safe. When Dad died, I made it through the funeral and reception without a drink—that was a miracle.

Ask yourself, were some of the worst times a result of patterns you undertook in your life. Were you always flying off the handle at your children and spouse. Were you really mad at them, or projecting your anger onto them. From where did the root of your anger come? Deep thinking like this, while often painful, can help you see the benefits of sobriety, changing old behaviors and finding joy in your life again.

What were the best times in your life? None? Come on! You may have had a difficult and even awful childhood, but there could have been some fun times. Right? What about taking the subway or riding your bike downtown alone for the first time. Building forts with your friends, going for a pony ride, seeing your mother sober. When you grew up and got your first job babysitting, had money to buy that pair of jeans you wanted so badly. Reflecting on the good times takes as much courage as does thinking about the hard times. It wasn’t all bad, and it wasn’t all good. That is how life is in sobriety.

With each new day you can learn to make decisions and choices that are more advantageous to the well-being of you and your loved ones. Bring your lists with you to therapy. It takes courage to see your life in full and to make the changes to become your highest and best self. Learn, grow and rejoice in each sober day—the best of times is yet to come!

Cypress Lakes Lodge offers treatment for addiction in a peaceful, remote, oxygen-rich environment. The program encompasses holistic addiction therapy for the mind, body, and soul. The focus is on physical, mental, and emotional well-being by generating the balance of life-enriching treatment, wellness, and healthy, sober, sustainable relationships. Call us to get started: 409-331-2204