Guilt and shame are two tremendously powerful emotions that go hand-in-hand. They not only affect our sense of wellbeing without addictions, but they can be like poison to a person struggling with an addiction. So, when you hear addiction experts talk about guilt and shame, it’s important to understand what it means, and how it might be affecting your addiction, and if they are making your addiction issues worse than they should be.
Understanding how They Cause Problems
When we feel guilty about something, it makes us feel bad. Often, this is the feeling that keeps us up at night and feeling really terrible about things. You might feel guilty because someone you love had something bad happen and they said it was your fault. You might feel guilty because you stole money from a loved one when you knew they really needed it. You might even feel guilty because you let an animal die, or helped to hurt it.
No matter the reason, when we feel guilty about something, it’s because we know – albeit sometimes mistakenly – that we could have, should have been able to do something to stop what happened.
When we feel shame, it can range from being ashamed because of that stealing from a loved one or hurting that animal. It could be that we’ve been told forever that we are ugly, fat, not worth anything, or that we did something “Wrong.” Humans are social creatures, and being able to be accepted by even a small group is something that helps us to thrive. We feel shame when we are ostracized or made fun of, or when we do something to make us feel like we are less than others.
Unfortunately, both of these emotions are something that can become much worse than they really are. For example, you might be ashamed of the way you look. Over time, you will be so convinced that there is something wrong with you, that when you really are able to see yourself, you’re amazing that there is no reason to feel shame about your appearance.
How to Fix The Problem
Unfortunately, guilt and shame are two terribly difficult emotions to heal, and without help, many of us simply cannot move past them. For an addict, these emotions can serve to make things much, much worse.
A holistic treatment program takes a different approach to addressing guilt and shame that so many addicts feel, and actually works in many ways to help you understand those feelings, own those feelings, begin to let those feelings go, and come to a better, more confident and accepting place than you were when you checked in.
Why not give us a call today and let us help you find out how we can help you address your addiction and start battling those negative feelings for good?