Looking back on what you might have done or said whilst in your addiction can be tough. You might feel nervous, embarrassed, or even ashamed. But remember, the things you did during those tough times don't define who you really are or show what you want to be like. It’s important to understand that addiction is a complicated issue influenced by lots of things like your body, your friends, and your mind.

Sometimes, when people are trying to address their addiction, others might not get it. They might think it's just a choice or a weakness, which can make the person feel bad about themselves. This feeling is called shame. It's like carrying a big, heavy burden, making you feel like you're not good enough or like you did something wrong. This shame can make it hard to get help or talk about what you're going through because you're scared of being judged. But it's important to know that addiction is a tough thing to deal with, and it's not something to be ashamed of. Everyone deserves some support and understanding while they're trying to get recovery.

What really matters is being kind to yourself. Realising how much effort and strength it takes to focus on getting well is something to be proud of. This journey of change, shaped by your own experiences, equips you to support and encourage others who are facing similar challenges. By joining in activities like support groups, helping other people going through what you've been through (peer mentoring), or raising money for recovery services, you're not just helping yourself; you're also passing it forward to others.

And remember to talk about your feelings. Recovery is about building back the connections that addiction tried to break. Reach out and rebuild relationships. Every conversation, every shared moment, is a step toward a healthier, more connected life.


        I.            Know that having an addiction isn’t your fault, it is an illness, not a choice.

      II.            Get support from someone who understands, they can help you to figure out why you needed that substance or behaviour to cope with life.

    III.            Listen to a therapist’s advice, who will teach you ways to feel better about yourself.

    IV.            Treat yourself kindly, like a friend that is under pressure.  It is okay not to get it right all the time and you need to forgive yourself.

      V.            Being part of a recovery community will help you feel less alone and more accepted and understood.

    VI.            Be proud of the journey of recovery you have taken, that is a strength and to be celebrated.

  VII.            Help others will make you feel better about yourself, particularly supporting others in their recovery journey will give you a sense of purpose.

VIII.            Tell your story either in a written form or artistically, because seeing how far you have come will give you time to reflect.

    IX.            Stay away from people and places that incite feelings of shame.

At Living Room, we offer free, time-unlimited group therapy for people and their families living with addiction in Hertfordshire. We have hubs in Stevenage, St Albans, and Watford.

If anything in this article strikes a chord with you, know that we are here to help. You can call us for a chat on 0300 365 0304 or read more about what we do and self-refer via our website.