In a previous blog post, I discussed reflection or rewinding as a means for gaining insight when an earlier event escalated beyond where it needed to. You can find the rewinding post here. But what happens when rewinding won’t help – you’ve run out of chances or the person you disagreed with is no longer alive? When you cannot make amends you have to go through a grieving period. While you are grieving, being gentle with yourself and owning the pain is important. Know that we all are human and we all make mistakes that cannot be undone. Give yourself plenty of time to grieve and remind yourself that the light at the end of the tunnel will come eventually.
When you get the energy to begin to move forward, you can examine how things got to the breaking point. Are there things you know you needed to change but kept choosing not to? Did drugs and/or alcohol play a role in your poor choices or the events that brought you to the point of no return? Be gentle but honest with yourself.
If drugs and/or alcohol are an issue, 12 step groups are a great way to get help for no cost. If you decide to attend 12 step, make a commitment to yourself that you will go to as many meetings as you need to – even if that means going to 3 meetings in one night because you can’t leave work during the day. Also, find a sponsor you mesh well with. Sponsors are also recovering addicts and will be there to support you especially through the tough times.
If you struggle in relationships due to angry outbursts, rigid thinking, or lack of relationship skills make plans to make some changes in your life. Therapists, coaches, and even books can be useful. Two of my favorite self help books are Growing Up Again by Jean Illsley Clarke and Connie Dawson and Adult Children of Abusive Parents: A Healing Program for Those Who Have Been Physically, Sexually, or Emotionally Abused by Steven Farmer. No matter your course of action, make a commitment to yourself to learn new thoughts and behaviors so your relationships going forward can be positive from your end.
Founder of the Unstoppable Man Mindset