A Blank Sheet of Paper: An Addict’s Guide to Forgiveness
Every day we begin anew. Every day is a new start. Every day we have the opportunity to start over, to start writing the story of our lives on a blank sheet of paper. Writers begin the creative process of storytelling in this same fashion, with is simple blank sheet of paper. Each story has its own beginning, middle and end. Each has its own plot-line with characters, dilemmas, conflicts and resolutions.
Those who are suffering from the disease of addiction are often bogged down by past conflicts and unresolved issues. They have trouble letting go of things. This struggle causes many addicts to live life with regrets, guilt and shame. The weight of these uncomfortable feelings makes daily living a challenge. It slows the process of change down to snail’s pace. Until an addict can forgive him/her self progress will be stunted.
The inability to forgive and the holding of resentments towards him/her self and others is the #1 offender of recovery. Resentment is one of the primary issues addiction recovery therapists address when someone seeks treatment at an addiction recovery center. Recovery is a difficult process. An addict accepting that they have a problem is a huge step towards recovery but in order to move forward an addict has to practice forgiveness in their daily life.
Imagining each day as a new beginning, a bank sheet of paper if you will, is a great way to practice forgiveness. Imagine how much easier life can be without carrying yesterday’s baggage into today. Dump yesterday’s garage in yesterday and leave it there.
Addicts are encouraged to do a daily inventory. The point of this is to take stock on ones assets and defects of character. After analyzing their day and asking God for the strength to do better, there is no point in dwelling on it any longer. In this new way of life in recovery, this type of negative behavior no longer serves the addict well. In fact its a huge hindrance toward the goal of serenity.
If an addict gets in the practice of forgiving and leaving the past in the past their shoulders will feel lighter. Without carrying this burden, addicts will be more equipped and open to the process of changing towards a more fulfilled life. A life filled with purpose. A life filled with meaning. The life they would write for themselves if they are to simply start each day with a blank sheet of paper.