Forgiveness In Addiction Recovery

People that have a history of addictive behavior typically have very deep rooted issues in their lives that have not been resolved. These issues may include living in terrible family situations, parents that were not abusive but just not there, or some type of sexual or emotional abuse as children or young adults. This is true in all types of addiction from love additions through to alcohol and drug addictions.

Often the person that is abusing any type of substance or behavior is doing so because of a need to fill a void or to fill an emptiness that they feel internally. Alcohol, drugs or addictive behaviors like pornography, being online or even shopping all help to distract us and prevent us from dwelling on the real issues that are motivating our anger and self-loathing. For many people these negative emotions have come to define them in every sense of the word.

The only way to get past this is to give up that negativity, anger, blame and hurt and forgive those that have created the emotional disconnect in your life. This means seeing yourself as a whole person with options and not as a person that is lacking because of another’s actions and behavior.

Forgiveness of others, and most importantly of self, is critical for recovery. It allows us to clear the negativity out of our life and bring in the positive energy of the world around us.

In essence, forgiveness will:

1.     Strengthen your energy by letting the negative thoughts you have about yourself slip away to be replaced by positive, healing and supportive thoughts.

2.    Allow you to stop blaming and shaming yourself and let go of the victim mentality. This in turn allows you can see yourself as a survivor and a sober, happy and successful person, not a victim of someone else’s beliefs and negativity.

3.     Build your positive energy banks so you are able to project that energy into everything that you do. In turn the Universe will send that energy back in the form of opportunities, positive events and positive people in your life.

Forgiveness is difficult, but it is a key part of healing emotionally. Working with a counselor, therapists or coach on forgives for self and others is a true gift you can give yourself in your quest for change.

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Sherry Gaba

About Sherry Gaba

Sherry Gaba, LCSW, is a licensed psychotherapist and life coach who has helped hundreds of people cope with lifelong addictions, including substance abuse, shopping, gambling, food, sex and love, co-dependency, eating disorders, depression, anxiety, single parenting and divorce. Sherry appeared on Celebrity Rehab 3, 4, and 5.   She also facilitated life coaching on their subsequent spin off Sober House and Celebrity Rehab’s Sex Addiction. During filming of the series, Sherry used her trademark sensitivity and compassion to help troubled cast members as they transitioned into their new sober lives with psychotherapy and life coaching tips.  Sherry most recently appeared on CNN Headline News as a guest expert, as well as Inside Edition, where she spoke about Mackenzie Phillip’s who was on Celebrity Rehab 3.  In addition, she appeared on KTLA Channel 5 as an expert on eating disorders and Fox San Diego News, Better TV, WPIX New York, CNN Prime News, Issues with Jane Velez Mitchell on HLN, Showbiz Tonight, and E!News discussing Celebrity Rehab and Teen Mom on MTV.  Sherry’s book, “The Law of Sobriety” from HCI Publications is about recovery from addictions and alcoholism and was published in September 2010.  Sherry has also been published in Cosmopolitan Magazine, Women’s World, Los Angeles Times Blog, New York Post, The Huffington Post, Hollywood Life, Elle On-line, E! On-line, and the New York Daily News.  She has also been a guest with Martha Stewart, Jay Thomas, and Judith Regan on Sirius XM Radio.  Sherry also blogs on Beliefnet.com, Counselor Magazine, and Renew Magazine.  In addition she just joined CBS Sky Radio and hosts “A Moment of Change,” a show on self discovery and positive transformation.