Self-condemnation is a powerful tool. We have leverage on ourselves our entire lives when we believe we’ve done something worth punishment. No matter our victories, accomplishments, or joyus, we will always have that lingering sense of guilt there. Reminding us of worser times, we cna’t allow ourselves to be present, to develop in our self-worth, or be happy. Convicted for life, punishable by guilt, never to be redeemed.
Coping with extreme feelings of guilt and shame is not something that we do particularly well as individuals with substance use disorders and mental health conditions. Often, the reason we develop such issues is out of a need to cope with such heavy guilt. Guilt that becomes dysfunctional and invades other areas of our lives is considered toxic. Toxic guilt is nothing more than how it sounds. Living with toxic guilt and shame feels like living with an active virus. Anything will set it off and cause it to spread. We feel toxic guilt and shame in our minds, our hearts, our souls, and even our bodies. Carrying around the weight of the entire world’s punishment by not forgiving ourselves and moving on becomes exhausting. Though we might grow calloused under the pressure and get used to the consistency of self loating, it isn’t sustainable.
How To Forgive Yourself
Possibly, you deserve the blame. You did something wrong, something unforgiveably wrong, and there’s no denying that. In the height of our mental illnesses and addictions, we can make some very prone decisions. Some people live with the nowledge of taking another person’s life when they were in a drunk driving accident. Others have hurt and abused the ones they love. Forgiveness is not about changing the past or condoning what has happened. Instead, forgiveness is about accepting the fact that it happened and making a commitment to do better in the future.
You must start by accepting what has happened because there’s no going back and changing it. Recognize that like all people, you’re humans, and humans, thankfully, are not perfect. As such, imperfect people should be expected to make perfect mistakes. Next, you must be able to let go of that punishment and realize that you are now seeking treatment, are in treatment, or are working a program of recovery. Actively, you are creating change in your life to ensure you never have to act that way again.
Avalon By The Sea is here to help you make that journey toward self-forgiveness and healing. Our residential treatment facility is one of the few certified to treat primary mental health conditions. For a confidential assessment and more information on our programs of treatment, call 1 888-958-7511.