Don't Ever Go Back to Those Places That Made You so Unhappy

At times, you're tempted to go back to places where you suffered. However, you know that if you do return, you'll suffer again. Why is there a temptation to return to this kind of situation? In this article, we explain.
Don't Ever Go Back to Those Places That Made You so Unhappy

Last update: 23 August, 2021

If you’ve been brave enough to embark on the journey of healing and personal growth, you’ll know that it isn’t a simple, fast, or linear process. Furthermore, perseverance is essential. That’s because those old patterns of behavior are always there, waiting to catch you as soon as you let your guard down. However, if your future self were able to send you a message, it would undoubtedly tell you not to ever go back to those places that made you so unhappy.

Above all, it’s important to free yourself from guilt. Furthermore, to understand that changes don’t happen overnight. Indeed, it’s normal that on more than one occasion you’ll be tempted to give in and throw in the towel. To return to the suffering you know. That’s because, in effect, it means regaining a certain sense of control.

However, you’re not doing anything wrong. You’re simply halfway across the bridge that leads to your new life. In this article, we’re going to give you some words of encouragement to keep going.

The places you can’t escape from

We all have a situation or an experience in our lives that’s been painful and has lasted longer than we wanted it to. For example, negative patterns of thought emotionally dependent relationships, phobias, irrational fears, etc.

You, better than anyone, know what being in this mental prison meant. You remember when it happened and how you felt.

Nevertheless, each individual case is different and each person’s emotional experience can vary. However, your memories may well contain feelings like this:

A sad woman, indicating dont ever go back tho those places that made you sad.

Helplessness and frustration

Mental chains can feel as solid and firm as physical ones. Thus, even if you were aware of what was happening at the time, the changes you should’ve made, and the actions you should’ve implemented, you were powerless at the time.

Blame

There’s still a lot of misunderstanding and a certain amount of stigma regarding mental health. Perhaps that’s why you felt guilty about not being able to get out of that situation in which you found yourself.

Maybe those around you accused you of a lack of determination. They called you weak. For this reason, you started to internalize the feeling that you were responsible for your emotional state.

Fear

The scariest thing about the sensation of feeling trapped is thinking that the feeling will become permanent. At the time, you asked yourself if you’d ever get out of the relationship that was causing you so much pain. Would you be able to overcome your shyness and establish meaningful bonds with someone? Or, would that deep sadness you felt at the time be with you forever? Do these reflections sound familiar to you? If so, remember, you mustn’t ever go back to those places that made you so unhappy.

Loneliness

This is, perhaps, the hardest emotion of all. Misunderstanding, isolation, external judgment… all of these probably formed a part of your experience. In addition, it’s always really hard to see how other people are capable of coping in situations that for you feel insurmountable.

Why do you feel like going back?

Now that you’ve remembered what it was like living in your past, you’ll probably feel really relieved that you’re not there now. You should also feel proud of how far you’ve come.

For this reason, you might wonder why you’re sometimes overcome by the desire to return to those old patterns of behavior. Below, we tell you the main reasons why this tends to happen. They’ll help you understand yourself a little better and reinforce the path you’ve been traveling along.

  • It’s more comfortable. The brain is an organ that doesn’t seek happiness, it seeks survival. For this reason, it prefers routine, repetition, and everything it knows and is familiar. In this way, if you continue acting as you did before, you don’t have to make an effort, you already know how to do it and how it feels. On the other hand, to act differently, you have to overcome your resistance to change.
  • Your mind needs time. You need to remember that you’ve been implementing the same patterns for decades and that it takes time to learn a new way of thinking, feeling, and behaving. In fact, if you feel like going back, it’s because you haven’t fully reprogrammed your mind yet. When this eventually happens, you’ll find that what you’re now trying so hard to achieve will come naturally.
  • Now that you’re okay, you’ve lost perspective. As a matter of fact, it’s very common that when you move forward and improve you tend to look back and think that your past situation wasn’t so bad after all. Consequently, you partially forget the pain and suffering and tend to only focus on the good times. However, don’t get carried away by this kind of bias. Try to keep in mind why it was that you wanted to get out of there and not ever go back.
  • You think it could be different now. Perhaps you think that your ex-partner has changed. Or, it doesn’t matter if you beat yourself up for a day because nothing will happen, and you know now how you should be talking to yourself anyway. Or, you can afford to give in to your fear from time to time because you’ve faced it so many times before. However, these seemingly innocuous behaviors could well end up ruining all your good work to date. Therefore, stay firm and persistent in your goal.
Woman with eyes closed

Don’t ever go back to those places that made you so unhappy

In short, you need to remember how far you’ve come. Furthermore, how valuable the work is that you’ve done so far. 

You may not have reached where you’re going yet, but you’re certainly no longer in the same place as when you started. For this reason, for the version of you that suffered so much in the past, and for the version who’ll enjoy the new reality that you’re building now, don’t ever go back to those places that made you so unhappy.

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  • Bachrach, E. (2014). Encambio: Aprendé a modificar tu cerebro para cambiar tu vida y sentirte mejor. Buenos Aires: Sudamericana.
  • Lally, P., Van Jaarsveld, C. H., Potts, H. W., & Wardle, J. (2010). How are habits formed: Modelling habit formation in the real world. European journal of social psychology40(6), 998-1009.