Once the addiction recovery process begins, you will be coping with a wide range of emotions, including shame and guilt. However, accepting your mistakes and forgiving yourself for them has the power to turn you into someone more incredible than you were before.
Self-forgiveness is a powerful tool for dealing with destructive emotions and is an essential element of healing. You must address your feelings of guilt or shame and learn to forgive yourself to recover completely.
Guilt and Shame Have a Purpose
Despite the terrible feelings they cause, guilt and shame play a crucial part in life. These emotions are a part of the human conscience, which is critical for determining the difference between good and bad. Your conscience aids you in deciding how you feel about your actions in light of your value system. It’s essential to confront feelings of guilt and shame as part of the healing process. If you want to finish a treatment program effectively, you must practice self-forgiveness.
Break the Cycle of Guilt
Before you can forgive yourself, you must first end the cycle of guilt. This can consist of taking the following three steps.
#1. Own up to your mistakes. You’ll stay in a negative cycle if you try to hide what you’ve done or bury the feelings related to your prior actions. Accept that you made mistakes, and then go on to the next phase.
#2. Make amends for your errors. While you may not cure every problem, you can help correct them in other ways. This could include doing something pleasant for the people you’ve wronged or participating in an activity that benefits your community.
#3. Make a request for forgiveness. If you’re able, communicate with the folks you’ve wronged to see if they’ll forgive you. However, keep in mind that talking to someone you’ve harmed can sometimes make things worse, so think about your options carefully.
How to Forgive Yourself
It takes time and practice to forgive yourself and let go of any shame that you feel. Here are some ideas for how to go about it.
Consult a Therapist
It can be challenging to deal with shame and guilt. You may not even be aware of how these emotions influence your behavior. While you may wish to forgive yourself, figuring out how may seem practically impossible. You can untangle the knots with the help of a qualified therapist. Shame and guilt make it difficult to assess your predicament objectively, and you may require assistance to help you understand why you are feeling these emotions.
Work Through the 12 Steps
The 12 stages of addiction recovery include a section on dealing with guilt and humiliation. Moving past shame and guilt requires making a thorough and fearless moral inventory, a list of people you’ve mistreated, and an attempt to make amends to those people. You must admit your errors before doing everything you can to remedy them. You may not always be able to repair the harm you’ve caused, but you can do something. Taking action rather than just apologizing shows that you are serious about making things right.
Consider the Viewpoint of a Friend
We are frequently harsher on ourselves than on others. Consider how you’d react if a friend had done some of the things you’re ashamed of doing. You may disagree, but you are unlikely to believe your friend is a bad person who deserves to suffer for the rest of their life. Extend some of that kindness to yourself. Consider that the person (you) who made the mistakes for which you feel so sorry is someone who deserves forgiveness and happiness.
Be Proud of What You Have Accomplished
The trouble with guilt and shame is that they can cause you to focus on the negative aspects of your life rather than the positive ones. If someone points out something excellent that you’ve done, you may say that it doesn’t count because of these feelings of guilt or shame you harbor. You can forgive yourself for your mistakes and try to do better in the future if you recognize yourself as a flawed person who has made some errors but is also capable of incredible things.
It’s important to remember that your journey to successful recovery from drug or alcohol addiction begins within yourself. Regardless of your situation, you should be proud of yourself for getting help and taking steps to reclaim your life. Before you can heal, you need to be aware of the problems that arose from your addiction and forgive yourself for them.
Self-Forgiveness Is Key To Recovery
For someone in recovery, one of the most complex parts of sobriety is confronting unpleasant emotions without the crutch that drugs or alcohol once provided. Forgiving yourself and letting go of shame takes practice and help. In the journey of recovery, practicing self-forgiveness is just one step along the way. But you don’t have to feel like you need to tackle your addiction on your alone.
Contact DetoxNearMe.com to get in touch with local professionals who can answer your questions and set you on the right path. Please keep in mind that contacting us could mean the difference between life and death for you or a loved one.
If you are struggling with drug or alcohol use, the time to seek help is now. To learn all about the drug and alcohol treatment options available to you in your local area, reach out to DetoxNearMe.com today.