Addiction can often cause you to act in ways that you later regret; this includes hurting yourself and others. These regrets might also range from minor instances to more severe regrets. Working to repair relationships with yourself and others is among the most common reasons many people seek help. While the process of early recovery is challenging, among these challenges is finding out that you have quite a few apologies to make.
It might be complicated knowing where to start beginning the apology process. You might feel intimidated or even embarrassed to approach apologizing to yourself and others. Forgiveness is an act of humility like no other and can be one of the most freeing actions you will ever do for your recovery and your future. Here are some ways to better prepare yourself for learning how to forgive and convey remorse.
Mean Your Apology
If you have ever had to say sorry because a parent or teacher instructed you to, you might have felt in these times that you weren't actually sorry. Due to this, you might have developed the perception that saying “sorry” is an empty formality. However, a genuine apology means much more.
Recovery is about taking time to sit with your thoughts and look at your past actions to help shape who you want to become in the future. Part of this process should lend genuine insight to something you did that caused yourself or another to suffer, and therefore regret. In early recovery, it might take some time to develop the feelings attached to the act. Understand that this is normal because you are also reconnecting with emotions that you might not have felt in a long time. If you don't initially feel sincere in saying you're sorry, maybe save the apology later when you can attach honest feelings of remorse.
Admit Your Mistakes and Their Effects
When you express feelings of remorse to yourself or another, be honest about how it made you feel about hurting someone like this. It is essential to show that you understand where you went wrong and understand why your actions caused such pain. Doing this helps you develop empathy and begin thinking about others.
If you are struggling to establish empathy, consider the hurtful situation from the perspective of the one you hurt. Merely saying “I'm sorry” might not express to another that you are genuinely sorry, so try to convey that you understand where you went wrong. Additionally, doing so helps you realize your mistakes, decreasing the likelihood of the mistake happening again in the future.
Don't Over Explain
Following the apology with an explanation might send mixed signals to the person you apologize to and seek forgiveness. Over-explaining might come off as sounding like a justification for the behavior and therefore stand to reinforce that such action is bound to repeat. Indeed, there were reasons you behaved the way you did, but this is not the focus of the apology. It is about recognizing how you hurt yourself or another; it is not about whether you were justified in your actions at the time.
A genuine apology is about taking responsibility for the fact that you hurt another. Taking responsibility means expressing remorse and demonstrating a willingness to behave differently in the future. Apologizing for your actions helps to teach you about your mistakes, leading to empowering growth in recovery.
Understand that taking responsibility for one's actions and apologize is essential to recovery. It helps you look at your behaviors and work toward correcting them. For example, if you have stolen in the past, you might commit yourself to volunteer work. Deciding to be accountable for your past actions shows how motivated you are to sustaining a life of recovery and a new way of living and thinking. Your willingness to commit to the process decreases the likelihood of making the same mistake again.
Finally, no recovery journey begins without you first needing to look inward to forgive yourself. You can't control how another will respond to an apology, and you need to be ready for this person to reject it. Learning to forgive yourself first can help prepare you for situations where others might not be ready to forgive you. However, knowing that you are making a valid attempt enables you to accept their rejection and keep moving forward, no matter how hard. Forgiving yourself helps you understand where you are in life and recovery and acts as a compass, which will always steer you toward recovery. Always understand that your actions come from a place of sincerity.
Strong recovery is about pursuing a life of connection, purpose, and meaning. With this life will come the need to take responsibility for how your behavior affects yourself and others. At START UP RECOVERY, we provide a compassionate staff that will offer you the support needed to make amends in your recovery. Above all, your connection with yourself, others, and sobriety possess the keys to lasting success in recovery. Forging strong relationships helps you continue to grow trust within and with others. Our comfortable, beach-side, and judgment-free location will ensure you that you are getting the care and inspiration you need to transform yourself from within. With 24/7 admissions, we are always ready to help you act toward recovery. It all begins with taking the first step. To get the most out of your life of recovery, reach out to START UP RECOVERY today by calling us at (310) 773-3809.