Letting go of the past won’t happen over-night but it is possible. It is a gradual process that can be achieved through communication and honesty with yourself and others.
Remember there is a difference between letting go of the past and repressing the past memories that haunt us. Repression is highly damaging to oneself as everything bottled up keeps building until one erupts both emotionally and physically. Letting go of the past can be simply processing everything you had done when drinking or using. Uncovering the reasons why you had done them and how you can move on from it and not allow it damage your future.
Staying in the present is essential in recovery. We cannot progress until we leave the past behind us. Being mindful of the future is important but don’t get stuck in the future either. Future ‘tripping’ is almost as harmful and being stuck in the past. As AA says; ‘one day at a time.’ Of course it is important to make plans for the immediate future and big changes to keep us occupied each day. We shouldn’t completely ignore the future. However when our concern for the future creates unreasonable levels of anxiety and catastrophe takes place this is when it can become harmful to recovery. Assuming the worst is not uncommon but it can eventually control you and divert your attention away from sobriety and sometimes lead to a relapse.
The best method of all is just to stay concerned with each day as it comes, be aware of feeling in the present as that is what is important. True it is important if you were feeling sad yesterday, but if you are feeling different today then that is the new reality of much more significance. Instead of looking to future and worrying about what’s ahead keep present and tackle issues as they come day to day.