Overcoming Shame From Addiction

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If there are two things that have always gone together like peanut butter and jelly it would have to be shame and addiction. Whether we have struggled with addiction or not, the feeling of shame is universal and felt by everyone at some point in our lives. What many people don’t realize is that shame and addiction not only are a part of the recovery process from addiction but they also tend to be the lead characters during addiction as well. Shame and addiction are a vicious cycle. You feel ashamed to have been under the control of addiction and of your past. But many times you feel shame which leads to looking for a form a of self medication such as alcohol, drugs, sex, porn, etc.

According to Addiction.com, “Often, people suffering from intense shame want to numb their negative feelings, which puts them at an increased risk for developing a substance abuse problem or obsessively engaging in a pleasurable behavior. It’s a way of self-medicating, in other words. And while they might feel better temporarily, which reinforces the addictive behavior, they end up feeling ashamed at their inability to stop.”

Shame happens when we forget that we are humans and that as humans we will fall short or that sometimes unfortunate events can happen that are completely out of our control. Dealing with the negative feelings associated with shame is perfectly normal and should not be kept to yourself. The path to overcoming shame is never an easy one but you can take daily steps becoming your best authentic and happy self day by day. It is important to understand that shame keeps you from your authentic feelings.

Forgive yourself

The reason for your own personal addiction can vary from shame due to childhood abuse, neglect during your formative years, traumatic events, PTSD, and many other reasons. Whatever the case may be the most important thing you can do is understand that these events were out of your control. As addicts we cannot control the circumstances that caused us to go down the path of addiction but what we can do is aknowledge that we made the wrong choice and forgive ourselves on DAILY basis.

Without the knowledge and experience we have from our past, we would not be able to make the choice to change today.

Connect and be open with others

Being open and transparent with others regarding your shame, addiction, and desire for change helps create a support team. Remember daily that you are not alone in your addiction.


If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction or substance abuse, call Ridgeview Ranch today to speak with one of our Addiction Specialists at (877) 526–7706 for a free consultation. For additional information regarding our detox, outpatient and inpatient (30, 60, & 90 day) treatment programs, please visit www.ridgeviewranch.com. We accept all major PPO insurances and have financing programs to fit your needs. We are also now in network with Beacon Health Options, formerly Value Options. We are here to help you!

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