Cirque Lodge > Blog > All Posts > Learning How To Forgive Yourself in Early Recovery

Guilt and shame can be compelling and destructive emotions. Although guilt can be useful in acknowledging any wrongs, it can inhibit your life and self-esteem. It can also leave you feeling like you are not making any progress. It's time to learn to forgive yourself.

Although forgiveness is a simple concept to understand, it can be challenging to put into practice. However, forgiveness can be incredibly freeing and powerful. Learning to forgive yourself may take time, but little by little, it will become easier and will help you to develop self-confidence once again. Forgiveness will also enable you to strengthen and reestablish broken relationships.

A day dedicated to thinking about and acting out of kindness, World Kindness Day takes place on November the 13th. With this in mind, now is a great time to begin being kind to yourself and those around you.

Some Ways To Start Forgiving Yourself

Spreading kindness and learning how to forgive yourself in early recovery starts by being kind to yourself. Here are some ways to start forgiving yourself.

Practice Gratitude

Practicing gratitude has many health benefits, such as lowering stress levels, enhancing moods, and offering a more positive outlook on life. Practicing gratitude can also strengthen relationships between yourself and those around you.

You can start small. Even just noticing the feeling of the sun on your skin or a smile from a stranger will help you begin to cultivate a gratitude practice. Building this up little by little will help you develop a more positive mindset. Gradually, you will feel yourself being kinder to your past and current self.

Accept the Past

This can be a challenging step, but accepting the past is essential if you are to heal and forgive yourself. There are many reasons why people act in specific ways. Although you may have done or said things you are not proud of, this doesn’t make you a bad person. It just makes you a human being who, like everyone else, makes mistakes.

It is important to take responsibility for your past actions. Doing so will enable you to move on and forgive yourself. Accepting the past and realizing that the future is in your control will help you understand that you have the power to change, be kinder to yourself, and forgive yourself in early recovery.


Journaling can be a great way to note how you are feeling and untangle some of your thoughts. Journaling can also help you reflect on good and bad days. Doing so will help you establish and take note of any negative patterns or thoughts you may have.

You could also try writing a gratitude letter to someone who you appreciate. This will help you feel good about yourself. It will simultaneously make the recipient feel good.

Fix Relationships and Right Any Wrongs

During your addiction, your relationships with people may have crumbled. You may also have some regrets when considering your actions towards your friends and family members. Apologizing and slowly reestablishing these relationships will help you forgive yourself in early recovery and see that the future can be different from the past.

It may happen slowly, but showing your commitment to righting wrongs, proving that you are willing to change, and being genuine about change will help make self-forgiveness feel achievable as you take active steps forward.

Be Patient 

Recovery is a lifelong journey. It won’t always feel easy to forgive yourself for things you may have done in the past. However, the key is to persevere and understand that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. Being patient is also essential - you are allowed to go at your own pace.

Forgiving yourself in early recovery will help make the process easier and achievable. It will also help you realize that you can do great things that will help you be kinder to yourself and those around you.

If you or a loved is suffering from addiction and needs help in recovery, contact us at Cirque Lodge for more information.

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