All alcoholics and addicts feel shame. It’s impossible to avoid, and while shame is painful and can keep many of us stuck in the throes of addiction, there is hope. We do not have to be defined by our shame, and indeed learning tools to cope with shame and learn and grow as people is an integral part of recovery.
To begin with, though, it’s important to define shame. One way to do this is to clarify the difference between shame and guilt. Guilt is feeling badly about something we’ve done, and shame is feeling badly about who we are. Guilt is based on actions, and shame is built on feelings. Another way to put it is this: When we feel guilty we feel we made a mistake. When we feel shame we feel we are a mistake.
In this show, we will talk about building tools to identify shame, build awareness of it, talk about the importance of reaching out to reduce the power shame holds over you, and discuss the power of story and voice in reducing and even eliminating the hold shame has in your life.