Harboring shame not only hurts you, but it hurts other people around you as well. It may have even been driving the addiction bus for awhile. Now that you are in recovery, you don’t have to let shame have the last word in who you are anymore. Fully understanding the past matters, but it can also leave you with shame if you don’t know how to deal. Learn some tips for how to deal with this properly so you don’t let it take down your recovery.
Shame festers inside you by diminishing your sense of self-worth and feelings of worthiness. Shame tricks you into believing all things will be the same and never change. Addressing shame by helping people understand shame and guilt can be key to moving forward with recovery in a healthy way. Shame is very different from guilt. Guilt says ‘i did something bad.’ Shame says ‘i am bad.’ If all you ever feel is ‘bad’ then you are not able to separate yourself from the disease of substance use disorder. Unaddressed shame can keep people from getting sober and trap you in your mental illness.
If you are holding onto shame, you have to find a way to let go and forgive. This sounds easier said than done. It is a difficult step for people because it may have been passed down generation to generation. You have to love yourself enough to stop owning shame and learn to love your way through it. Forgiveness means:
- Accepting your past behavior was a mistake
- You cannot dwell on the past
- Not whitewashing the past but moving beyond it
- Reaching out to friends and others who have dealt with similar feelings who can also help when moving on feels hard
The challenge is not to give into feelings of hopelessness. When you feel hopeless about your past, regret and shame are winning. Pick up your phone instead and call someone who has been through it and can help you navigate the challenges.
Sound Recovery understands the challenges you face in recovery. We want to help you get the tools you need to succeed. 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.