The American Psychological Association defines forgiveness as the process of recognizing and letting go of anger directed at someone who caused you pain. This anger can lead to emotional distress in the forms of guilt and resentment. Therefore, the ability to shake off the pain from your past is a central aspect of long-term treatment and sobriety. Forgiveness may be the path to healing and enhancing recovery, as being unable to let go of grudges can lead to relapses.
Sometimes, trauma, past abuse, or hurtful actions committed by others on the sufferer fuel an addiction. Forgiving a family member, friend, co-worker, or even a stranger of past offenses can release unhealthy emotions that have built up over time. It is even harder to forgive oneself for past behaviors and bad decisions relating to drug or alcohol addiction. However, harboring negative feelings such as anger and resentment may lead to stress and anxiety, which may cause physical issues such as high blood pressure and weakened immune systems. Therefore, holding on to these resentments is detrimental to recovery, and that’s where forgiveness comes in.
According to a study published by The National Center of Biotechnology Information, self-forgiveness is the most significant aspect among people seeking treatment for alcohol use disorders. Furthermore, the study found that forgiveness of others is also central to addiction recovery, as it allows for the development of compassion and a way to reestablish relationships. Negative emotions such as shame, anxiety, or guilt are harmful and detrimental when trying to forgive oneself and obtain recovery from addiction. Since recovery from addiction to drugs or alcohol is an opportunity to start anew, it is crucial to forgive oneself and others, so as not to harbor any negative emotions. This way, nothing and no one stands in the way of one’s long-lasting recovery.
Forgiveness is central to obtaining and maintaining recovery from addiction. Forgiving oneself is the most important step, followed by forgiving others. Harboring resentment and feelings of guilt are detrimental to recovery. Although it can seem unattainable at first, there is hope for a better and brighter future. Forgiveness can help pave the way to a path of healing. At Fort Worth Recovery, we offer a nurturing space to support clients on their road to long-lasting recovery. If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, call us today at 817-381-9741 or visit us online.