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How Can I Finally Let Shame Go for Good?

How Can I Finally Let Shame Go for Good?

The concepts of guilt and shame are closely linked. There are some differences, but it really boils down to how a person feels about themselves, particularly after a challenge such as addiction. Recovery is a time to loose the chains and finally embrace freedom from shame, which can hinder recovery. Find out how to do this and start to move forward.

Shame Game

There is nothing inherently wrong with shame. Shame actually is a natural response to feeling bad about something we might have done wrong. The idea is that shame is a motivator for people to get on with their lives after addiction, but it does not always work that way. Sometimes it works in quite the opposite fashion and it turns into a prideful, vengeful way of thinking which keeps building on itself, never really producing anything helpful. The following are five reasons why releasing shame can help people reclaim their lives:


  • Shame Fuels Addiction. Shame is born out of a sense of unworthiness and inferiority. It can lead to hopelessness. If a person feels hopeless, what reason does that person have to pursue recovery since nothing is worthwhile. Shame can make a person feel less worthy of seeking help, pushing them further into the spiral of addiction.
  • Shame Increases Relapse Risk. Feelings of shame about the past are associated with an increased risk of relapse. Shame does more harm than good and pushes them to avoid dealing with addiction head on.
  • Shame is Unproductive. Shame is more of a conclusion of ‘I am bad,’ while guilt is more of an acknowledgement. With guilt, a person can accept personal responsibility for what happened which opens up the opportunity for making amends. Shame is limiting and does not support personal empowerment.
  • Shame and Resentment. Shame is an ineffective motivator in that it simply does not work. It is a combination of failure and pride, which seeks to be perfect at all times. Too much pride can have control over a person, zapping their energy. Releasing shame and pride can help provide more energy and peace for the journey ahead.


It is not easy to let go of shame. It can help release stress for the work of admitting a problem exists but addiction is about more than shame. It is also about making better choices, finding better people to spend time with in sobriety and changing personal outlook on life. It has to do with a person’s choices to release themselves of the toxic beliefs that build up over time and admitting the powerlessness over addiction and seeking help for the recovery journey ahead.

Serenity supports your journey with myriad programs and resources designed to help you get clean and sober. Whatever it is you need, we will help you discover the best pathway to recovery for you. Call us 24/7 at our toll-free number: 844-339-6964