Shame is the motor behind compulsive behaviour.
Shame. Even the word is stark. When we feel shame, we feel utterly worthless, not because of what we’ve done, but because of who we think we are. We think we are unlovable, incapable of giving love. The more our addiction progressed, the more out of control and powerless we felt. That’s when we found shame waiting in the chaos. We wanted to be invisible, to disappear.
But there was something we wanted more: a way out. We have found it by hanging on to the knowledge that we have dignity because we have life. It was given to us by our Higher Power who loves us unconditionally. We no longer need to feel shame because we no longer need to use people or let ourselves be used. Instead, we live in grace and light of recovery, with dignity and in peace.
What counteracts shame? Honesty about my feelings, boundaries, living in the present, getting out of my self-absorption. These are how I can take care of myself. Above all, gentleness and self-forgiveness will restore my emotional balance.