Shame and Self-Forgiveness in Addiction Recovery

Girl reflecting on self-forgiveness in recoveryWhen addiction is active, our brain essentially becomes “hijacked” – which means that our priorities may shift, the people we spend our time with may change and our main focus may pivot over to obtaining and abusing substances. Those who knew us before addiction entered our lives may hardly recognize us either by appearance or personality and that’s because addiction has the propensity to change us in many ways. When we begin the road to recovery, there is often a looming sense of shame hanging over our head. We wish things would’ve gone differently, wish we wouldn’t have hurt as many people as we did and wish we would never have gotten involved with substances. By definition, shame is,

“A painful feeling of humiliation or distress caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behavior.”

Author Neil Steinberg, who has written several books on addiction recovery, told the National Public Radio (NPR) in 2017 that addiction in and of itself is so stigmatized that for many, feelings of shame come along with it right from the start. If you’re finding yourself sinking in your seat while you contemplate the many ways addiction has brought you down, it’s time to think again. Self-forgiveness is incredibly important in recovery and while you can acknowledge and take responsibility for what you’ve done in the past, you do have the ability to change how you go about your life now and moving forward.

There are many paths you can take towards forgiveness and as a 2018 review published in the journal Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly suggests, 12-Step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) really aim to help people meet at the crossroads of resentment and forgiveness to combat the pain that’s experienced once recovery has begun.

If you’re ready to begin your journey to recovery, speak with a professional from Cumberland Heights today. Now is the time to begin working on your journey towards healing.

Cumberland Heights is a nonprofit alcohol and drug-addiction treatment center located on the banks of the Cumberland river in Nashville, Tennessee. On a sprawling 177-acre campus, we are made up of 2 12-Step immersion campuses, 12 outpatient recovery centers and 4 sober living homes. We believe that each person has a unique story to tell – and that’s why we always put the patient first.

Call us today at 1-800-646-9998 to take the next step towards your happiness and health.