When you have a substance abuse disorder, it is possible that you lied to people and did terrible things that impacted a lot of people. You want to be able to move forward but your guilt for the actions you took keep clouding up your mind. One of the twelve steps to recovery is learning to forgive yourself for your wrongdoings. The best way to forgive yourself is by owning up to your actions and reminding yourself that you are not perfect.

You should ask yourself if you feel the need to be forgiven because you feel guilty about the outcome of the problem you caused or because you are being blamed by others? Understand why you are having trouble letting go of the actions you took. Having an addiction to drugs or alcohol does not make you a bad person. Substance abuse has a way of bringing out our flaws in ways we would not do if we were sober. As long as we learn from our mistakes, the chances of repeating those same mistakes will be slim.

Participate in spiritual practices like mindfulness therapy in which you will have no choice but to focus on the present moment. If we continue to dwell on the past, you will miss out on the present reality that is right in front of you. Make a list of the wrong you did, the people you hurt, and how you plan on making things right so that you can begin to forgive yourself. For example, if you stole money from your relatives to support your drug habit, apologize to them by paying them back and promise them that you will try your hardest to do better.

You can also take symbolic actions like taking that paper of all of the wrongs you have done under the influence and either burning it or send it up with a balloon so you can set it free. The reason why some people have problems forgiving themselves is that they have problems being able to share how they feel. Speak to a therapist, a close friend, or a family member about what is on your mind and they can help support you in forgiving yourself. Use imagery to picture a symbolic image that represents the past and imagine that image leaving you. Say to yourself “I forgive myself” and “I will let go of the past.”

Located in downtown Midland, The Springboard Center’s mission is to offer programs and services to treat alcohol and drug addiction treatment using an evidence based curriculum, 12 step programs, diet, nutrition, exercise, emotional, mental and spiritual development for a long recovery. For more information, please call us at 432-620-0255 as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.