SHAME, GUILT AND REMORSE

Many say that feelings can become extremely overwhelming, leading them to conclude that the only way to turn off the shame, guilt, remorse, self-loathing, fear and anger is to numb out by using or perhaps to engage in other forms of self-harm.

Many are unable to see beyond their own guilt, shame, and remorse, descending ever-deeper into depression and isolation, both of which are very serious obstacles to any sort of healing. Many come to believe they are not worth the effort of recovery, don’t deserve the gift of recovery, that they have no control over their behaviours, and they do not deserve to be healthy, happy, and free from their substance dependency.

This is far from the truth and recovery is worth it. Recovery is a journey, not a destination. Wanting or aiming for perfection is unrealistic.

Recovery is a process of re-connection with the world. As recovering substance users build their support network and learn to trust other individuals, they are able to more easily reach for help when triggered, and often without judgment.

It is incredibly important in recovery to understand that wallowing in the carnage of the past does not serve you. In fact, I think it prevents you from doing the work of recovery. Instead of becoming mired in toxic emotions, I think it is important that you identify with your guilt, shame, and remorse. I also truly believe that recognizing and acknowledging these emotions can be healthy and can quite possibly assist in serving as motivation for working on change.

Given this, one of the primary goals of early recovery is coming to understand that living in the past, a past that cannot be changed, helps no one. Instead, why not try to just focus on the present, live for today and behave a little differently one day at a time.