Overcoming Guilt and Shame in Recovery MLRC

It is not easy to let go of shame, but doing so frees you for the arduous work of admitting you have a problem and resolving to work through it. Shame limits you, makes you hide, and does not offer anything positive to propel you forward. Addiction can make you think you are a bad person at your core, but having made bad choices and done bad things does not irrevocably ruin your life if you do not let it do so. Secondly, exploring core beliefs involves examining the ways in which a person’s past experiences have shaped their view of themselves and others.

  • Once people enter addiction treatment and are sober, they begin to see more clearly and are better able to deal with these negative aspects of guilt and shame.
  • No matter where you are across the country, you could be certain a rehabilitation center is nearby.
  • But I’ve asked clients, what do you feel in your body around shame, and I’ve gotten a number of responses.
  • To understand how shame fuels drug and alcohol addiction, it’s critical to assess and distinguish the feelings of guilt vs. shame.
  • If you want to regain your self-esteem, the best path is to do estimable acts.

However, after you have absorbed the lesson, you need to release these thoughts, or they will stand in the way of your recovery. While it might seem like feeling guilty all the time could help motivate you guilt and shame in recovery to stay sober, the truth is that when you dwell in these dark feelings, you could be setting yourself up for a relapse. A heartfelt apology delivered in person or as a handwritten letter is a great start.


With therapy, patients are able to accept the things they cannot change, and better address the things that they can change. In regards to feelings of shame and guilt, therapeutic approaches are ideal for reworking approaches to these and other emotions. Therapy can help patients better control feelings of guilt and shame, recognizing these emotions for what they are. This removes the control these emotions have over recovery.

Overcoming Shame and Guilt in Recovery

While these emotions can be helpful in the recovery process, you also need to address feelings of guilt and shame to prevent a potential relapse. If a person believes that they are worthless and incapable of change, shame and guilt will continue to play a part in the vicious cycle of substance abuse. It’s essential to analyze these feelings, reshape your perspective, forgive yourself for your past and move forward with a positive mindset.

FAQs about Overcoming Shame And Guilt In Outpatient Addiction Treatment:

It can also help boost your self-esteem and alleviate some of the guilt and shame you may be feeling in regards to your past actions. When you’re making amends, keep in mind that you can’t force someone to forgive you. The person you hurt may still need time to process their feelings and move forward.

If you’re struggling with feelings of shame or guilt due to a substance use disorder, you’re not alone. These feelings are common among people who use drugs or alcohol and while they can influence addiction, you can also harness them to break the addiction cycle and improve your quality of life. The mind and body begin to overcome the imbalances caused by frequent drug use. Learning how to help someone overcome shame and other negative emotions can make a world of difference in long-term sobriety. Witnessing someone you love deal with addiction shame can emotionally taxing.

Shame, Guilt and Addiction

If shame is preventing you from getting or staying sober, learn more about the holistic addiction treatment offered at Alpine Recovery Lodge. The first step to recovery from drug or alcohol addiction is getting sober. In addition to helping you reflect upon the past, journaling can promote future growth by making it easier to see patterns in your behavior. For example, https://ecosoberhouse.com/ you might start to notice that your most regrettable actions happened when you drank too much because you were under a great deal of stress at work. Once you understand your triggers, it’s easier to avoid making similar mistakes in the future. Contact Eudaimonia Recovery Homes today to learn more about our sober living programs or to enroll yourself or a loved one.

  • Learning to forgive yourself can help you learn to forgive others and opens you to being a more active participant in your addiction recovery.
  • We simply ask the families to be honest with their loved one about how their behavior is affecting them and what the experience has been like.
  • It’s human nature to have these feelings when we have done something we perceive as being wrong.
  • Even after a person completes a detox program and has overcome their physical addiction, the psychological and behavioral challenges remain.

Unfortunately, this fleeting relief can seem helpful, but it ultimately furthers their addiction instead of resolving the core issue. With proper treatment and recovery options, individuals suffering from addiction can start to recognize the roots of shame and guilt and find more productive strategies to manage them. From acquiring psychological support to developing new strategies for confronting negative thought patterns, there are numerous steps toward complete mental health recovery.

If you stole money to feed your addiction, work on repaying the debt over time. If you disappointed your child by missing an important ballgame because you were hungover, make a special effort to go to as many of their games as possible this season. Showing that you’re taking accountability for your actions demonstrates personal growth. If you continue to feed the negative self-perception of shaming yourself or blaming yourself, you’re more likely to continue suffering in the long run.

Guilt often stems from moral conscience and can help us distinguish right from wrong. Shame is considered to be a “self-conscious emotion” by many mental health professionals. Being able to differentiate between guilt and shame is important because it can influence your behaviors and reactions.

Occasionally you will see news and op-ed pieces about how “public shaming” should be used on people who are arrested for DUI, for example. The idea is that shame will motivate people with addiction problems to get their act together. The difference between guilt and shame is similar to the difference between justice and revenge.

What is the most important step to getting rid of shame?

Develop Compassion for Yourself

To move past shame, start by developing some compassion for yourself. We are often much harder on ourselves than we are on anyone else. In fact, if we treated others the way we treat ourselves, we'd probably be ostracized or locked up.

What is the fight, one is to scramble, run, flee that flight, fight or flight, but there’s a third emotion or third response, and that’s a freeze response. I don’t know if in the I figure you have this in Indiana, we certainly I grew up in Central California. When I grew up as a kid, I lived in rural Central California, I’d wake up in the morning, and there’d be more than a few dead possums on the road, which was disturbing.

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