Forgiving Yourself in Recovery - Banyan Treatment Center

Forgiving Yourself in Recovery


Recovery is filled with many different emotions, and anger can be a stifling one.

If you are angry with yourself after finding sobriety, you need to learn how to forgive yourself for your past. Staying angry after completing a Florida drug and alcohol treatment program will only sabotage your long-term success.

Staying angry can leave you at risk of cardiovascular issues while forgiveness for yourself or another person can mitigate the damage caused by anger. [1] From a personal growth standpoint, holding onto anger will prevent you from growing and overcoming the numerous factors that contributed to your active addiction. Forgiving yourself is about letting go of the past and moving forward. Here are tips on forgiving yourself and letting go of anger in recovery.

How to Forgive Yourself

Forgiving others can be challenging but forgiving ourselves is even tougher. Here are tips on practicing self-forgiveness following addiction treatment:

  • Make amends. Making amends with those you have hurt during your active addiction can help when it comes to forgiving yourself. When you realize that those you love the most have forgiven you, it will be easier to forgive yourself.
  • Be remorseful, but do not beat yourself up emotionally. Remorse is a powerful approach to forgiveness in recovery. Studies show that being remorseful, rather than condemning yourself, improves behavior. [2] The guilt you are feeling should only help to fuel positive changes in your life, it should not make you feel worse.
  • Practice empathy. Are you empathetic to the struggles of those you have hurt? Empathy for those harmed by your behaviors and empathy for yourself are valuable to self-forgiveness. [3]
  • Meditate. Meditation is a powerful tool for quelling anger, muting self-doubt, and improving forgiveness in recovery.

Forgiving yourself in recovery can be difficult and letting go of the negative emotions associated with your addiction can be tough. But it is possible to let go and truly forgive yourself so you can move forward with long-term recovery.

Call 888-280-4763 to learn more about effective approaches to recovery.


  1. International Journal of Psychophysiology – Forgiveness, physiological reactivity and health: The role of anger
  2. Self and Identity – Self-forgiveness versus excusing: The roles of remorse, effort, and acceptance of responsibility
  3. Greater Good Magazine – The Healthy Way to Forgive Yourself
Alyssa who is the National Director of Digital Marketing, joined the Banyan team in 2016, bringing her five-plus years of experience. She has produced a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. Through strategic marketing campaign concepts, Alyssa has established Banyan as an industry leader and a national household name.

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