Substance-use disorder comes with many bad decisions, which often lead to shame and guilt. When in recovery, you face all the things you did and how you treated loved ones while in active addiction, hence feeling ashamed and guilty. These negative emotions can be overwhelming to the point of triggering a relapse. To maintain your sobriety, you have to find healthy ways to cope with them.

Guilt, Shame, and Addiction

Guilt is when you feel bad for what you did while you were under the influence of substances. For instance, you may feel guilty about how you treated a loved one when you were intoxicated. Being remorseful for something bad you did is good because you realize that you made a mistake.

On the other hand, shame is the constant feeling that makes you feel worthless and inadequate from internalizing the guilt. When people feel shame, they might withdraw from others as they feel like everyone is judging them or they are not good enough. This can make one wallow in addiction longer.

Why Shame and Guilt are Dangerous

Dwelling in guilt and shame can be dangerous. One starts feeling like they deserve bad things, and worst of all, one may also think that they do not deserve to recover from addiction. In the end, this is doing more harm to you and the people around you. To prevent that, here are a few healthy ways to deal with shame and guilt.

Recognize That Guilt and Shame are Not Helping

These feelings are counter-productive, so it is better not to let them take hold of your life. Face what you have done and take responsibility to help yourself break free. While at it, stop looking at addiction as a character flaw but as a disease to recover from. Guilt and shame will make you feel hopeless, and that is why it is important not to let them control you.

Ask Others for Forgiveness and Forgive Yourself Too

No one is perfect. The important thing is to make amends with the people you have wronged. Asking for forgiveness will help reduce the guilt and the shame you are feeling. You can do this by organizing a simple dinner and inviting your friends and loved ones over. While at it, forgive yourself as well for the wrong decisions you made. Recovery is a new chapter of your life where you are putting the past behind you.

Do Not Identify Yourself with Your Mistakes

If everyone identifies themselves with their past mistakes, no one will feel deserving of love and a fresh start. A recovery center is a chance for you to start afresh. Learn here https://www.infiniterecovery.com/drug-rehab-dallas/ how you can begin another chapter of your life through recovery. If you identify yourself with guilt and shame, it will hinder you from getting treatment. Define yourself with the positive things you have done in life, as that will help you move past the negative emotions.

Let Go of What You Cannot Control

There are many things you cannot control, and one of them is your past. The only thing you can do is try to make amends. Letting go of the mistakes of the past will help with your recovery.


Isolation is a bad thing when you are in recovery. You will start thinking about your mistakes, and when it becomes too much, it can trigger a relapse. Spend more time with loved ones as you need support for your recovery. You can also involve yourself with community projects and get to know new people. 

It is necessary to identify and confront guilt and shame during recovery. It brings acceptance and boosts your confidence to get back to society.

By Hemant Kumar

I am a zealous writer who loves learning, redesigning the information, and sharing the original content in an innovative and embellish manner. I hope you will find my work beneficial and entertaining. Happy Reading!