Guilt and shame are common in people who suffer from addictions that are quite severe. Low self-esteem is a challenge as well because learning to love yourself again is difficult, if not impossible, sometimes. Shame and guilt pop up but that does not mean self love goes out the window. It takes time to relearn how to love oneself after addiction has changed everything. Here are some tips on how to start that process and recover your life.
Why it Happens
A person with addiction will do anything, speak to anyone, and try just about anything to get what they want including stealing, prostitution, alcohol, drug dealing, breaking and entering, and more just to get a fix. Once active addiction is in the past and sobriety is number one, memories of the activities can be hard to deal with as a sober person would never consider doing those things. Shame can set in and this may be hard to cope with residual feelings as a result.
How to Love Yourself
There are some ways to get into the mode of learning to self love even in the midst of the experiences such as losing time and relationships to addiction. Learning to understand it better can lead to self love and focusing on the positives.
It is important to remember that addiction is a disease of the mind and brain. Active addiction makes people do things they don’t normally do and it affects normal behavioral patterns. It is important to remember addiction does not make a person bad, but the disease may have created poor choices and behavioral patterns. Understanding it is the first step to fixing it.
The past does not define who a person is or who he or she will become in the future. Sometimes it is easy to forget that humans are innately good people. Looking back on the past may raise questions but naturally if a person is good, that is motivation to change. Move past the past and make an effort to do one good thing for yourself and someone else each day.
People were harmed during addiction and it matters that you take time to go back and make amends. Not everyone will accept the apologies but at least you tried. There are ways to do this gently and recovery programs and 12-step groups can support this process.
Self worth is not determined by anything but learning to love oneself and remembering the past is in the past. Today is a new day so embrace it for all its glory. Happiness is earned when a person can release themselves of guilt and shame to reclaim their true essence in sobriety, away from active addiction, with a clear mind and heart focused on what truly matters.
Sound Recovery helps you get present in the moment with our programs, services and resources. We are here to guide you through the steps to recovery. If you are struggling with addiction, let us help. Call us at 561-277-3088 to get started.