Dealing with guilt and shame are two feelings that most addicts and alcoholics are familiar with. The only way to truly be freed from the burden they posses over your life are to manage them and relinquish the negativity attached. Early in recovery from alcohol and/or drugs, this may feel like a difficult task, but it’s not. This is why it is crucial to remember to not run on self-will alone and remember that recovery is a gradual process that can take a different amount of time for everyone.
How Are You Dealing with Guilt and Shame?
As active alcoholics and/or addicts, dealing with guilt and shame usually meant turning to alcohol and/or drugs to disassociate with the world and numb the unwanted feelings. Now in recovery, you don’t have that as a viable option and actually being able to experience these unpleasant feelings isn’t so comfortable. A common trend among alcoholics and addicts who are in the process of recovery is that they resort to negative affirmations, low self-esteem, and live in their character defects as a coping mechanism for dealing with guilt and shame over their past. Without alcohol and/or drugs, an outlet is needed to be sufficed and it can easily manifest in several ways. This is a common way that it does, particularly early in recovery because recovering alcoholics and addicts are most vulnerable since they typically feel beaten, broken, and low. Picking yourself apart won’t do you any good and can actually make matters far worse for yourself. With selfish, self-centered, dishonest, and fearful thoughts rising internally, you are bound to overwhelm yourself with an unhealthy mindset.
Tips for Stopping Negativity
Don’t focus on mistakes
Elbert Hubbard once said, “The greatest mistake you can make in life continually fearing that you’ll make one.” If you are regularly putting all of your attention on what you are doing wrong, you don’t leave much space for all the positivity you might be spreading. When you constantly become anxious over all your wrongdoings, you begin to dwell too much on the negative and bring yourself down. This is one of the leading reasons that cause people to be left dealing with guilt and shame in their lives, all because they let it become over-consumed in their minds. Get out of your head and try focusing more on your successes.
Accept yourself as you are
Coming to the realization that all human beings are imperfect will help you see that you don’t have to live up to impossible standards, expectations, or ideals. You don’t have to pretend to be anything that you know deep down you honestly are not. Be loving and tolerant of your authentic self. Acceptance is the answer to all of your problems, especially when it comes to dealing with guilt and shame over the past.
When you get trapped in a life of comparing, you prevent yourself from being able to live the life you deserve. You lessen the value of your own life and reduce your own pleasures by negating its worth because someone else has or did what you conceive to be better. Comparison can easily keep you shameful of yourself and instill negativity within you. Any time you notice yourself comparing your life to others, try to see that everybody is different and on their own journey in life.
The truth is that as much as dealing with guilt and shame isn’t an enjoyable pastime, it can be necessary and beneficial in the long run. When guilt and shame build up, negative thoughts and feelings are swarmed within. This is never a positive or comfortable situation for the recovering alcoholic and/or addict, so be vigilant of when negativity is arising by taking precautions to ensure your life stays happy, joyous, and free.
Do you find you have a difficult time dealing with guilt and shame or stopping ongoing negativity because you are in active addiction but don’t know how to stop? Chat live now with someone who understands and can help you live a better life today.