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People who were ashamed act very much like submissive animals, slumping their shoulders and narrowing their chest, the opposite of proud chest beating. This physical display of shame may be universal: It has been observed in a range of species and in both adults and children in many cultures. The scientists wanted to see if shameful body language correlated with mental and physical health and especially with successful sobriety four months later. But with those who did, there was an unmistakable connection between shame and relapse. The alcoholics who were most ashamed about their last drink—typically a humiliating experience—were more likely to relapse.

Their relapses were also more severe, involving much more drinking, and they were more likely to suffer other declines in health. In short, feelings of shame do not appear to promote sobriety or protect against future problematic drinking—indeed the opposite. Study in journal of Clinical Psychological Sciences. This is the first scientific evidence to bolster what alcoholism counselors and recovering alcoholics have long known: Shame is a core emotion underlying chronic heavy drinking.

The power of AA is that it offers something that replaces the negative emotion that most alcoholics know all too intimately. As a counselor, my specialty for thirty-five years has been working with adults who were abused as children. I have found that most of my clients suffer from debilitating shame: While everyone experiences shame from time to time, and many have issues related to shame, adult victims of childhood abuse suffer from shame more often and have far more issues related to shame than any other group of people. Victims of childhood abuse tend to feel shame because, as human beings, we want to believe that we have control over what happens to us.

When that is challenged by a victimization of any kind, we feel humiliated. We believe we should have been able to defend ourselves. This powerlessness leads to humiliation and to shame. Because substance abusers are already filled with shame it is very important that you do not add to that stockpile of shame if you can help it. Shaming your partner only serves to make him feel worse about himself. Since your goal is to support him, you want to do everything you can to help him feel better about himself, not the opposite.

Letting go of shaming behavior can be difficult because it probably has become a habit.

Table of Contents

It has also likely become a way for you to release your frustration and anger at his behavior. Once you take responsibility for releasing your anger in constructive ways it is an ongoing process, not a one-time thing you will find that you are less likely to want to shame your partner.

In order to break your habit of shaming your partner, begin to notice how often you shame him with statements such as:. You have absolutely no will power do you? God knows no other woman would put up with this kind of crap! One reason for your anger with your partner and your tendency to shame your partner is that you desire validation and appreciation for all you have suffered because of his substance abuse.

Unfortunately, you are not likely to get this kind of validation from your partner. First of all, he probably feels too defensive or too ashamed to give it to you. So it comes down to this: As well as being the most powerful way you can support your partner, compassion is also the most powerful tool you have for helping yourself as you take the role of supporter or collaborator. Self-compassion will help you to remain strong even in the most difficult of times. Most important, self-compassion will help motivate you to take care of yourself.

Kristin Neff, a professor of psychology at the University of Texas at Austin, is the leading researcher in the growing field of self-compassion. If we are to be self-compassionate, we need to give ourselves the same five gifts we offer to another person toward whom we are feeling compassionate. In other words, we need to offer ourselves the recognition, validation, and support we would offer a loved one who is suffering. You may have lost friends and money, your career may have suffered or you may have even lost a job because you have been so devastated by his actions.

Certainly your health has been affected since you have likely suffered both emotionally and physically. And it can also prevent you from being a compassionate collaborator for your partner. If you are a partner of someone who has a substance abuse problem you have suffered. And you deserve compassion for your suffering. Unfortunately, other people may not be very forthcoming when it comes to offering you this compassion.

And so the only compassion you may receive is the compassion you give yourself. A recent meta-analysis showed self-compassion to have a positive effect on depression, anxiety, and stress across twenty studies MacBeth and Gumley Gilbert and Procter suggest that self-compassion provides emotional resilience because it deactivates the threat system. Stopping to acknowledge your suffering with self-compassion is not the same as whining, experiencing self-pity, or feeling sorry for yourself.

When we are experiencing self-pity we tend to complain to ourselves and others about how bad a situation is and see ourselves as helpless to change it. There is often a bitter tone to our thoughts and feelings. Self-compassion comes from a more nurturing place inside us and can be comforting and validating. Self-compassion can lead to proactive behavior. I often find this to be the case with people who are currently being either emotionally or physically abused.

Once they acknowledge their suffering and allow themselves to feel and express their emotions because of it, they often feel more impetus to leave the relationship. Most of us were raised to just keep going in spite of difficulties. Self-compassion encourages us to begin to treat ourselves and talk to ourselves with the same kindness, caring, and compassion we would show a good friend or a beloved child. Just as connecting with the suffering of others has been shown to comfort and heal, connecting with our own suffering will do the same. If you are able to feel compassion toward others, you can learn to feel it for yourself; the following exercise will show you how.

This is the goal of self-compassion: In the following chapters we will offer you more in-depth self-compassion tools and strategies.

What to say to an addict in denial?

The more you work on releasing your stockpile of anger and the more you provide for yourself the compassion you so desperately need, the less you will need to bring things up from the past. And hopefully, the more you come to understand how damaging shaming a person can be, you will be less inclined to do so. The less inclined you will be to continually remind him of how much he has disappointed you, embarrassed you and hurt you and how he has ruined his life.

On the other hand, the more you treat your partner with compassion, the less defensive he will become. Respect and optimism have proven to lower defenses and get you on the same side, working together against the problem. He will then feel this more compassionate attitude and whether he understands it or not—he will feel more accepted and loved. Having the compassion is also the best thing. Although it will make you the weak but that is not a big deal.

