How to Handle Guilt about Actions Committed during Addiction

How to Handle Guilt about Actions Committed during AddictionAddicted Seattle residents often do things they later regret. This can create a vicious cycle, if people try to escape their feelings of guilt through continued substance abuse. Dealing with guilt in a productive manner can be a significant step on the road to recovery.

Guilt versus Shame about Addiction in Seattle

Seattle residents can begin to handle guilt about Addiction by identifying the differences between guilt and shame. There is overlap between the terms, but it can be helpful to think of guilt as relating to something you’ve done and shame as relating to who you are. In other words guilt says, “I did a bad thing,” and shame says, “I’m a bad person.” Feelings of guilt can often be catalysts for change. Feelings of shame are often paralyzing. When feelings of shame arise, it is important to remember that you are more than your addiction and more than the bad choices you’ve made.

Steps to Take to Handle Guilt about Addiction

The following can help Seattle residents who are dealing with guilt related to addiction:

  • Analyze it. Was what you did an isolated act, or is it a pattern of behavior? What do you think caused you to act the way you did? Did you act out of fear? If so were you afraid of being caught or embarrassed? Recognizing emotional states that can lead to behavior you regret can be helpful in avoiding similar situations in the future.
  • Accept responsibility. Feelings of guilt are a sign that you do feel responsible for your actions. Regardless of what others did or didn’t do that might have contributed to the problem, accept responsibility for your own thoughts, speech, and actions.
  • Ask forgiveness from those you’ve wronged. Whether they do or don’t forgive you isn’t in your control, but doing your part is important. Granting forgiveness doesn’t always mean full restoration. People can forgive but still need time to rebuild trust. Forgiveness doesn’t automatically erase all consequences of past mistakes.
  • Make restitution where possible. If you’ve stolen money, return it. If you missed your friend’s birthday, throw a non-birthday party. If you don’t know how to make amends, ask the people you’ve wronged for their ideas and act on them whenever possible.
  • Treat the addiction. An essential way to rebuild broken bonds is to address your addiction in a serious and comprehensive manner. Send the message to those you’ve wronged that you recognize the destructive nature of your disease and are doing everything you can to confront it. If you’ve been through rehab but are still dealing with guilt, professional counseling can help.

Reclaim Your Life in Seattle

If you’re ready to escape the bonds of addiction and stop doing things you’ll later regret, give us a call. We can help you find a rehab program that fits your needs and personal situation. Caring phone counselors staff our toll-free number around the clock. They can help you understand your treatment options. Reclaim your life in Seattle and start rebuilding your relationships. Call today.