The Art of The Apology: This is part-one of a two-part series.
When You Get Into Recovery, You May Have A Lot To Feel Sorry For
Usually, by the time you get into recovery for a substance abuse problem or behavioral addiction, you have done a lot of things you regret. You may have stolen to support your habit, lied to the people you love the most, cheated people in your business dealings, or made any number of other choices that were less than admirable. Addiction can cause you to violate the values you hold most dear in order to get more of whatever you are hooked on.
In fact, it is often the profound violation of personal values that drives people to get into recovery in the first place. Many people realize they need help because they become someone they no longer recognize when they were using drugs or alcohol, gambling excessively, shopping compulsively, or engaged in a sexual addiction. As much as they may have wanted to stop doing the “bad” things they were doing. They simply could not stop themselves because they did what they had to do to get the next fix.
If you have recently entered the recovery process, we want to congratulate you on your bold step toward a new life. Admitting that you need help requires great strength and courage. However; we recognize that you probably need a lot more than just a simple congratulations from us right now.
The Apology: After Months or Years of Dishonest Behavior, You May Feel Shame and Guilt
When you get sober, you might suddenly find that you are consumed with guilt over the things you did while you were addicted. This is very common for people who regain their sanity after being engaged in the insane cycle of addiction for a prolonged period of time. Being dishonest in your dealings with others for months or even years at a time may have left you feeling bad about yourself.
Although it may be uncomfortable, this is a good sign. When your brain chemistry experiences changes caused by addiction, you lose touch with your conscience. You can justify and rationalize all kinds of outlandish behavior in the name of going on a binge. No matter what your substance or behavior of choice might have been. However; when you sober up – it all comes crashing down around you.
Feeling shame and guilt means you feel genuine remorse for the way you behaved in the past. You sincerely regret the way you treated people and you wish you could go back and make a different choice. Unfortunately, you know just as well as we do that you can’t change the past. What you can do is apologize for your mistakes both in words and in deed.
Be sure to read The Art of the Apology: Part Two
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