(Disclaimer: This transcript is using AI technology. Please excuse any errors.)
Welcome to the Atheists in Recovery Podcast, where we talk about finding hope in recovery. And now your host, Dr. Adina Silvestri
Adina Silvestri 0:11
Hola Atheists in Recovery, and welcome to Episode 98 of the Atheists in Recovery podcast. And today is a solo episode. And we're talking about three tips on how to overcome guilt, shame and regret in early recovery. So before we jump in, I want to give you a framework on how I define these three emotions as I see them. And so guilt for me is I did something wrong, no, my actions or behaviors. I own this, I did something wrong and shame. Shame is something that I study pretty often in the practice, and to break it down into a couple of sentences. You know, there's something wrong with me, in my practice, people come in, eyes down, head down. They don't want to be seen, they want to flee. And the word itself comes from Old English, and it means to cover so it's very much a hidden effect. And it's a blanket for all the other emotions. And so once you can actually identify the shame, things get a lot easier, and recognize it and be okay with it. As much as you can be right, regret. So regret is if I could only change my past behaviors, then there would be a better outcome. And I hear that I hear all three of these a lot in early recovery. And so let's talk about how some tips and how we could overcome these. And then I'm going to give you a little bonus tip at the end. So stay tuned for that. Number one, increase your self-forgiveness, in order to walk through any difficult emotion self forgiveness needs to be a part of that toolkit. You know, we all do things that we've regretted at times. When in the early stages of recovery, these feelings of regret, shame and guilt can be amplified. So we have to learn to love all the parts of ourselves. Even the unflattering ones is one of my favorites. Buddhist teachers, jack kornfield once said, forgive me for not having a different past, what kind of life man I have if I was as devoted to shifting my inner landscape as I was to my external environment. We all have light and dark aspects of ourselves, we have to learn to accept and love all of them. And if you need a little inspiration, you can listen to my Star Wars Episode, Episode 25. Learn how to find the force in recovery. And I'll link to that in the show notes number to increase your connections. spiritually, emotionally somatically. I hear pretty often it's hard to see oneself in a positive light. Because our thoughts can be brutal. And who are we to argue with our brain? Well, you came to the right place. I will argue for you. If you feel you can't be a sleuth slayer and figure out where these thoughts are coming from, then you need someone on the outside to help you. It's just that basic. Increase your connections. Find a mentor, ask your loved ones for help. Go to your clergy. That's how you find help in solace, or find a therapist. Now there's a definite neuro physiological aspect to addiction and there's definitely a psychological aspect as well. So Connect. therapists are great for calling bullshit on your thoughts. Or at least this therapist is really good at it. He just asked my clients and meetings aren't the best place sometimes to go deep with these emotions. Sometimes there's just not enough time. And you know, you really want somebody that has a bit of background in addiction to really lead you to a place of healing. Number three, increase your resilience. And I like to think of resilience as just bouncing back like a rubber ball. There is a great TED talk on resilience, and I'm gonna link to it in the show notes. But just to summarize with Dr. Lucy Hone says in the episode she really explains resilience in depth. This is what she studied her entire life and she discusses three strategies that she's relied upon and as you conducted a self experiment.
And so number one is to know that suffering is a part of life. The question is not Why me? But why not me? That's huge. Why not me? Am I so special that nothing bad should ever happen to me. So people with greater resilience, they ask that question, why not me, they accept that suffering will occur, they don't like it, they don't invite it in, but they accept it. Number two, carefully choose where you're directing your attention. Focus on things that you can change to let go of the things that you cannot change. And Dr. Lucy also talks about practicing benefit finding, to find things that you are grateful for this is really great. And I think that it can be even a part of your journaling routine, I know that I do this, at the end of my journaling entries, I'll usually put some things that I'm grateful for, at the end. And sometimes you really have to dig deep, guys, I'm not gonna lie. So if you're having a tough go of it, if, if life just has been particularly cruel to you recently, you're going to have to really dig deep. And sometimes it's just looking for the beauty looking for anything. You know, beauty in the environment. Kind face a friendly gesture from a stranger, I mean, anything you could think of three, ask yourself whether your current behaviors are harmful or helpful to you. And this is good. And I use this a lot in the practice. You know, if you're looking at photos of a lost loved one, or if, you know, there was an end to a relationship that you're particularly grieving and having a hard time with, you know, ask if it's helping you or harming you during these behaviors. Looking at these photos, is it helping you or harming you? I love that. And you can use that in so many different ways. You know, you could use it, if you're getting ready for a big job promotion, and you know, your thoughts are full of failure. You're trying to make a in any realm really jobs, personal life professional life, you can really ask those questions. Is this helping you or harming you? And, you know, just to kind of talk a bit more about these emotions, we use guilt, shame and regret, as motivation to increase your resilience. You can make peace with your past and then create a future self in a life that's too amazing to ever want to step away from. And to go back to resilience. You if you slip, you measure your progress, not by whether you've fallen or not. But how well you bounce back from the fall. You know, that's where the real strength lies. How well did you do and bouncing back? Number four, bonus. What you're feeling is not fat. And I know that's sometimes hard for us to believe. But you know, our thoughts are not who we are. We're more than our thoughts. We're more than our actions. We're more than that hole in the middle of your face that consumes food and drink. We're more than that. And so these theories, I like to call them theories need to be investigated. And Episode 52 drinking and anxiety what's the connection explains a process that I use in order to investigate thoughts it's called rain. So definitely check that out and I'll link to it in the show notes. But you know, sober life means feeling all the emotions, you know, whereas before you you masked them, you know you known to the map but now is several life means feeling all the emotions and in early recovery that can be very triggering. Good and bad. Knowing that by increasing your tolerance, you will begin to live a life that's bigger and better than you've ever imagined. Alright guys, so that concludes the three tips plus one bonus tip on how to overcome guilt, shame and regret in early recovery.
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In today’s solo episode, I outline 3 tips on how to overcome guilt, shame and regret in early recovery. A sober life means feeling all the emotions and in early recovery that can be very triggering. Let’s start our show with how I define guilt, shame & regret.