Recovering from addiction is a complicated process. With so much change things can be really difficult and the process is often very confusing and painful. A recovering mind is a sober mind and without something to numb our feelings, our minds can feel like they’re on overdrive.
We tell ourselves a million different things and think a million different thoughts. There’s nothing standing in the way to let us escape coming into contact with our deepest emotions and we often end up with a jumbled mess in our mind. Unfortunately, the things we tell ourselves aren’t always the healthiest nor are they conducive to lasting freedom from addiction.
Letting Go of Guilt, Shame, and Regret
During recovery it’s not uncommon to harbor a lot of feelings of guilt and regret. Chances are you did some pretty hurtful things during your addiction. Continuing to blame yourself for your past actions, however, is never going to allow you to fully recover. While it might be easy for you to forgive other people, forgiving yourself is often an entirely different story.
There are countless people in recovery that have a really hard time forgiving themselves. If you’re one of them there’s something you need to understand—you cannot undo what’s been done. Whether you lost your job, hurt your family, or destroyed your relationships, you’ve got to realize that no amount of guilt you carry is going to take away your past actions.
If you find that you’re incessantly punishing yourself for things you did in the past it’s going to be very difficult for you to have a successful future. In order to move on, leave the past behind.
What does it really mean to forgive? True forgiveness involves releasing the negative emotions you feel towards yourself or other people. We all make mistakes, and (as many of us know) we tend to make more mistakes when using drugs or alcohol.
You Are Not The Things You Have Done
It’s vital to understand that the things said or done during addiction are not who you are. Addiction makes us do crazy things. The emotional, mental, and physical damage that has been done is done. And when it was being done you were definitely not in your right mind. You’ve got to realize that what you did is not what you presently are. When you can truly come to this realization, it’s much easier to move on.
Finding Ways to Forgive Yourself
- Accept What You’ve Done
Coming to a place of acceptance is one of the very first steps in learning to forgive yourself. What’s happened has already happened, and there is nothing you can do to change this. Accept this without judgment and you’re going to find recovery goes a lot smoother.
Once you’ve accepted the fact that you cannot change what you did in the past you can begin to move forward. Until then you’re going to continue to live in a world of doubt, shame, and regret. And while these feelings are very real, they certainly aren’t ones you want to embrace.
- Talk to Others About the Way you Feel
It will help if you can share your feelings with others. Having someone to talk to about the guilt you feel allows you to release these feelings and let go of some of the heavy weight you’re carrying with you. Talking about your emotions is really helpful and will make the forgiveness process so much easier.
Whether you do this one on one, with a counselor, or in a group meeting is up to you, but having others that can relate to the way you’re feeling helps immensely during the recovery process. You might find others who have gone through similar emotions and that they can some advice on how to forgive yourself.
- Recognize What You’re Doing Right
When in recovery it’s easy to get caught up in the negative emotions that go along with it. Rather than living in this sea of negativity, start to recognize what you’re doing right. Overcoming addiction is no joke and the fact that you’ve made it this far is truly something to celebrate.
Give yourself praise for the positive things you are doing with your life, and don’t be too hard on yourself. There is undoubtedly at least one thing in a day that you’re doing that deserves credit. Whether it’s going to a meeting, volunteering, or simply making it through another day sober, acknowledge how well you’re doing. And be sure to do this every single day.
- Remind Yourself How Important Forgiving Yourself Really Is
Forgiving yourself is vital, but it’s not always easy. Each day take the time to remind yourself how important forgiving yourself really is. You know that if you don’t you’ll never see the success you’re seeking in your new life of sobriety. Use affirmations such as:
- I forgive myself
- I let go of the past
- I am proud of who I am and the steps I’m taking
- I love myself
The things we tell ourselves have a huge impact on the way we feel. Affirmations are an excellent way to tell yourself each day that you love who you are and you’re proud of the direction you’re taking.
The road of recovery is composed of many different steps, and self-forgiveness is sometimes one of the hardest. Forgiving yourself opens up your world and allows you to better navigate through this new world of self-discovery in sobriety.
Remember that the only moment you have is now. By learning to forgive yourself, you increase your chances of a successful future. The possibilities are endless but you’ll never discover them if you continue to live in guilt and shame. You’ve made it this far. Now forgive yourself and set yourself free.
If you need help overcoming your addictions, Ibogaine can help. Contact us here at Crossroads Ibogaine for more information on Ibogaine treatment.