Letting Shame Stand In The Way of Recovery
Human beings place a lot of emphasis on maintaining appearances or keeping up a facade that everything is OK. Ignoring the realities of life can, in a sense, become habit-forming. We care about what others think, or about what we think they might think.
Living authentically with family members and friends is hard, but it takes even more of an effort to disguise our reality from others. One’s attempts to do so can have a dangerously caustic effect on not only him or herself but their family, too. Given that there are millions of people with alcohol and substance use disorders in the U.S., we know there are countless parents that understand what it feels like to downplay a child’s addiction. These parents realize how shame kept them from seeking help for a family member.
A couple of years ago a mother decided to share her thoughts on the subjects of shame, stigma, and addiction. She talked about how they pertained to her own life and that of her child who became addicted to prescription opioids; shame kept her from seeing the big picture.