The guilt that goes along with addiction can be overwhelming. The guilt started out in high school for this former addict. He was a standout athlete who never felt good about his accomplishments. Headlines for him in the local newspapers seemed to fuel his guilt. His family and friends knew that he was regularly experimenting with drugs and alcohol. They did not though know the extent of his addiction. He would often use by himself and lie about it. This type of behavior led him to believe he was a worthless human being. Things on the outside might have looked okay to some but on the inside his addiction was killing him.
Later in life his addiction would continue to define him as a bad person despite being a very good employee. A recent article discusses how easily an addiction can start and eventually down the human spirit. When someone has a substance addiction they tend to go to any lengths to keep it a secret. But there will always be times when it’s impossible to cover all our tracks. And when we get caught the feelings of shame and remorse are horrible. It’s like a child lying for the first time. The child knows what they are doing is wrong but believe the alternative (i.e.punishment) is not any better. This creates a sense of conflict within oneself and all the bad emotions that go along with making such choices.
Treatment helped him understand that he was a good person who suffered from a disease.
So, the good news is that if we get help and stop our addiction there will be nothing to hide. This former addict had a profound sense of relief when he stopped drinking and drugging. As he got more recovery time under his belt he started feeling good again about his achievements. The addiction program helped him understand that he was a good person who suffered from a disease. He finally felt worthy and good about himself again!