There is an old proverb that says, “you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. No matter what you do with it, it will always be the ear of a pig. We can also apply this quote to members of the program in regards to their past. When we first came in, we probably had lots of war stories about our past behavior. As time passed perhaps some of those stories got a little fuzzy. Perhaps we began to tell ourselves that things weren’t really as bad as we had remembered. For an alcoholic or drug addict, this is like skating on thin ice. If we keep it up, we’ll eventually fall through and slip back into our drug of choice.
We need to be very clear with ourselves. It is extremely important for us to have an accurate memory of our past behaviors. Most likely we will find this to be uncomfortable. We probably feel deep shame and regret over some of the things we have done. Though we need not dwell on the past, it shouldn’t be denied or romanticized. To do so would be endanger our present and future.
Personal Reflection: Do I sometimes romanticize the past?