Depression and Anxiety

Giving Yourself Freedom to Feel Good

You have the right to feel good during recovery, and it is possible with some help. Call The Forge today to learn more about how we can help.

Giving Yourself Freedom to Feel Good

Table of contents

Written by

Brian MooreBrian Moore

Content Writer

Reviewed by

Jeremy ArztJeremy Arzt

Chief Clinical Officer

May 4, 2022

The Forge Recovery Center

Did you just recover from a substance use disorder? Do emotions like guilt, shame, fear, and anxiety still not let you feel good about yourself?

If you or someone you know just recovered from substance use disorder and face such challenges, reading this article becomes essential. But before finding the ways to feel good and forget these emotions completely, it's vital to understand why these underlying feelings exist.

Why Do People Feel Such Emotions After Recovering?

If you have suffered from such experiences of guilt and shame after you recover, you are not the only one. There are a lot of people who go through these emotions after completing the recovery process.

There can be multiple reasons why people feel like this. When a person battles addiction, there are times when they may choose the wrong paths to get the substance they are addicted to. They might choose some regretful ways like stealing money, fighting with their loved ones, and things similar to these. 

It's typical to feel guilty and ashamed of what you did while in active addiction when you start your recovery path. It's easy to get caught up in these dark emotions and feel overwhelmed by them but staying there for too long will just set you up for a relapse.

If you dwell on your guilt, you'll almost certainly feel ashamed. Shame is even more harmful than guilt because it cuts far deeper. When you're overwhelmed by emotions of guilt and shame, it's easy to believe that you've earned these negative sentiments about yourself. In the end, you punish yourself for what you did in your addiction, which is not good for you or others around you.

Similarly, feeling anxious about the future is also a common practice after recovery, but going deep into anxiety can again lead an individual to addiction, harming their health.

How to Break This Pattern

Though these feelings can be complicated, and one might feel that no one can understand them, some easy ways can take an individual out of such emotional setbacks. It will take a lot of courage, but the outcome of these practices will be beautiful. Let's take a deep dive into what can be done if you are struggling with such experiences:

#1. Acceptance and Forgiveness

If you have been a drug addict, there are enormous probabilities that you might have crossed some limits to get the substance you are addicted to, and you regret those decisions today. There are chances that you had disrespected your loved ones or committed unfavorable acts that you recognize now were not justified.

In the end, an individual has to realize that whatever happened cannot be reversed. However, if you accept your behaviors and ask for forgiveness or make amends, you will feel lighter and rebuild your relationships. 

#2. Join Self-Help Groups

Another great way to eliminate such emotions is to be around people who value you and motivate you to do more. Being a part of communities that support you and motivate you creates a magical difference in your efficiency and helps you move ahead in your life by forgetting past traumas. Thus, being a part of such self-help communities can also help you to overcome these emotional challenges. 

#3. Let Go of Uncontrollable Factors

A wise man once said, "we cannot move forward in the future until we stop hanging to our past." A man who lives in the past has no future, and the mistakes he has committed are something he cannot reverse. These mistakes are an aspect of uncontrollable factors.

#4. Focus On Controllable Factors 

Now, forgetting the mistakes might be challenging for an individual, but what's in their control are the measures they can take to rectify these past errors. 

If you learn to take charge of your actions and begin partaking in what you do have control over, life becomes much easier after some time.

#5. Forgive Yourself

Learning to forgive others is much easier than forgiving ourselves. But once an individual learns to let go of the wrong choices they made in the past, they begin to feel better. The choices that you make today are the ones that will define your future, and the ones you made in the past determine your present.

#6. New Activities

Adding new activities and loading up your schedule with new and productive things can help you get engaged in your growth. Once you can immerse yourself in such activities, you'll have only a tiny amount of time to focus on these emotions. For example, a morning gym routine followed by work and healthy food can help you avoid negative emotions.

After all, where the attention goes, energy flows!

There are times when recovering from emotions of guilt, anxiety, and fear becomes much more complex than the actual recovery, and we do understand that. Individuals who have recovered from addictions may experience flashbacks that increase their chances of relapsing into the same habits.

These incidents can play a significant role in demoralizing and downgrading an individual's self-esteem. People often assume that the recovery will be painful and do not allow themselves to be joyful. Good peer support, healthy routines, a positive environment, and regular checkups can help individuals overcome such mental barriers and help them live their lives to the fullest.

Here at The Forge, we realize how difficult it is to take the initial step. There is no shame or guilt in seeking assistance or additional information. Remember that we are always here to help you in every possible way.

Please reach out to our team today.

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