Here It Comes Again: Anniversary Issues in Recovery
There are times that you simply cannot attach or associate your current feelings with your present life situations. You’re full of conflicting and contradictory feelings; all jumbled and tangled together. You’re sad and that does not correspond to the events, or conversely, you are feeling upbeat and yet, the circumstances of your life should not produce happy feelings. At these conflicting times, look to Anniversary Issues. Most people are going to remember important or significant anniversaries:
- Sobriety and clean dates
How Could You Forget That Anniversary?
However, there are other Anniversary Issues that you are not aware of that might influence your life and feelings today. For example, someone with a past recovery date. After relapsing, how do you suppose they will feel when the previous recovery date comes? They may genuinely feel guilt, remorse, regret, and disappointment.
This same person is now in recovery again. They are making amends to family, gainfully employed, going to meetings, and making their lives better. Their current situations prompt feelings of gratitude, pride, and hope.
Still, they have negative feelings.
Anniversaries Influence our Feelings and Thoughts
Becoming aware of Anniversary Issues is going to help you:
- Isolate your past situations from your present life
- Reconcile conflicting feelings
- Understand that you have not resolved or accepted past situations
Understanding the influence that Anniversary Issues have on today is helpful when you acknowledge the conflict with past events and current feelings without it adversely affecting your current situations. What issues would recur? Start with the significant events in people’s lives:
Create Your Anniversary Calendar
Anniversary Issues Can Be Anticipatory
There is another interesting thing that happens to emotional memory – it is often anticipatory. Again, we’ll look at that person in recovery. If they think about how they felt a few days before they got into recovery, they might have felt guilty, angry, and afraid. Therefore, several days before the old recovery date, they may re-experience the same feelings without being able to attach them to their current drug-free life.
- Identified the Anniversary Issues
- Looked at the issues
- Put your Anniversary Issues in perspective
When you find them, look at the issues surrounding them, and put them in perspective, then you’re not as likely to have as much confusion over your conflicted feelings.
Writing, and recovery heals the heart