Dealing With Problem Drinking: Dump The Shame And Guilt Right Now
Did you know that 19.7 million American adults battle a substance use disorder each year?
Recovering from substance abuse can be a long and rigorous experience. When recovering, it can be easy to blame your decisions for your current misfortune. However, it’s crucial to note that shame will only lead to more harm than good.
If you’re looking to get a full recovery, you need to learn to be kind to yourself. With this guide, you’ll learn how being kind to yourself in recovery can improve you as a whole. That way, you’ll treat yourself better and focus more on staying sober. Read on and find out more:
Shame Comes from Outside
As humans, we evolved to place value on other people’s inputs and opinions. Without this innate ability, our society is unlikely to survive. For us to thrive, everyone must have a common mentality shared without our society.
This common mindset is our culture, and it’s where the concept of shame originates. If you deviate from society, you’re likely to become ostracized. Shame prevents us from doing behaviors like substance abuse.
The good news is that our cultural approach toward addiction shifted a lot in recent years. We realize that people don’t become addicts because they’re evil. In most cases, people didn’t want to become addicts.
Now, people are beginning to understand that addiction is a side effect of pain. When people attempt to escape these things, they’re likely to fall into the pitfall of addiction. Most people who struggle with substance abuse did not aim to become addicts.
With less cultural shaming surrounding addiction, you can expect more supportive people. Surround yourself with people that would love, support, and keep you positive. Ensure that these people give you hope instead of treating you like an outcast.
You Aren’t Alone
Though only 10% of addicted Americans receive proper treatment, you’re never alone. The number of people becoming addicted to drugs and other substances increased. It doesn’t make it right, but it means that there’s a bigger community that shares your struggles.
The reason for this phenomenon is because of both biological and psychological tendencies. More studies are discovering that a portion of the things we do comes from our genetic makeup. Some people are more susceptible to addiction because their ancestors were the same.
That’s why you can’t change this risk factor. It’s the same as your height and the color of your eyes. Instead of thinking about how your choices led to addiction, be kind to yourself, and focus on changing for the better.
Your environment may also determine whether you become more likely to abuse substances. Like other primates, humans learn by observing the people around them. If you grow in a household where people abuse substances, you’re at risk of following this similar path.
This means you’re unlikely to practice healthy coping if you don’t know how to do it.
Guilt vs. Shame
Lots of people confuse the feeling of guilt with shame. The latter is the result of considering your past behavior. As stated above, shame comes from the ideas imposed by our society.
Meanwhile, guilt exists as a means of motivating us in the present. If you have no sense of guilt, you won’t have the motivation to stop self-destructive behaviors like addictions. That’s why it’s an important emotion if you want to change for the better.
An easy way to determine whether you feel guilt or shame is to question yourself. Ask whether you can change something you’re feeling bad about immediately. If you say yes, it’s likely your conscience is attempting to move you toward a better direction.
Otherwise, what you’re feeling is a self-defeating shame. After all, it prompts us to feel bad about the things we have no power to change. Despite this, never let your inability to change the past make you fall into despair.
Always remember some great “be kind” quotes during these hard times. This will help keep your focus on your goal. It lets you avoid remembering how you let other people down in the past.
Components of Self-Compassion
You stand to gain lots of benefits by quitting your addiction. You can check out this guide if you want to learn how your life will change when you stop drinking alcohol. To achieve this, you must learn the three components of self-compassion:
You must be aware of the things happening at present. To be kind to yourself, you must know your struggle as it happens. Recognizing your current emotions and situation is the first step to sobriety.
Mindfulness can help you stay grounded in the present. This means you can discern the sensations, sounds, and sights you’re experiencing. With all these skills, you can make a more compassionate response.
2. Common Humanity
This is the ability to know that you aren’t alone. When something wrong happens in our lives, we tend to hide in our shame. This leads you to distract yourself in unhealthy ways, like drinking, smoking, or doing drugs.
The solution to this is to recognize your common humanity. This refers to the understanding of how people will react under the same situation. Knowing that you aren’t the only one suffering leads you to be more compassionate.
This is the most important component because it’s all about a warm-hearted response to your being. It takes many forms, from basic hygiene to treating yourself to a new product you like. You can also encourage yourself or act kind by indulging in healthy coping mechanisms like listening to music or reading a book.
Being Kind to Yourself in Recovery
Being kind to yourself is crucial to a successful recovery. Recognizing your emotions and engaging in self-care can help make the process easier. Use these to ensure that you focus more on your path toward sobriety.
Do you need help with your addiction recovery? If so, contact us today and let us help you become a better person through coaching.
Why not join me for a free quit drinking webinar later today?