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Working with Shame in Early Recovery

Written on July 22, 2022
Working with Shame in Early Recovery

One of the most difficult experiences in healing from addiction is working with shame in Early Recovery. Research shows that neurological experiences in early childhood can lead to core shame. This process is very similar to trauma and can produce many of the same flight, fight, freeze responses as many other forms of trauma. If someone you know is experiencing shame in early recovery in Colorado, we encourage you to reach out to a qualified person or agency for help. 

Shame is the basic feeling of inferiority. Shame involves perceiving ourselves as a failure or feeling unacceptable to others. Shame can involve feeling “unworthy,” “flawed,” or “not enough.” 

Shame in Early Recovery From Addiction 

For many, shame involves feeling bad for what and who we are, despite knowing that all people make mistakes. For so many, shame is the result of their addiction and the behaviors that came along with active addiction. Most people who start the recovery journey will have to manage shame, guilt, loss of relationships, and a loss of self. If we are going to recover, early recovery requires us to work with shame and to heal from it.  

At Flatirons Recovery we offer many evidence based practical tools for working with shame in early recovery. Therapies such as CBT, DBT, ACT, and others can help the person to manage feelings of guilt and shame as they arise. 

The Benefits of Group Therapy

While shame can feel like there is no hope, group therapy has been shown to dramatically help those struggling with shame to reduce distressing emotions and to learn daily coping skills that increase quality of life.

Additionally, building supportive communities has been shown to add additional support to those recovering from substance use and mental health conditions. One way this works is that in community our peers can help to diffuse challenging emotions and help us to see our true worth.  

Flatirons Recovery knows that the link between trauma and addiction is undeniable. For many, the answer to resolving their shame is through intensive trauma therapy where they let their brain reset back to healthy coping patterns. 

If you or someone you know is struggling with shame in early recovery, we encourage you to reach out for help today.