Having the controlled compassion will help you to control you information. This world will improve only thru pure love, n not punishments. Compassion is the beginning of it. Read out the below source to know the difference among pity, kindness, love, n compassion This is great and really informative..


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I'll keep following your web and your article, thanks for sharing: Compassion coupled with accountability seems to be key to helping resolve addiction. It is a fine line with the abuse and boundary violations that seem to come hand in hand from an addict. How difficult it is to keep reaching out to them when the lies, anger, and pain seem to be all that comes from them. But this is exactly what an addict needs. Too bad we have to keep taking time for ourselves to heal, recuperate so we can come back to helping otherwise we would have resolved this long ago.

But at least we can come back. That is what matters. Noticing what we think leads us into noticing what we believe. This allows us to listen to what is going on without any creation of false memories. Then we can feel the emotion powering this limiting belief. If you want to change your feelings you have to feel your feelings.

Here is a short process that took me forever to figure out that guarantees change of any limiting belief we had programmed in to us. Sometimes this next step can be very touchy to people. I only mention it because it works. The example I like to start with is that forgiveness cures anger. If someone is angry and they forgive them then their anger dissolves away. It is not repressed or denied. It is simply gone.

Live a Sober Life Again - Call Now for Treatment Options.

It takes emotion to resolve emotion. This is the basis of gutap. And the best anger management there is around.

Signs Your Loved One is Addicted

And remember, forgiveness is not trust. Trust must be earned — forgiveness is only to free ourselves from being tied to them. False beliefs or negative programming simply has a couple of powerful negative emotions that keep the false concept controlling us. Dissolve them and the false belief is completely diminished. When someone is angry they naturally direct their feeling of forgiveness into their feeling of anger.

The two emotions must connect to be resolved. False beliefs though often have a couple of emotions that have to work together. Complicated but not impossible. Gutap — The three steps described: If you want to change your feelings you have to feel them. Everyone already knows this step. Find what the positive answer is that it actually wants you to know. What does your limited belief want you to know that is positive? What is the good thing it wants for you but trying in a negative way?

A slight shift on the insight people are seeking. The positive feelings changes it — not you. Hi everyone, I will forever be greatful to Doctor Zakuza for fixing my broken marriage after my husband left me for his mistress for 6 months. I never believed in spells until my friend introduced me to him. At first, I was skeptical about him because I heard a lots about false spell casters but I put my doubts behind me for i was desperate to get my husband back and I did according to what he instructed me to do. Now my husband is back just within 48 hours of contacting him.

I'm living happily with my husband again after 6 months of divorce and I will not rest till he's known all over the world. He or she loses interest in all else, their dreams go up in smoke. Marijuana addiction is a progressive illness often leading to addiction to other drugs, including alcohol. The lives, thinking and desires of marijuana addicts center around marijuana--scoring it, dealing it and finding ways to stay high. Addiction is a progressive, long-term continuing problem.

When an addict tries to stop using and fails because life without the drug is just too hard, that is addiction. Once an addict is convinced he or she cannot live without marijuana, the dependency becomes an obsession.

What to say to an addict in denial

When the addict uses even though he or she promised themselves they wouldn't, this is compulsion. It is the nature of addiction that addicts don't believe they are ill. We have found that addiction is a physical, mental and spiritual disease. The physical aspect is the compulsion—the inability to stop once we have started. The mental aspect is the obsession, or the overpowering desire to use, even when we are destroying our own lives and the lives of those we love. The spiritual aspect of the disease is our total self-centeredness.

We addicts in recovery have found, through the Twelve Steps, that we are each responsible for ourselves and our actions.

For the Loved Ones of Marijuana Addicts - Marijuana Anonymous

If a loved one helps divert a crisis for the addict, they take away the addict's opportunity to work it out, or fail. This will make it harder for the addict to perceive the problem and begin to seek the solution. As the addict approaches their bottom and their disease worsens, family members and friends have a tendency to enable the addict, allowing them to postpone the ultimate repercussions of their using. Understandably, loved ones try to ease the suffering the addict may be feeling because of loyalty, love, caring, and a sense of responsibility.

Family and friends may give money which likely goes to buying more marijuana , buy food, pay rent and bills, bail them out of jail, etc. By trying to save the addict from him or herself, you are doing both yourself and the addict a disservice. Addicts often try to manipulate loved ones through the use of guilt, fear, and anger. This is a very common tactic used both consciously and unconsciously by the addict to get what he or she wants by taking advantage of the emotions of those closest to him or her.

Once the addict stops using and begins the recovery process, don't expect that their faults and all the troubles of your shared lives will disappear. You might find, initially, exactly the opposite. Drug use was a coping mechanism for the addict. Don't expect that a dramatic positive personality change will immediately take place.

When a marijuana addict begins going to meetings, there may be interference and conflict with your normal living schedule, routines, and family obligations. This is where your compassion, patience, and encouragement will be called upon.


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The time spent in the past by the addict in the pursuit of getting and staying high may now be spent going to meetings, reading recovery literature, speaking on the phone with other MA members, writing, meditating, and praying. These activities are of paramount importance to the newly clean addict and your support will be of great value.