Learn How and Why to Forgive Yourself For Things You Did in Active Addiction
Addiction recovery is not easy, and you may feel shame, guilt, and resentment toward yourself for allowing your addiction to control your life. Forgiveness is an important emotion to express during recovery as it is an emotion that will help you better manage negative feelings that you may be experiencing. Addressing the guilt you feel is the first step to coming to terms with your past to overcome and manage your emotions. While you cannot redo the past, you can make decisions today to positively impact your life in the future.
The Importance of Forgiveness in Recovery
The importance of forgiveness in addiction recovery cannot be understated as it is a critical emotion in the overall rehabilitation process. While individuals obtain sobriety through addiction treatment and are physically no longer in active addiction, they may still struggle with addiction’s emotional and mental toll. If this is not addressed and brought to the forefront, then relapse may be imminent.
If you continue to stay angry, sad, or resentful, you are not in a state of recovery, as coming to terms with these emotions is a crucial step in the recovery journey. Forgiveness in recovery allows a considerable weight to be lifted off of your shoulders. It will enable you to move on from your past, knowing that you forgive yourself for your mistakes and you have also apologized to those you have hurt.
Establishing new relationships and letting go of negative thoughts and emotions will allow you to move forward positively and healthily.
Steps to Forgive Yourself
There are four steps to shatter the often relentless cycle of guilt. The four steps include:
- Admit that you were wrong and come to terms with your past.
- Acknowledging your past behavior is the first step in moving forward.
- Make up for your past mistakes.
- We often hurt those closest to us because we know that they will always be there through rough times. Doing deeds of kindness will not only help you feel better about your wrongdoings, but it will also demonstrate to your loved ones that you are committed to your recovery.
- Ask for forgiveness.
- Have a genuine conversation with the ones you’ve hurt and ask them to forgive you.
- Let yourself accept forgiveness.
- If you live in a constant state of guilt, you will never move on. Forgiving yourself is a necessary step in moving forward after addiction.
Practices to Help You Let Go of Your Past
It takes work to forgive yourself and let go of the past, but there are constructive exercises that you can do to help get you through your past. Therapy and counseling are always recommended for those who have just been discharged from addiction treatment and are entering day-to-day life. Talk therapy is a great way to open up to your therapist about what you struggle with on a personal level related to forgiveness so that you can work toward mending the relationship between yourself and others.
Some of the other practices that can help you let go of your past are:
- Holistic healing (yoga, meditation)
- Symbolic forgiveness
- Practice mindfulness
- Be gentle with yourself and realize how far you’ve come
- Engage in self-care
WhiteSands Alcohol and Drug Rehab offers drug and alcohol rehab programs for those who are struggling with addiction. Addiction treatment can lead patients to lasting sobriety where their addiction will no longer control them. Get in touch with our intake team today or visit our Florida facilities to learn how treatment can help you get your life back on track.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.