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 Post subject: Dealing with guilt
PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 9:44 pm 
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Hi everyone

So now that I've been on sub for awhile I'm having lots of trouble dealing with the guilt that comes with what I've done to my family, including the money I've blown, fractured relationships with my wife, possible harm done to the kids, etc. So my question is, how do you deal with the guilt?
Thanks
Jimmy


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 10:23 pm 
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That's a tough one Jimmy. I think we all probably do something different. I will tell you what I have done so far.

I educated myself about addiction to the best of my ability. Through that, I came to accept and truly believe this is a disease that I had no control over. Unfortunately, the symptoms of that disease were harmful to others. I forgave myself for those things and continue to maintain my recovery to the best of my ability and do right by those around me.

I got a really good therapist.

I apologized to those people I hurt. Mostly my husband. I apologized in the most honest, humble, genuine way possible and poured my heart out to him and I am certain he knows how very sorry I am. I am pretty sure he has forgiven me now too.

It isn't that guilt doesn't creep back into my mind on occasion. But time heals many things too.

That's all I got.

Cherie


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 10:35 pm 
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Jackcrack gives you some good points. I look at guilt along the same lines as shame. For me, mine went away once I was able to stop living in the past and focus on today, maybe tomorrow. Guilt or shame are based on what we did in the past. Why focus on something you cannot change (other than to humbly apologize, etc.)? Be the best person you can be NOW for yourself and your family. That makes up for a lot, I think.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 12:22 am 
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Hey Jimmy,

I think you deserve a lot of credit for getting on suboxone and ending your active addiction. You have to remember that you are not the same person today that you were back in your using days. I hope you are very proud of that!!

Now, about the guilt you're feeling, I think we can all understand exactly where you're coming from. I'm gonna say that the vast majority of us have done all the things that you have and we felt the same guilt.

So, number 1, you're not alone.

Number 2, you deal with the guilty thoughts one at a time.

Number 3, it takes time and hard work to learn how to forgive yourself.

Trying to shed that guilt is certainly possible, it does take time though. My addiction counselor helped me identify my guilty feelings and he suggested possible plans of action to help me deal with my guilt. I would really encourage you to try hooking up with a good counselor, I know, I know, I HATED the idea of going to see a counselor too. But it helped so much.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 1:21 am 
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Thanks everyone. I am actually scheduled to start counseling next week because I want to understand why I did all this and what I can do to make suboxone therapy successful. One day at a time. I feel so stupid and have went through periods of thinking my family would be so much better without me. Your responses are awesome and although I know I need to look ahead and not back, its something I'm not very good at.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 4:20 am 
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That's great to hear you're already set up to see a counselor. Good job, man!

What you said about not being good at looking ahead and always looking back, that's completely normal for us addicts. We have usually done so much damage that it's extremely difficult to get our heads out of the past and focused on the future. As you work with your counselor, you'll get good at not dwelling on the past as much as you do now.

After a while you will be able to live with your past while living for the future. Learning how to forgive yourself is the key, I believe.


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