After years of substance use, your internal perspective might have adopted feelings of shame, guilt, humiliation, and no self-worth. Additionally, such thoughts and feelings could project upon the people and the environment around you. This thinking-frame can convince you that you can either not be helped or do not deserve help. However, understand that these are all feelings of humiliation. Overcoming humiliation and finding the forgiveness that thrives in humility is essential in the recovery process.

Humiliation day is an excellent opportunity to look within and confront your thoughts grounded in negative perspectives. It will serve not only your character and internal peace but also your recovery. Understand that humiliation is an encompassing term with multiple colors such as guilt, shame, and self-betrayal. Addressing these feelings will allow you the ability to forgive yourself and others. Such an endeavor takes work, but treatments, therapies, and home practices help you on this journey. Here are some ways you can begin to shift your perspective from the clutches of humiliation.

Forgiveness the Goal

If you have been managing recovery or are in early recovery, you likely understand how uncomfortable feelings of guilt, shame, and self-betrayal are. Somehow you feel that you are continuously breaking all of these rules that go against your moral code. It is a hard cycle to break. These feelings gnaw at you, as though you always have someone whispering in your ear, reminding you of what you did wrong. However, the person whispering is you. The way to restore resolve is by learning to forgive yourself.


Remember to own what you have done. Taking accountability helps you realize that some of your actions will have consequences. You might have let yourself and your recovery down by relapsing, or you might have said something hurtful to a friend or a loved one. Taking accountability will help to shed light on why you acted or thought a certain way. At True Recovery, we utilize the power of mindfulness to aid in discovering the underlying issues connected to how you feel and react in times when negative thoughts and feelings manifest. Rather than hunting for excuses or justifications for your behavior, mindfulness helps you become aware of your surroundings and triggers that directly influence your behavior. 

Find Opportunity

Believe it or not, every mistake you make thrives opportunity. While you might resent yourself for making mistakes, understand that mistakes are necessary to life and recovery because mistakes exist to teach us. The real effort is to focus on the positives after making a mistake. You might use mindfulness, mediation, exercise, or hobbies to help you process your thoughts after making a mistake. The goal is to reach a place where you can realize why you made a mistake. For example, perhaps you set too many goals for yourself. Maybe you tried to mend a relationship before having all the tools necessary to do it—examining what you have learned and how the experience made you stronger as a person should always be the takeaway. However, it would be best to not retreat to feeling humiliated or take it out on others when you have made a mistake. 

Next, use the lessons you have learned to plan for future goals. It is more than just the intention to do better. Look for ways to ensure that you don’t make the same mistake again. For example, suppose you are on the verge of encountering a triggering experience. In that case, you might turn to art or music, or writing to distract your mind and channel any potential energy into positive energy. Stay in tune with your thoughts through meditation, mindfulness, yoga, and other exercises. Being aware of your thoughts helps to defend against falling back into old ways. 

Make Amends

Whether you are in recovery, going through a 12-Step program, or have gone through treatment, you likely understand that asking for forgiveness is an essential part of the recovery process. In relationship to observing humiliation day, you can recognize this as simply exercising humility. If you have wronged or hurt a friend or loved one, try to understand why you acted this way and how it hurt this person. Thinking about your actions and how you have grown from them helps you attain humility. Remember, you can only offer amends; how the person reacts is up to them. Try to curb your expectations in case this person does not accept your apology. All you can do is apologize and move forward. When this person is ready, they will come to you. 

Forgive Yourself

When you don’t forgive yourself, the mistakes you make can continue to reverberate in your life. Nothing good can come from continuing to remain in a disempowering self-punishment (National Center for Biotechnology Information). Use the opportunity of humiliation day to tell yourself that you forgive yourself for the feelings associated with humiliation. Remember, there is nothing weak about showing vulnerability and humility. These are considered attractive character traits and are beneficial to lasting recovery.


Humiliation can damage your self-worth and the self-worth of others. It is a nasty cycle to have to keep repeating. Being governed by humiliation steals away the quality of your life and diminishes the capacity of your self-worth. Use Humiliation Day to confront your feelings associated with humiliation and work on yourself to overcome them. Remember, no matter where you are at in recovery, you are never alone. You should always seek help when you feel that you are struggling. It could be seeking treatment, counseling, or therapy. At True Recovery, our model meets you where you’re at in your recovery journey; this way, we can discover the best treatment to suit your needs. Given the current pandemic, we also have among the top telehealth services in Southern California to continue to provide the best care for you. Never wait to get help. Call us at True Recovery today at (866) 399-6528.