Dealing with guilt eating away at you

How do you deal with the guilt of what you’ve done while drunk/using? I’m only going on 2 days sober but the guilt of all the stupid stuff I’ve done is just eating away at me. That little voice is whispering to me to drink so I don’t feel so bad but then I’ll just end up doing something else to embarrass myself. Thank you in advance.

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Hey — usually anxiety etc is part of the early stages of recovery, which you’re in the thick of right now. This can cause you to put undue focus on stuff like this. Happens to me.

Try to remember that the past is the past. Remember your mistakes so you don’t make them again, use the memories as fuel to keep getting better, make ammends for the past mistakes if you can and haven’t done so already – its all you can do about them now.

Then, walk the walk. Live sober. Action speaks louder than words. I can promise one thing, drinking will only bring more problems, more regret, and more to be ashamed of and sorry for. Free of alcohol/drugs, you can live with pride, integrity, and no shame.

You got this!

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Right there with u. There is really no surefire way to tell someone how to deal with remorse, because so many of those feelings we experience are wrapped up in our own life stories and belief systems. Our upbringing, societal expectations and religious backgrounds and convictions all play a role in our own interpretations of what we should feel guilty about. I’m fairly sure there are only a few personality types in the world that don’t feel guilt over something, and those are the psychopathic people…so be thankful u have a sense of guilt, because it shows u care about people around you. The key is what to do with that guilt…only u can make that decision. I am not an advocate of spilling all of your wrongs out on a table for the world to see…for some this works and for some their religious convictions drive them toward that end. I feel like many times however, people do more damage with this approach, because what may seem to get the weight off of their shoulders, may actually only place that burden on someone else’s. If u absolutely need to talk, then an anonymous setting such as this forum is a great place, as is a therapist. I will give these two bits of advice, one of them I learned through this forum:

  1. Always fall forward…notice I didn’t say “fail forward” because failing has a sense of finality that doesn’t appeal to me. Fall forward, means u can get up and keep moving toward a better you. The past is in the past where it belongs.

  2. Don’t play victim to circumstances you created. That doesn’t mean don’t feel a sense of remorse, it means don’t wallow in your past offenses. You are alive this minute, right now, so move beyond the things u have done and strive to be better in this minute, for this moment of life.

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This is one quote that stuck since the beginning of my recovery " it doesnt matter who you used to be, what matters is who you’ve become" … dont live in the past or future. Live for today accomplishing that new sober life. Now i look back at the things i did while using as a bad experience in life. Its not what defines who i am today and that life is a wake up call for who i never wanna be again…

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There’s nothing we can do to change the past. All we can do is do the right thing today so will have a better tomorrow. I’ve found that going to AA, having a sponsor and working the steps has really taught me how to deal with the wreckage of my past

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That’s your anxiety in the early recovery, and your addictive brain trying to make you use again. Its hard but it will pass after few weeks or so. Occupy your mind with other stuff, like reading, cooking, anything you like. You can do this! Its part of the process :slight_smile:

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I totally hear what you are saying. I cried nonstop during my first two sober days, finally facing what my life had become.

In AA, one of the promises states, “We will not regret the past nor want to shut the door on it.”

When I finally quit drinking, I was absolutely consumed with shame. I felt like a fake, a fraud, a liar, and the biggest piece of trash on the planet. Working with my sponsor has allowed me to take responsibility for what I did, look at why it happened, and then make plans and use tools to never let those things happen again. I hate the things I do while drinking, but remembering them keeps me hard at work on getting better.

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Melissa, what you are feeling is completely normal at this stage of your recovery. You should be proud of yourself for having summoned the courage to stop. Do not look at this as you have to quit drinking / using forever, just look at it as you need to quit for the next 24 hours. Recovery is a one day at a time program. Please look up or purchase a copy of AA big book for yourself. The first 164 pages composes a great way to live life well lived. It worked for Bill W. and Dr. Bob. It will work for us too. God bless and have a great day my friend and above all stay safe and be kind to yourself.

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Thank you for all of the advice! This support is really helping me feel better at becoming sober. I’m doing my best to take it one day at a time and to figure out things to do to keep me busy. I got so lost with alcohol that I feel like I’m relearning how to live. I am very happy I found this community

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