“Why can’t I just be normal?” “I can’t believe I used to act like that!” “Everyone knows about the mistakes that I’ve made.”
If this sounds a lot like your inner monologue, you don’t have to live in a constant state of guilt and shame anymore. For those on a journey to recovery, it’s common to feel stuck and continuously remind yourself of the addicted person you left behind.
But, feeling sorry for yourself isn’t a healthy way to live. Constantly beating yourself up will only hold you back and increase your risk of relapse.
If you’d like to get out of a loop of negative self-talk, here are a few ways you can learn to finally let go of the guilt and shame of addiction.
(1) Own your past.
If you regret something you said or did, try journaling about the experience. Describe what happened, how it makes you feel and how you could handle a similar situation differently in the future. By taking responsibility for your actions, you’ll gain a sense of relief.
(2) Focus on the positive.
Negativity breeds negativity. Once you go down that rabbit hole of self-doubt, shame and remorse aren’t too far behind. The next time you start to feel a twinge of guilt, take a deep breath and think about the good things that you’ve done. It just might stop those dark thoughts in their tracks.
(3) Consider group therapy.
If you’re on a path to recovery, group therapy sessions can help you work through feelings of guilt and shame by sharing your story and hear from others in turn.
(4) Practice positivity!
Do something good for someone else. Compliment your coworker on a job well done. Buy a cup of coffee for a stranger. Rake the leaves for your neighbor out of the blue. It just feels good to help others and these random acts of kindness can help you overcome unproductive, negative self-talk.
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) at Infinity Malibu
Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is an evidence-based treatment method that encourages a heightened sense of self-awareness and gives clients a chance to dig deeper into the root of their addiction. Adapted from cognitive behavioral therapy, DBT was developed to treat individuals suffering from borderline personality disorder or trapped in a pattern of self-loathing/self-harm. The technique uses simple, practical tools to help participants gain personal insight and accept their need for positive behavioral change. Call (888) 266-9048 to learn more about Infinity Malibu.