Sobriety has many benefits. One of those benefits is waking up in the morning aware of what we did the night before. Another is not worrying about having to apologize to others for things we said or did.
When we were using a substance, we tended to act recklessly. We did what felt good on the spur of the moment. Sometimes we didn’t understand our thought process the next day. Sometimes we didn’t remember why we thought we needed to say what we said or did what we did. Many times upon realization of our actions, we felt shame, guilt, or embarrassment. Maybe we went through the events of the night before and realized we owed apologies.
Apologizing to someone is difficult and puts us in a vulnerable spot. We are at the mercy of another who can choose to forgive us or to refuse to accept our apology. We can’t expect someone to forgive and forget. It’s their right to think about what we did to them and consider whether or not they want to forgive or continue the relationship. We must respect their decision.
As we apologize to others, we must also apologize to ourselves. We harmed others by our words or actions, but we also hurt ourselves. The damage we did to ourselves may not be evident at first, but we often begin to feel shame, guilt, or embarrassment as we process our feelings. We question if we can show our faces again at a place or to other people. We also ask if we can ever forgive ourselves.
We often get stuck inside our heads. While it’s normal to feel shame, we must remember we have the power to change our behaviors and forgive ourselves. When we enter a substance addiction program or start therapy, we are taking steps towards self-forgiveness.
Self-forgiveness occurs when we accept our past and focus on our present. Although we can’t change the past, we can work on who we are now. Remember, we are capable of evolving and becoming the person we want. Judgment directed at who we were will not solve anything. So, the work we do today, like treatment for a mental health disorder or a substance addiction issue, is an essential part of forgiving ourselves.
We are not our past. When we enter a substance addiction or mental health program, our therapist, the support from those in group sessions, and holistic therapies push us to become who we are. With the support and guidance of those at Avalon Malibu, we can achieve our goal of sobriety. Treatments, whether traditional or holistic, are available to build our belief in ourselves. Throughout our time with the therapists at Avalon Malibu, we can change our outlook from shame, guilt, or embarrassment to joy. We learn to let the past go. Call Avalon Malibu at (844) 857-5992.