Overcome Shame in Addiction Recovery

Aug 10, 2023

Shame is a powerful emotion that can significantly impact addiction recovery. According to Brené Brown, a research professor at the University of Houston and author known for her work on shame and vulnerability, shame is the belief that we are flawed or unworthy of love and belonging. Shame can be a common experience for those struggling with addiction, and it can hinder the healing process. ln this post, learn how shame can affect your recovery journey and provide tips to overcome shame addiction recovery.

“Shame is that warm feeling that washes over us, making us feel small, flawed, and never good enough.” – Brené Brown

Shame can be a major obstacle in the process of addiction recovery. It can make individuals feel unworthy of love and respect and lead to feelings of hopelessness and despair. Shame can also prevent individuals from seeking help by causing them to feel isolated and disconnected from others. However, it is important to recognize that shame is a common experience for those in recovery and that there are ways to overcome it.

One of the most important things to remember when dealing with shame is that it is a feeling, not a fact. Just because you feel ashamed does not mean that you are a bad person or that you are unworthy of love and respect. It is important to challenge these negative thoughts and beliefs by reminding yourself of your worth and the progress you have made in your recovery.

How to Overcome Shame in Addiction Recovery?

One of the first steps in working through shame is to recognize when it is present. Shame can be subtle and difficult to identify, but it often shows up as negative self-talk or feelings of worthlessness. Many individuals try to push away or ignore feelings of shame, but this only serves to reinforce them.

Once you recognize shame, it’s vital to practice self-compassion. Self-compassion involves treating yourself with understanding and kindness rather than harsh judgment. This can help to counteract feelings of shame by reminding you that you are not alone in your struggles and that you are worthy of love and support.

Another tip for working through shame is to practice vulnerability. Vulnerability is the willingness to be open and honest about your struggles, even when it’s uncomfortable. Sharing your experiences with others can help you feel less alone and can build connections with others who are also in recovery.

“If we share our story with someone who responds with empathy and understanding, shame can’t survive.” – Brené Brown

Joining a support group or seeking out a therapist who specializes in addiction recovery can provide a safe and supportive space to share your experiences and feelings without fear of rejection or judgment. This can include attending support group meetings, talking to a therapist or counselor, or connecting with others in recovery who understand what you are going through. Sharing your experiences with others can help reduce feelings of shame and isolation and provide a sense of community and belonging.

Lastly, it’s important to remember that recovery is not linear, and setbacks are a normal part of the journey. Rather than viewing setbacks as evidence of personal failure or weakness, try to reframe them as opportunities for growth and learning. If you do experience a relapse or other setback, try not to give in to feelings of shame and self-blame. Instead, use it as an opportunity to learn and grow and to recommit to your recovery goals.

“If you put shame in a petri dish, it needs three ingredients to grow exponentially: secrecy, silence, and judgment. If you put the same amount of shame in the petri dish and douse it with empathy, it can’t survive.” – Brené Brown

Shame can be a significant barrier to addiction recovery, but it’s possible to work through it. By practicing self-compassion, vulnerability, challenging shame-based beliefs, and surrounding yourself with supportive people, you can overcome shame and achieve lasting recovery. Remember, recovery is a journey, and asking for help along the way is okay. If you or a loved one need support on your recovery journey, Origins Recovery & Counseling in Dallas can help.

Origins Recovery & Counseling is a program in Dallas, Texas, made available by a well-known care provider offering a range of treatment programs targeting the recovery from substance use, mental health issues, and beyond. Our primary mission is to provide a clear path to a life of healing and restoration. We provide a comprehensive diagnostic assessment and evaluation, as well as renowned clinical care for addiction. We have the compassion and professional expertise needed to guide you toward lasting sobriety. For information on our programs, call us today: 866-671-4124.

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