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The Shame of Going Back Out

Posted in Alcoholism Treatment

Moving through recovery can have its amazingly blessed moments. You feel like a new person, inside and out. Physically, you are healthy. Spiritually, you have turned back to God and allowed Him to work in your life. Emotionally though, you may still be struggling. You know that as you finish the process of becoming clean, you will have to have to return home. Shame is a regularly expected emotion but it does not have to control your return back.

Understanding Shame

Shame is legitimate feeling. It invokes physical reactions much like any other emotion. Blushing, emotional paralysis, and lack of strength often accompany the feeling of shame. On the other hand, shame is also a belief. It is manifested from a deep seated idea that something inside of you is broken. When you struggle with shame, it is easy to believe you are genuinely worthless, unlovable, and not good enough. Finally, shame is also spiritual. It is often very difficult to believe we are worthy of the grace and mercy given by the Father. Because of this, it can be hard to accept support from the Father or a faith family. Healing this component is often the first step in healing shame.

Identify Why You Feel Shame

When shame is felt, most of the time people are involved. You know as you battled your addiction, there were people you hurt. More importantly, there were probably people you feel you let down. Additionally, you may also be feeling shame at your own personal struggle to live up to your own expectations. Taking the time while you are in recovery, to identify the primary sources for your feelings of shame will help you as you rid yourself of this emotion and belief.

Moving Past Your Shame

It is possible to move past and heal your shame. Just as you learned to accept certain aspects of your addiction while you were going through the recovery process, so must you also apply that same concept to understanding your shame. The self-acceptance of what your shame is and where is comes from allows you to begin to set it aside as you heal. This will be a process. As you reenter your life from recovery, you will have to focus on aspects of your life that you can control. Be honest with the people you are returning to about who you are. Let them see you trusting yourself and they will begin to trust you. Your shame will lessen with them over time and that will spill over to the rest of your life as well.

Each day you will have to make the choice not to use. You will have to learn how to handle simple mistakes without wanting to return to your drug of choice. This will be the same for the emotion and belief of shame. You will have to choose to remind yourself that when you make a mistake, it is not an opportunity to blame yourself and decide you are unworthy. Instead, it will be a chance to open the road to grace and with patience, time, and understanding, the empty spot that shame stems from will be filled offering you and amazing source of freedom.