Self Help for the Recovering Addict

Magena Fawn By Magena Fawn, 8th May 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Health>Mind & Spirit>Addiction

On avoiding the pitfalls of blame, shame, dependency and disunity while recovering from addictions.

Take an Honest Inventory Without Assigning Shame, Blame or Guilt

Taking an honest inventory of fallen behavioral and thought patterns can help the recovering addict so long as they do not assign any shame, blame or guilt to themselves in the process. Any negative meaning that would place their value above or below that of others is another pitfall to avoid.

Through taking an honest inventory, the person in recovery should recognize when they are attaching self-destructive meaning to their fallen thoughts and behaviors and bring those things into the universal light of grace, love and self-acceptance. Detaching from negative, self-destructivemeaning and being more open to whatever form life takes will help the recovering addict on their journey to wholeness and more conscious living.

Self-acceptance has to start with where the person is at right now in their recovery from addiction--Even if the person has relapsed or done things that may cause tormenting feelings of shame. The important thing to remember is to avoid the ups and downs of a self-esteem that assigns value based on when the individual has done something good or bad. A higher self-image than others is really just low self-esteem in a mask.

Tormenting judgements like blame and shame will only cause a recovering addict to return to their addictions, compulsions and obsessions for comfort. What the person really needs is a whole picture of themselves and unity with others--Not some ugly distorted reflection as seen in the broken mirror of a fragmented mind. The addict should avoid behaviors that bring shame and torment and treat themselves and others with respect and love.

Unity with Others is Not Dependent Upon their Approval

Unity with others is instrumental in recovery from addictions, but a unity that needs the approval of others is really just another form of dependency. The stigma that the recovering addict feels when they imagine that others might label or categorize them as unloveable, diseased or damaged can feel like the mark of Cain. A pitfall many recovering addicts have is trying to prove themselves worthy to others in order to gain their approval which they unwittingly believe will erase this dark mark. The addict in recovery will need to learn to give themselves the approval they are seeking from others.

In truth, many addicts are highly creative people who lack coping skills to deal with the sadness they feel when they are not living up to their potential or feeling stuck in such an insincere and unauthentic world. The recovering addict should begin to see that while they may not be able to improve the state of the world or the opinions that others may have about them--They can forgive all the false images they have created about themselves and others and become a source of unconditional love in a conditional world.

Repetitive personal experience in the school of hard knocks

Photo credit:
Roger Orton


Addiction, Blame, Recovering Addict, Recovery, Self Esteem, Self Help, Shame, Unity, Value

Meet the author

author avatar Magena Fawn
Magena Fawn lives on a knob in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. She is an inspirational writer, storyteller and dreamer who likes to read between the lines and color outside of them.

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author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
16th Sep 2013 (#)

Nicely written. I am a person in long-term recovery with almost 25 years.

I especially like this sentence of yours: "A higher self-image than others is really just low self-esteem in a mask."

Making appropriate changes and living better means we do not have to seek the approval of others; we know we are doing right and are not less than nor better than others. Again, thanks for the post. ~Marilyn

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