There’s a saying in Alcoholics Anonymous: First Things First. Consider all that you have been through both drinking and getting into recovery. First Things First means your sobriety—learning all you can to help you stay sober. When you were drinking, you were obsessed with alcohol. Now that you are sober, you may still be obsessed about alcohol. The difference now is, you may be obsessed with staying away from it. Good for you! Staying sober in recovery needs to be your first priority.
You can forgive yourself. Whatever it was you did or didn’t do, came about as a result of alcoholism or drug addiction—very serious, life-threatening diseases. You drank or drugged because of the disease. This doesn’t mean you don’t need to forgive yourself. It just puts the impetus of forgiveness into a context that’s easier to deal with.
Forgiving yourself, like steps to living sober, takes time. You may be plagued by guilt even if you understand the drink or drug had control over you. Guilt feeds the already negative thoughts you have about yourself. It doesn’t help improve the situation. If guilt is not addressed it can lead to depression because you will be caught in a spiral of negative thoughts. If you already suffer from depression, it could worsen. You don’t need that. Remorse, however, is the emotion of regret, and the willingness to do something about what you did or didn’t do. Letting go of guilt and getting to remorse can help ease the difficult feelings you have.
Thinking what you will replace guilt with can be disarming. If I forgive myself what will I feel next. What will people think of me if I forgive myself? First of all, your new feelings will unravel and may surprise you. Secondly, you can set a safe boundary by not telling anyone you forgave yourself. That is, until you are comfortable and have found a wise person in which to confide.
Your inclination may be to never forgive yourself. If this is the case, try asking what are you gaining from punishing yourself. What would forgiving yourself look like? Think of a warm bath, a walk around a lake or along the seashore, or spring flowers. Do you feel less tense now? Forgiving yourself is an act of kindness. It takes courage. You have your whole life ahead of you—family, children, friends, adventures and new opportunities. You can forgive yourself.
At last, infinite recovery is finally attainable. Creating infinite change through clinical programs and holistic healing, Infinity Treatment Centers offers a higher standard of luxury care for residential, intensive outpatient, and much more. Call us today for information on our treatment programs serving the greater Los Angeles area: (855) 544-0611