Shame. When thinking of the word shame, most often the words “toxic” and “dangerous” don’t accompany it. Shame, however, is much more than passing embarrassment. Shame sticks. It changes the way we think about ourselves, sneaking its way into our internal mental programming and making permanent adjustments. If left untreated, shame becomes a major risk factor in the development of substance addiction. The NCAD seeks to teach clients shame resilience.
Of course, sometimes shame is necessary: it acts as an agent of change and triggers our desire to correct our wrongdoings. Perhaps we felt shame about the way we acted in an argument and moving forward we are reminded to act differently. Sometimes, though, shame can spiral out of control and trap us in what experts call a “shame web” or a “shame spiral.” Avoid it as we may, the thoughts must be addressed, eventually. There comes a time to forgive yourself and move on, but if the shame is intense enough, it can be extremely difficult to get back on the horse—you’ve already developed a sense of unbelonging. These feelings of self-loathing can quickly turn us toward finding some kind of relief from ourselves, to convince us that our terrible thoughts aren’t true.
It’s a painful place to be, but you can’t seem to escape the endless cycle of darkness. You’re simply stuck. Finally, this is where drugs and alcohol come in: to numb us from the pain. However, while you are using your drugs to ignore the shame, rather than conquering it, the shame net only fuzes to you more and more, further isolating you from the outside world.
Whatever the source of your shame may be, and whether or not your shame is justified, one thing is for certain: the only sensible direction to move is through it. There are a number of healthy ways to process shame-based trauma.
Finding a trauma counselor or a therapist who specializes in trauma treatment is a great way to start. If you’ve recognized you’re in pain and you’re ready to work through it, now is the time to begin the process. If drugs and alcohol have already entered the equation, it is never too late to get help.
The Last Resort understands the pain shame can cause, and the endless cycle drugs and alcohol create when we try to treat shame on our own. Our staff is trained in working through trauma, identifying shame, and helping you eliminate this pain from your life. Call us today for more information on how our programs can bring peace to your life (512)-360-3600