The author Aldous Huxley once wrote that “The secret of genius is to carry the spirit of the child into old age, which means never losing your enthusiasm.” Of course this seems easy enough, but life gets heavy when emotions run high. And the holiday season, despite it’s glimmering lights, decorations, and joy, can often bring with it feelings of loneliness and memories of difficult times.
It is not uncommon for people in recovery to feel a little left out of the holiday cheer. This might be for a number of reasons, one of which might include family rifts that have formed along the difficult road. However, the journey of recovery, while not easy, is one of new opportunities. Sometimes the road darkens, but it’s about looking for new ways to make amends and reclaim your life.
Psychology Today reports that regret is intertwined in our everyday lives, since we are always navigating through various choices. They suggest regret is an emotion that can actually change behavior because you see, in retrospect, how a different choice might have been better or you recognize why the choice you made was wrong. If you experience emotions of regret, consider a few options.
Accept and Recognize
One way to begin stitching some of these torn relationships is not through a simple apology, but through acts of kindness and sacrifice that demonstrate your desire to make things right. Acceptance of wrongdoing and mistakes are the first step and they take courage and honesty.
How to Mend Old Wounds
According to Experience Life, there are plenty of barriers to overcome when looking to make amends. Here are a few things to overcome:
- Fear of the wronged person’s anger: Don’t let the fear of someone’s fury prevent you from doing what’s right. Be sincere, honest, and courageous.
Apology as a sign of weakness: There is a misconception that apologizing shows weakness, but when you know you have wronged, it is the opposite. It shows self awareness and wisdom.
- Your apology is too late: Sometimes people will put off the apology because they think too much time has passed and it’ll only stir up bad emotions. This is not the case, it is always important to show what you feel.
Always put yourself in the other person’s shoes. This will help you in in your apology and with understanding their anger and disappointment. Realize that these things take time and that you must do it for yourself, as a way to a personal peace.
It’s Never Too Late
If you have a senior loved one who has made mistakes in the past, there are, quite possibly, amends they wish to make. The first step in making amends is always through recognition and establishing communication. If much time has passed, it might seem even harder to achieve forgiveness, but everything has got to start somewhere. Begin the conversation, be patient, and don’t lose the will to make things right.
Re-Take Your LIfe
If you are on the road to sobriety or have long ago traveled that road, life now may always seem fragile. Begin making choices in your life that make you feel in control and independent. While you want to be careful not to make extreme changes too quickly, there are certain things you can do to push addiction away.
- Explore other ventures in life. Replacing a bad habit with a good one can be a good way out of downward spiral. Vice magazine featured a piece about a recovering addict changed and re-invigorated his life with computer games.
- Change your environment. Considering a move or a trip can be a good way to alter perspectives and occupy your mind with new surroundings
Family and friends are among the greatest resource to someone recovering from addiction. Having a support group that surrounds the person is a truly helpful way to fortify their desire to get better. Whether you are there for someone or someone is there for you, life is not black and white. There are a million complexities to every moment and every decision and everyone will take the wrong turn at some point. The important part is recognizing and working to fix it. As Huxley suggested, never lose your enthusiasm for life and you just might catch a little piece of genius.
Teresa Greenhill submitted this guest post. It doesn’t constitute our views or opinions.