One of the great challenges in drug and alcohol addiction recovery is the shame we feel when we consider all that we have lost to addiction, and how we have hurt those we love. Facing up to and feeling legitimate remorse for past mistakes can be very healthy, especially when this feeling motivates us to make amends and change our lives for the better. But, when healthy remorse turns into Toxic Shame, this dark feeling can actually drive us back to addiction. Healthy remorse says, “I have made a mistake.” Toxic shame on the other hand tells us, “I AM a mistake.”

Remember, what you “do” does not determine your innate value and worth. Yes, the poor choices we make in pursuing addiction bring severe consequences and pain. And yes, we must consistently engage in the enormous work of recovery to reclaim our lives. BUT, self-flogging, self-loathing and self-hatred will only keep us down and increase the odds that we will return to old unwanted behaviors. So remember, YOU ARE SOMEBODY, ‘CAUSE GOD DON’T MAKE NO JUNK!”