Step 9: After Making Amends – Letting Go of Regret

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Contributor: Crystal Karges, MS, RDN, IBCLC Special Projects Coordinator at Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope

Working through the recovery process for addiction can be a challenging task, one that takes place gradually over time. There are often many decisions made when under the influence of drugs or alcohol that a person comes to regret once sober.

Old man with mustacheIt can be a humbling experience to work through the regret that you have experienced, to express remorse to those you may have hurt, and to accept responsibility for the mistakes you may have made in the past.

All of these steps are crucial aspects towards total healing and recovery, not just physically, but emotionally and psychologically as well.

Dealing with Regret

Even after making amends with people in your life who have been hurt by your addiction, it can be difficult to let go of the regret that you may be continuing to experience.

Perhaps you are experiencing guilt or shame from your past or are continuing to harbor regret for how you hurt someone in your life whom you care deeply about.

There may be some actions and decisions for which you are continuing to reap the consequences, and broken relationships often take time to heal. Making amends does not instantly heal relationships or restore trust, and this can be painful to wait for.

Forgive Yourself

An important aspect of healing is learning how to forgive yourself and ultimately let go of the regret that you might be experiencing. Continue to harbor and internalize regret and guilt can only lead to more complicated issues, such as anxiety, depression, and more.

man reading BibleIf you have been struggling with feelings of regret and guilt while in recovery from addiction, be sure to reach out to your addiction specialist for guidance on working through these difficult emotions.

Being able to process how you are feeling and being honest about where you stand in the process of making amends with others and those you love is a crucial aspect to continual healing.

Effectively dealing with your emotions with positive coping skills can help ensure that you are not falling back into destructive habits or behaviors that feed into your addiction.

Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!

Have you experienced feelings of regret in the process of making amends with loved ones in your recovery from addiction? If so, how did you effectively deal with and approach these emotions?

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About the Author: Crystal is a Masters-level Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) with a specialty focus in eating disorders, maternal/child health and wellness, and intuitive eating. Combining clinical experience with a love of social media and writing, Crystal serves as the Special Projects Coordinator for Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope, where her passion to help others find recovery and healing is integrated into each part of her work.

As a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor, Crystal has dedicated her career to helping others establish a healthy relationship with food and body through her work with EDH/AH and nutrition private practice.

The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective of addictions. These are not necessarily the views of Addiction Hope, but an effort to offer discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.

We at Addiction Hope understand that addictions result from a combination of environmental and genetic factors. If you or a loved one are suffering from an addiction, please know that there is hope for you, and seek immediate professional help.

Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on December 24, 2015
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