How to Work Through Forgiveness in Recovery

Forgiveness isn’t always easy. Many people hold resentment or anger in their hearts for things that others have done that were wrong. You might be angry at a spouse who did something that hurt you, or you might be angry about something that happened as far back as your childhood. As someone who has an addiction, you might also feel a sense of guilt or shame over the things that you have done while you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol. People who misuse substances sometimes lash out at the people that they love the most, and it is common to experience financial or legal issues that may affect your closest family members. Sometimes, it is hard to let go of the fact that you said something embarrassing or hurtful at a company meeting or family party. During addiction treatment, you’ll find out how holding in negative thoughts or emotions can impact your recovery. Learning to let go, learn from a situation and work through forgiveness in recovery gives you a clean slate for moving forward.

One of the reasons why forgiveness isn’t easy is because remembering past hurts is a protective mechanism that people use to prevent bad things from happening again. While this is natural, it can hold you back from experiencing the good things in life. Forgiving others and yourself takes time to do, but you’ll find that working with other people helps you move through the process so that you can get more enjoyment from your recovery. Making forgiveness a priority also helps you to stop experiencing negative emotions that make it harder to avoid using drugs or alcohol.

Feel the Sense of Freedom That Comes From Forgiveness

Take a moment to try to picture anger, resentment and guilt as chains that weigh you down. When you are so busy ruminating on past mistakes or hurts, you don’t have enough time to fully experience all of the good things that are coming your way. When you enter a drug rehab program, you’ll sit down with counselors who can help you learn the best ways to start forgiving others. These are just a few of the many strategies that you will learn about how to practice forgiveness in recovery.

•Write in your journal about a painful experience
•Talk to trusted people in your life about what happened
•Make amends when you can
•Acknowledge your efforts towards forgiving yourself and others
•Give yourself time and grace

Packing lists for rehab often encourage people to bring a writing journal. Recovery journals help you to track your progress as you move forward with healing, and they also give you a strong starting point for letting those pent-up emotions out. You can write in your journal about things that still bother you from your past. You can also use it to rant about a situation that just happened. Getting all of your thoughts down on paper gives you a fresher perspective for handling challenging situations.

Talking to other people also helps you to process what happened. In the beginning, you might feel safest talking to your professional counselors that have undergone training to help them listen without judgement. As you get used to the people in your recovery group, you might also begin to share your negative experiences with them. Opening up to your friends and family members also gets easier when you are feeling stronger in recovery. Sharing your thoughts with other people can help you see things from a different angle. In fact, hearing about how others practice forgiveness can help you start creating a roadmap for healing.

Making amendments is a step that you’ll find many recovery programs encouraging. Making amendments can be as simple as telling people that you are sorry, or you might feel like you need to do something tangible to make up for what you did. For instance, you might return money that you borrowed to use drugs or alcohol. In both cases, apologizing for your mistakes helps you put them in the past and remind yourself that you can make better choices today. As a final note, it helps to remember that forgiveness doesn’t always happen immediately. Give yourself time to fully accept a situation and move on. You might also need to allow other people to see the new you before they are able to give you forgiveness. The point is to keep trying and making forgiveness a priority in your life.

Are you ready to forgive yourself or someone else? Get the support you need for healing by calling us today at 833-610-1174.

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