How To Deal With The Shame And Guilt In Addiction Recovery

In these ways, guilt and shame can fuel your addiction even more. Understanding the roles they play can help you learn to properly cope with them and recover from addiction. One of the ways that a person might try dealing with guilt and shame is to start using substances. Drugs and alcohol can drown out uncomfortable thoughts temporarily, which encourages a person to continue using the substances to achieve the same effect. When a person uses drugs or alcohol consistently to cope with feelings of shame, they risk developing an addiction. Other people may be dealing with guilt and shame in addiction recovery because of what they did or did not do while abusing drugs.

How do I let go of guilt and shame?

  1. Acceptance. Acknowledge that you are a human, and know that every human makes mistakes.
  2. Learn from mistakes. Try to learn from your mistakes.
  3. Take risks. Be willing to take risks.
  4. Visualize the future. Picture yourself free from guilt, regret, and self-condemnation.

Recovery is an ongoing process that takes work and commitment. Learning to forgive others will help you move on and heal. Here are some suggestions for dealing with guilt and shame before and after addiction treatment. If you follow the 12-Step recovery model, you will eventually arrive at Step 9. This step directs you to make amends to those you have harmed, except in cases when doing so would cause further pain to them or someone else. Making amends, apologizing for past mistakes, and recommitting yourself to living a life of honor and integrity are excellent ways to let go of guilt for your past actions.

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And so I realized I needed to find tools for dealing with this. If I don’t find some way to navigate this, skillfully, it’ll be the end of me, it’ll be the death of me because I knew I wasn’t gonna be able to sustain recovery.

Spend time with people who care about you and accept you for who you are. Establish healthy new relationships and repair damaged guilt and shame in recovery old ones. Even getting a pet can be a source of unconditional love, and they have been proven to boost mental health and mood.

Cultivate Positive Relationships

Recognizing how these feelings can impact recovery can mitigate doubt and allows people to focus on strengthening their recovery and resilience. Some people have a skeleton in their closet; a secret they aren’t proud of that they keep from others. These secrets could be prior substance or alcohol use, or mental health struggles, and the shame often haunts them.

In treatment, we’ve learned that the more someone accepts their guilt — which is about behaviors — the less shame they carry. If we can get someone talking about their behaviors, we can decrease their feelings of shame. And we increase their sense of empowerment which creates the openness for an increase in genuine self esteem. This tends to be a very uncomfortable process, both for the patient and for the family. There is a temptation for family members to jump in and protect their loved ones from feeling this pain.

Overcoming Shame and Guilt to Strengthen Sobriety Treatment, Recovery

If you are in recovery, you have most likely had to confront the heavy feelings of guilt and shame. These emotions will naturally emerge as you progress through therapy, exploring the behaviors you may now regret. Step Four of the 12-Step Program helps you come to terms with past actions that caused others harm in some way. On the other hand, guilt can help heal during Recovery.

While shame is less helpful, it can be overcome. We can let go of these emotions by exploring where they’re coming from, identifying what’s really true, and remembering that our past actions don’t define us. While shame, guilt, and regret are often used interchangeably, there are important differences between each of these terms.

Positive aspects

Robbie, who has 32 years in sober recovery, was once traveling across the U.S. with a group of her sober pals. They stopped at a roadside diner and stayed sitting there deep into the night. After a particularly boisterous round of laughter, they were approached by a local state trooper. Contingency programs is an incentive-based therapy that helps clients expect positive results when they try to improve themselves. The fear of rejection or abandonment can exacerbate a person’s sense of shame. When a person knows you will accept them regardless of their past, shame can begin to dissipate.

We can help you find the right treatment options to put you on the path to a lasting recovery. We offer a holistic approach utilizing a variety of services, including residential treatment, medically monitored detox, family program, and extended care and transitional living services. To find out more about what programs and services are available in our Pennsylvania recovery center, please contact us today. Because guilt and shame are such huge emotions when it comes to addiction, treatment centers have therapy for them as part of addiction treatment. Even so, we should not always see these as negative emotions.

Sobriety is jeopardized if healthy coping methods are not learned and embedded into everyday living. One important strategy for dealing with guilt is changing the way you speak to yourself. We’re often our worst enemies, and we tend to be tougher on ourselves than we would be on anyone else in the same situation. There are plenty of unloving things that we may say to ourselves that we would never think to say to our friends or family. Hateful self-talk is damaging and only amplifies any negative emotions you may be feeling. When you begin feeling guilty or shameful, avoid hateful self-talk like “I’m so stupid.

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