Strategies for Coming to Grips with Guilt

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Strategies for Coming to Grips with Guilt

Kate L.

July 6, 2023

For people in a medical detox program in Sacramento, one of the most damaging emotions they can experience is guilt. When it has its grip, it’s hard to be positive and focus on a happier, healthier future. In order to make progress in recovery, it’s important to address these feelings of responsibility and remorse and get past them.

Making Peace with Your Past

Here are some of the things people in recovery tell themselves, and the truth behind them:

  • “The people I care about won’t forgive me for the things I did.” Your friends and family undoubtedly have a bigger capacity for forgiveness than you give them credit for. Yes, you made mistakes. And, yes, you probably hurt people in the process. But when they see you committing to turning your life around, they will surely support you.
  • “I can never attain the level of success in recovery that will show people that I’ve changed.” What the people in your life are hoping, praying, and looking for is progress, not perfection. They know you face a long road back to sobriety, and that there will be struggles along the way, but they’ll be excited just to see you moving forward.
  • “After all I’ve done, I don’t deserve happiness.” Everyone deserves happiness. Everyone. There isn’t a person you know who hasn’t made mistakes. The key is making amends as best you can as you strive to meet your new, higher set of standards.
  • “With all the trouble I’ve been in, I’ll never find a decent job.” Employers, like families, understand that people can change. Your first job after rehab might not be your dream career, but if you stay clean and demonstrate a strong work ethic, before long you’ll develop a resume that gets the eye of great companies.
  • “I’ve treated people really badly in the past, so I should expect to be treated the same way.” What you did to others may have been wrong, but as they say, two wrongs don’t make a right. You’ll want to apologize to the people you’ve hurt, and it make take them some time to forgive you, but if you keep working at recovery, you have every right to expect that people will eventually come to treat you with kindness and respect.

Getting Over Your Guilt

Feeling remorse when you’ve done something wrong is natural and even healthy when it causes you to change your behavior. But letting it dominate your life weeks, months, or years after the fact is not helpful. We can help you deal with your guilt and move on. Contact us today to get the details on our detox program in Sacramento.

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