Why Does Shame Happen After Rehab?

Why Does Shame Happen After Rehab?

Shame is such a harmful emotion when it lingers around too long. It usually partners up with guilt to pummel you in recovery, just to remind you it is kicking butt and taking names. Active recovery requires looking at your baggage, including shame, and realizing there are ways to get rid of it that will help you progress forward. As you move forward, you may feel weighted down, but you cannot change the past. You are only able to change here and now, to start fresh. Find out why shame rears its ugly head after rehab and how you can move forward in a positive way in recovery. 

Those Negative Feelings

So many emotions pop up in recovery. Guilt and shame are two of those people who wish they could push aside. During active addiction, people who are addicted to drugs and alcohol tend to make decisions they know are wrong or hurt others, but cannot stop. Shame comes from repeating decisions that are harmful and not feeling good enough due to mistakes made. The feelings of guilt and shame will compound and make it difficult to face recovery or friends who are sober. Until you face what is going on in your heart and soul, you will have a harder time getting your mind and body on board to stay sober, as well. 

Why It’s Hard

Everything is hard in recovery for a reason. The cycle of shame continues to keep people stuck because they are struggling with internal demons they have not faced down yet. This might include:

  • Admitting things they did wrong
  • Apologizing
  • Making efforts to make things right
  • Feeling ashamed of the past

Overcoming shame comes from learning to accept that you did the things in the past but you were also addicted back then. Now you are sober and clean, you can make better, more informed decisions, about how to live your life.

Live Free of Shame

If you are not sure how to set yourself free from shame in recovery, there are some ways to start the journey now:

  • Practice honesty. Wherever you go, don’t feel afraid, to be honest about what you are feeling. Chances are others may feel the same
  • Follow the steps. If you are in AA or working steps, make sure to check out making amends to those you hurt. Quite often that is the basis of shame for many people in recovery and it helps alleviate those feelings if you work on asking forgiveness
  • Stay present. Don’t get locked into the past or future ideas of what you want. You’re in recovery now, today, so get hyper-focused on that and stay present as much as possible

Support for recovery comes in all shapes and sizes. If you are struggling to process shame or guilt, don’t hesitate to reach out to your support network of therapists, counselors, friends, sober companions, and more. The goal is to keep you from feeling stuck in recovery or falling into old habits which can lead to relapse. Ask yourself what you need and follow through on making recovery yours by doing what you need to grow.

There is nothing harder than seeking recovery when it doesn’t seem to be working for you. If you are wanting desperately to stop old habits and patterns, we are here for you. Let us help you navigate addiction detox and recovery with our professional team. We are located in beautiful Laguna Beach. Call us to find out how we can help you navigate addiction recovery: 888-981-4295