Forgiveness can be difficult. We often put off forgiving others by holding a grudge or clinging to feelings of resentment. However, forgiveness can offer a genuine sense of peace. Sometimes, holding on to feelings of anger, bitterness, shame, or guilt can prevent a person from healing.

If you are struggling with addiction to drugs or alcohol, chances are good that you may be feeling some or all of these feelings. Substance abuse creates tension in relationships and can cause you to behave and respond in ways that may be hurtful to others. You might say things you don’t mean. Your priorities might shift, leaving loved ones questioning your loyalty and care for them and yourself.

Behaving in ways that are out of character can leave you feeling regretful and ashamed. Substances can lead you to do and say things that you usually would not. Addiction strips you of your control, resulting in loss, hurt, and more.

Forgiveness is something that you may need to offer to yourself. It’s also something you may need to receive from others. For everyone involved to heal and take steps to move forward, mutual forgiveness must occur.

Forgiving Yourself

As mentioned, addiction almost always comes with feelings of shame and guilt. Often, these feelings can be so strong that they cause a delay in seeking treatment. You may feel disappointed in yourself for allowing things to get this far.

Forgiving yourself and offering a little grace can help you overcome your feelings of guilt and move forward with seeking help. The first step is often accepting responsibility. Acknowledging your mistakes and the decisions that may have led to your addiction is essential.

Assigning blame is something that can be very common among those struggling with substance use disorder (SUD). However, when it comes to forgiving yourself and others, blaming is not helpful. Making excuses can also be very common. You might have been making excuses for yourself or a loved one may have been making them for you.

By assuming responsibility and owning up to your missteps, you can learn from them and work to develop strategies for avoiding making the same mistakes again. This is critical when it comes to staying on track and avoiding relapse.

Receiving Forgiveness

While you may not be in control of this piece, you can help support your loved ones and encourage their forgiveness. Addiction really is a family disease, meaning it has a significant impact on those who love you.

One of the best ways to promote healing and receive forgiveness from loved ones is by getting them involved in the treatment and recovery process along with you. Sometimes, this can take a little convincing. Other times, family members may be open and willing to participate. Often, a lack of understanding can lead to a lack of empathy. This serves as a barrier to healing and moving forward.

Family Program

Enlightened Solutions offers a family program that provides support for those who have loved ones going through treatment. Getting loved ones involved in the treatment process allows them to feel included and offers the opportunity to establish understanding and find some common ground.

We begin by providing information about addiction, as many family members may be unfamiliar with the experience and how powerful it can be. Our family program offers opportunities for loved ones to receive support, advice, and encouragement from other family members who are going through something similar. Creating this sense of community among families can be very comforting and even empowering.

Forgiveness and Healing

Forgiveness is essential when it comes to healing yourself and creating an opportunity for your loved ones to heal. Holding a grudge regarding behavior, choices, or actions that took place as a result of addiction can be common. Substance abuse often leads to lying, risk-taking, avoidance, and other things that can be tough to forgive and overcome.

While some of these things may be hard to forgive, it can be more burdensome to hold onto them and allow resentment to build. Forgiveness can be freeing, both for the forgiver and the one being forgiven. Many times, tough conversations have to be had in order for forgiveness to occur.

Therapists can help you and your loved ones navigate tough conversations. They can also help you learn to process your feelings of shame or regret and work toward forgiving and loving yourself again. Moving forward requires work. Learning to forgive others, forgiving yourself, and being open to forgiveness from others are important pieces of the puzzle.

Recovering from SUD takes time and cannot be done overnight. Taking small steps each day toward forgiveness will instill hope and motivation for moving forward in recovery.

Forgiveness is an important component of addiction recovery. It is critical to forgive yourself for your past mistakes and the things you may have done or said while under the stronghold of addiction. Receiving forgiveness from your loved ones is also essential. By giving and receiving forgiveness, you can mend relationships with yourself and those you care about. This allows you to move forward and find hope in starting fresh in recovery. At Enlightened Solutions, we work to help clients rebuild relationships with their inner selves and loved ones. Our family program creates an opportunity for loved ones to get in involved in the treatment process and begin healing too. To learn more, call Enlightened Solutions today at (833) 801-LIVE.