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forgive yourself

How 12-Step Programs Help You Forgive Yourself

Once you’ve taken the courageous step to go through detox and get treatment for your addiction, the journey has just begun. Although this is an amazing first step that many people don’t take, staying sober is a whole new monster. The disease of addiction is powerful, and it’s always lurking around the corner trying to tempt you to relapse. This is especially true in early recovery, and one way your addiction tries to sabotage your recovery is through self-hatred. 

Stop Living in the Past

During your active addiction, you weren’t the person you wanted to be. Although you may have loved your friends and family, you might have done many things that hurt them. In our addiction, we lie, cheat, and steal. Sometimes, we can become verbally and emotionally abusive to the people we love. We make the people in our lives worry about us, and sometimes we do terrible acts that we would never do had we not been drunk or high. 

In recovery, the memories of these events can cause us a lot of emotional and psychological pain. Carrying around this guilt and shame can seem like too much to handle. For some, we get to the point where we think we’re worth loving, and this can lead us on a terrible road towards self-sabotage. 

One of the best ways to learn how to stop living in the past is through the fellowship of 12-step meetings like AA and NA. In just about every meeting, you hear the serenity prayer that reminds you to stop dwelling on the things you can’t control, and one of those things is your past. Aside from that, you realize that you’re not alone. In 12-step meetings, you’re in a room filled with people who have done the same things you’ve done in your addiction. These people are there to remind you that you’re not a bad person, but you were extremely sick. 

Being of Service is the Key

In 12-step programs, you hear on a regular basis how important it is to be of service to others. Being of service can start within the meetings with simple tasks. You might stay after the meeting to put the chairs away, or maybe you refill coffee cups during the meeting. If you really want to get into it, you might want to volunteer to pick up a regular service position in the meeting. All of these acts help bring you closer to the fellowship while also allowing you to be more selfless with your acts. 

The key to forgiving yourself is carrying these acts of selflessness and service outside of the rooms. As you start being there for others without expecting anything in return, you start to feel better about yourself. It’s extremely difficult for your mind to tell you what an awful person you are when you’re constantly trying to be of service to others. Slowly but surely, you’ll gradually begin to forgive yourself and start to see the incredible life that you can live. 

Whether you need treatment or need a sober community to get involved with, Enlightened Solutions is here for you. To learn more about our program and recovery events, call us today at 833-233-7336.

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