There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.
-Maya Angelou

After the initial process of breaking our bond to the specific substance or behavior through which our addictions expressed themselves, recovery becomes a process of emotional healing. One way that we can begin to heal is to examine our past, identifying the parts of our lives that are continuing to create feelings of shame or even general discomfort. Although we cannot erase these memories or undo anything that has been done either to us or by us, we can develop a different relationship to these events, a relationship that no longer continues to cause destructive feelings in the present. But to do this, we may need to share these parts of us with a trusted ally. Just the process of sharing these untold stories can have very positive effects on our psyches, releasing deeply held reservoirs of unwanted and outdated emotions. But telling our stories can also help us build new ways of looking at the past, often adding more accurate context to what had happened. But whether we benefit solely from the catharsis of disclosure or from the perspective that comes from reexamining an old story through a more forgiving lens, we can reduce the agony that our stories may continue to shed if they remain untold.

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