Will Everyone Always Think of Me as an Alcoholic?

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One tough part of recovery is the tendency to wonder whether friends, neighbors, colleague and family will always think of us as alcoholics. We may conjure images of people whispering: You know, she was a terrible alcoholic. Did you hear what she did to so and so, and Cinny’s Holiday party, well, she was completely out of control.

Making up stories about what other people think, keeps the focus off ourselves and our recovery. People can gossip and they can be cruel. We don’t need to be cruel to ourselves, or perpetuate the myth that we are bad. We have an insidious disease. We are in recovery. Good for us. Our job in recovery is to heal ourselves.

What often accompanies recovery is shame. Shame puts a serious clamp on our self esteem. It can cause anxiety and depression and impair our ability to connect with others. In short it makes us feel terrible. We might not even realize our shame in recovery may be combined with traumas and difficulties from the past. It’s a good idea to look into our past with the help of a therapist. Looking into our past may bring up difficult memories. The work can be tough and depressing, and it is a window towards freedom of mind.

How can we help ourselves to be free of negative self-talk and shame? In recovery, we learn to take responsibility for ourselves. A large part of our responsibility is learning to forgive ourselves and practicing self-compassion. One thing we can do is befriend our negative thoughts. Every time we hear our inner shame committee wondering if people are still thinking of us as an alcoholic, we thank them. Thanks for the information. This simple method puts us in charge and puts the focus back onto the committee. Thanks for the information, now I can be kind to me.

In addition to working with a therapist we can do research on our own. John Bradshaw, is a long-time, well-know speaker and counselor in the world of addiction recovery. He wrote Healing the Shame that Binds You. While this book was written many years ago, it is still a classic we should consider reading to help us understand more about ourselves and the nature of family dynamics and shame. In the book, John Bradshaw wrote, “Hell, in my opinion, is never finding your true self and never living your own life or knowing who you are.”

 

Evidence-based and built with passion. Our primary purpose at The Kimberly Center is to assist those who are suffering in finding recovery. Restoring a healthier, happier, more productive life, graduates of our program find themselves free from substance dependence and destructive behavior. Call us today for information: 855-4-KCENTER (855-452-3683)

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