Overcoming Guilt and Shame in Addiction Recovery

A man feels ashamed.

Guilt and shame go hand in hand with addiction and recovery. Addiction affects the individuals with an addiction and those around them. Given this reach, clients who want to get help may have many sources of guilt and shame that they may want to overcome during addiction recovery. Read on to see how our addiction treatment center in Nevada can help. Shame in Addiction Recovery Shame in addiction recovery looks different for everyone. Consider these two different examples of individuals facing guilt and shame. Martin Let’s consider Martin. Martin traveled overseas for several years when he was young. After returning to the U.S., Martin was addicted to nicotine but was still too young to legally buy cigarettes. During several of his lowest points, Martin would pick up used cigarette butts from the ground and smoke what was left on them.  He felt so ashamed and never told anyone about this for fear of being judged. He carried this shame and guilt with him as he turned to other substances he could more easily get in his neighborhood from dealers, and it colored his perspective of his value and worth.  Carey Carey had a complicated history of drug abuse. She started with marijuana when she was a teenager, but after entering an abusive relationship, she began to use cocaine and other stimulants when she wanted to stay awake in order to ensure she was safe. This abusive relationship often made her fear for her life and that of her family.  Carey found herself facing legal trouble over possession and went to outpatient drug rehab programs several times. She never finished these programs, though, and she relapsed often.  Carey knew that her addiction was hurting the family who loved her, like her parents. At times, she moved back in with them but would sneak out at night to get high and wake up later, not realizing she had scared her parents by not being home, leaving their house a mess, or screaming at them.  Carey felt deep shame and guilt over how she affected her family but could never express it to anyone, not even them. She didn’t bother to apologize, believing her family thought the worst of her and that it wouldn’t matter.  Getting Help Overcoming Shame in Addiction Recovery with The Differents At our Reno substance abuse treatment center, we offer several avenues to overcoming guilt in addiction, such as: Mindfulness and Meditation Mindfulness and meditation are viable tools for dealing with guilt during recovery because they help you better identify your emotional state at any given time by learning to sit with your feelings, acknowledge them, and accept them without judgment. CBT and DBT Psychotherapies like CBT and DBT can help you reflect on what situations or circumstances in your past may have contributed to current feelings of guilt or shame. In some cases, these feelings are because of negative automatic thoughts that continue to color your perceptions and self-image. Through individual and group therapy sessions, you can learn to replace these negative automatic thoughts with positive ones and change how you view yourself and your struggles with addiction. Family Therapy At our facility, our family therapy sessions involve your closest family members and provide a safe space to rebuild your relationships through open communication and healing. Family therapy provides a place to better understand the way addiction works, the influence it has on those around you, and ways to develop healthy coping strategies as a family. This can often involve overcoming guilt for the ways you may have hurt those closest to you or how they have hurt you through things like lack of support or not encouraging your recovery. Educational Resources A big part of guilt during the recovery journey comes from not understanding how addiction works. That is why we provide educational resources for individuals and families that help everyone better understand the process of addiction and recovery. These resources can help you and your loved ones set healthy boundaries and help you learn how to care for yourself. Our resources provide actionable information on overcoming shame in addiction recovery. Support Groups Shame in addiction recovery is often the result of feeling as though you are the only person who has gone through your experiences, damaged relationships or opportunities because of addiction, or made decisions that you weren’t proud of. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. We facilitate support groups for individuals and their families that provide an environment where everyone can share their experiences, gain insights from other participants, and receive professional guidance.  The Differents Can Help These programs can shed light on how you and other people struggling with addiction are beholden to neurological changes brought about by drug and alcohol use, helping you recognize that you are not defined by those changes or by the mistakes you’ve made, and you can work towards overcoming any lingering guilt and shame during recovery.Contact our trusted drug rehab in Reno today to learn how you can deal with guilt in recovery with The Differents.