white blue and orange medication pill

There are many complicated emotions that affect a person during the addiction recovery process. Shame and guilt are some of the most common ones as people learn to be themselves again and learn how to integrate themselves back into their jobs and family.

Shame and other emotions can be related to other mental health conditions like depression. That’s why it’s important to tackle all emotions head-on before they become out of control.

Reducing shame and focusing more on forgiveness can lessen your risk of relapse. The most important person you will need to forgive is yourself. This is easier said than done, but it is possible.

The Role of Shame in Addiction

Shame is one of the most powerful negative emotions. It can greatly affect your physical, spiritual, and mental health. You will need to find healthy ways to cope with shame during the addiction recovery process.

Shame can be an obstacle to full recovery. There are links between shame and substance abuse as well as other addictive behaviors related to eating and sex.

The more you feel shame, the more likely you are to relapse and shorten periods where you are not using.

Feelings of shame are more common and more intense in women. This is partly because of societal and cultural pressure put on women that do not exist for men. Women may feel shame related to being partners or mothers that men are less likely to feel.

Feelings of shame can be internalized in both sexes, especially during times of abuse. If you have been abused and are feeling shame, you might be more likely to relapse if you allow these feelings to overwhelm you.

When moving into the recovery process, you need to make sure you are identifying where your shame comes from and confronting it.

Treat the Underlying Issue

You need to treat the underlying issue when it comes to shame and other emotional problems like guilt. You probably have a lot of guilt because of your addiction, but usually, it goes deeper.

Maybe you are feeling shame because using caused your family to break up. Maybe it caused you to lose a loved one or an intimate partner.

Your cultural or childhood background can also cause feelings of shame and guilt. Consider the things in your life that lead you to use and see if they also play a role in feelings of shame.

Seek Professional Help

The road to recovery cannot be done alone. It’s almost always necessary to seek professional help whether you need to see a therapist once a week or you need to be in the full-time care of an addiction recovery home.

Each person is unique so your recovery needs are also unique. Consider what is best for you. You do not have to do the same process as everyone else.

A good option for those not sure of where to seek professional help is Absolute Awakenings. They have special drug and alcohol treatment programs that are tailored to your needs.

They offer one on one therapy as well as group therapy. They also accept most insurance plans.

If you want spiritual-based treatment, you can go to your local church and see if they have programs or if they can refer you to a faith-based counselor.

Learn to Practice Self Forgiveness

Forgiveness is a huge step in the recovery process. Once you have learned to forgive yourself, the rest of recovery is often much easier because you can begin to control the feelings of guilt, shame, and doubt that you might have about the world around you.

A therapy plan can give you exercises where you practice self-forgiveness. This helps to show you that you are not the same person you were during your addiction. You have changed and put yourself on a better path which means you deserve forgiveness and so much more.

One way to ensure you are on the path to self-forgiveness is to remember that you cannot change the past. You can only move forward and concentrate on the future.

Take Care of Yourself

Whether you are in a rehab home or on your own, you need to learn to take yourself after addiction. This means finding healthy habits and other things you love. Find a hobby you enjoy and integrate it into your schedule.

Having hobbies and self-care plans can allow you to find value in yourself, leading to easier forgiveness. When you have better physical health, you can also have better mental health, making it easier to overcome negative emotions during addiction recovery.

Stop Putting Yourself Down

Emotional problems during addiction recovery almost always come from putting yourself down. When you are negative towards yourself, you are also negative to the world and the people around you.

Try to treat yourself with patience and kindness. Find reasons to find the good in yourself and the world around you.

Speak to yourself with compassion. When you have a positive attitude toward yourself, you are less likely to be overwhelmed with negative emotions like shame and guilt.

Involve Others In Your Journey

The road to recovery is easier when you have people on your side. This does not mean you need to include everyone, though. Make sure to only talk to others that you trust and others that make you feel good about yourself.

You can also find friends that have been through the recovery process before, as they understand the situation and the feelings you are facing.

When you have a team, there are people there to support you and make you feel loved. They can also check on you and make sure you are on the right path.

Negative emotions are a part of addiction recovery, so don’t feel bad if you experience them often. The most important thing is to start facing them head-on and learning to control them.