Forgiving is the simple act of accepting what happened, letting go of feelings of resentment and grudge, and moving on. However, it is easier said than done especially when it comes to forgiving yourself for the mistakes you have done.
Learning to forgive yourself is important and has both mental and physical benefits. It helps you overcome feelings of mistrust and improves self-image. People who practice self-forgiveness are known to have increased productivity, a more balanced outlook towards life, higher levels of concentration, and relatively more success. As far as physical benefits are concerned, forgiving yourself helps reduce blood pressure, cholesterol levels, chronic pain, and the chances of a heart attack.
Why is it difficult to forgive yourself?
Some humans by nature deliberate and ponder over negative feelings. It is difficult for them to first see the positive outcomes of a situation and then think about the negative outcomes. The fact that you might have to accept your shortcomings and change your entire outlook can make forgiving oneself difficult.
Another situation where you might find it difficult to forgive yourself is when you have faced trauma, abuse or have lost someone you love. Though in such conditions, you might experience feelings of guilt and shame, and you think that you should have anticipated the condition, remember that you had no control over this situation.
How to forgive yourself?
Once you have accepted what happened, you are half-way to forgiving yourself. To help you cover the other half of the journey, here are some points that you can keep in mind.
Accept: This is the first and the hardest step. Once you have accepted that your addiction hurt you and your loved ones, it is easier to let go of feelings of extreme regret and guilt. Recognizing that the onus of the addiction lied on you, you will also realize that all the justification and rationalization that you presented were just excuses. Acknowledging that your addiction hurt you and your loved ones will help get rid of the negative emotions that you were battling with till now.
Repent: Accepting your addiction for what it was, makes it easier to show positive behavior in future. Show remorse by taking remedial actions like enrolling into an addiction treatment center. If you have already completed your rehab, then ensure that you are regular with your post-rehab meetings, appointment with doctors and that you stay away from triggers. Once you start practicing all these things, it will be easier for you to be kind to yourself.
Rebuild: An addiction causes the maximum hurt to your loved ones. They remain on an edge thinking if they can trust you again. To rebuild the trust and the relationship, apologize to them, show them that you care, and that the relationship matters to you. You can do that by making certain that you follow all the protocols laid down by your rehab coach. You can also share your feelings with your loved ones so that they can understand what you went through, how badly it affected you, and what you are doing to get over it.
The road ahead
Adopting and practicing these three simple steps will help you to be kind to yourself. If you know that you are battling an addiction and want to start the journey to acceptance, repentance and rebuilding, then the 24/7 Recovery Helpline can help you. Timely treatment and adherence to the prescribed medicine and therapy is the key to speedy recovery.
Our experts at 24/7 Recovery Helpline can help you connect with the latest treatment modalities in the addiction treatment landscape. Our partners offer evidence-based treatment packages for drug and alcohol addiction. Call our helpline number 855-441-4405 or chat online with a representative for further guidance.