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Dealing with a Painful Past

Sometimes, a painful past can be so traumatizing that the victim can not move forward even after a reasonable amount of time has passed. A person may continue to live in this painful moment for an indeterminable period unless something is done to help them move on and enjoy the present while looking forward to the future.

This article addresses how to deal with a painful past. We attempt to give tips that will help you move on from a bad time, be it the death of someone you love or betrayal by a trusted friend.

  • The first step to dealing with pain from the past is to acknowledge it, do not avoid it. Take into account all the behaviors you have adopted to cover up the pain such as drinking, drugs, or sex, and kick them out. Avoidance only allows the pain to grow making it explosive and worse, should it get too much it will become toxic to you.
  • Instead of sitting in a dark room thinking about a past you can not change, you can decide to focus on the present and the future. Associate with people who bring out the positive in you and make them your friends. Go out more and keep company of good friends, and remember to talk to them. They are your friends and want to help you but they are not mind readers. If you do not speak, they have no way of knowing what is really ailing you.
  • Try to understand how your emotional pain is manifesting itself as physical pain and slowing you down further. This is especially true if you are playing the avoidance game where the only way the pain can get through is as physical pain. Before you become addicted to pain relief medication for unexplained pain, know why it is there and deal with those emotions directly.
  • Learn to take care of yourself emotionally and physically. Eat well and stay healthy, exercise, maintain a good emotional balance, meditate, and help others. Remember that if you are happy the pain can not get to you. Focusing on what was good about something instead of what went wrong is a good start in getting emotional healing.
  • Make a list of what you want from life and how you intend to achieve it. It is highly unlikely that you intend to sulk your way to whatever you intend to do in the future. Focus on achieving your dreams and forget about the setbacks of the past. You deserve a good life and nothing is worth mourning your dream to oblivion.
  • If you feel really depressed, find a professional counselor or psychiatrist who will help you through the steps of the healing process. This is something you may have to do, especially if you do not have a support system of your own such as friends and family to help you through the pain. Professionals will keep you focused while ensuring that you get the support you need. Remember to follow their advice to the letter.
  • As a final thought, it is time for you to start forming new memories. If the memories from your past are painful and unpleasant, try to form new pleasant memories to replace the bad ones. Take up interesting hobbies, make new friends, visit new areas, see new things, and try all kinds of new stuff. This will create so many happy memories that the old bad memories will be pushed to the back of your mind where they can not bother you.

The only way you will ever be able to enjoy the present is if you let go of your painful past. Letting go does not mean forgetting but rather acceptance of what has happened and knowing that nothing can change it. Learn from it and embrace the future and present, life is too short for you to live in the past.

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