While attending a treatment program at Restoration Recovery Centers, you will learn to overcome the guilt of your mistakes while also learning how to take responsibility for them. Abusing substances can lead to feelings of guilt from impaired decision-making that negatively impacts people in your life. Impaired decision-making can lead to risky behaviors, such as driving while intoxicated. DUIs and DWIs are common among people with substance use disorder (SUD). However, it’s important to recognize that you are more than your bad decisions. While it is important to own up to your mistakes during your recovery, you will also learn how to move on from them.
What’s the Difference Between DUI and DWI?
DUI (driving under the influence) and DWI (driving while impaired) laws differ from state to state. Generally, driving while impaired is characterized by physical or psychological impairment from marijuana, illicit drugs, prescription, over-the-count medications, or alcohol consumption. Consuming substances and operating a vehicle is dangerous because it reduces the brain’s ability to exercise decision-making or reasoning skills. Physically, substances can also impact your muscle coordination and delay your reaction time. DUIs and DWIs are severe offenses that can result in hefty fines, license revocation, or jail time. However, the consequences of driving while impaired can also include damages to property, vehicles, yourself, or others.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in the United States, motor vehicle crashes caused by alcohol-impaired drivers kill one person every 45 minutes, about 32 people every day. Driving under the influence of any substance can be dangerous. However, more research has been conducted on driving under the influence of alcohol than any other substance. In 2018, 12.6 million Americans reported driving while intoxicated.
Accepting Responsibility to Overcome the Guilt
Recovery is a balancing act. During your recovery, you learn how to acknowledge negative emotions without being swallowed by them. Accountability is an essential aspect of recovery. To have a successful recovery, you must change the negative habits that have led to substance use in the past. You must do this by being accountable for how your actions have affected others. Driving while intoxicated may be one of those actions that you must take responsibility for and accept the consequences of.
When you take responsibility for your harmful past actions, you acknowledge their negative consequences. Reflecting upon past actions is important because it can help you understand your role in other people’s lives. Identifying the impact you can have on other people’s lives can guide you toward healthy change. For example, you might reflect on an event and think about what choices you could have made that would have prevented you from hurting the people in your life. This type of reflection can help you identify the type of change you wish to integrate into your life.
Overcome the Guilt
Guilt isn’t always bad. It’s an emotion that serves as an alert that something needs to change. However, guilt becomes toxic when you begin to dwell on it. Dwelling on guilt and using it as an excuse for self-hating thoughts or negative behavior can be regressive to your recovery. It might make you believe that you don’t deserve to feel better, get help, or have a chance at creating a healthier life. However, this is far from the truth. We are more than the mistakes we make and the negative behaviors we exhibit.
While you are not helpless in the path you take, it is naive to think that anyone has 100% control over the outcomes of their actions. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t own up to your mistakes, but that you need to accept yourself for the complicated human that you are.
How to Overcome the Guilt to Have a Successful Recovery
When you can distance yourself from your past, you allow yourself to dream about the future. This will help motivate you to make the necessary changes to your lifestyle to have a successful recovery. Excitement for the future can help you create and achieve recovery goals because it will give you a sense of direction and a sense of self. The more you feel connected to the future, the more you believe in the possibility of change. Believing in the possibility of change is half the battle.
If you struggle with guilt from past experiences, talk to a mental health professional. The mental health professionals at Restoration Recovery Centers can help you work through your guilty feelings by shedding some perspective on the situation and giving you the tools you need to manage negative feelings surrounding past mistakes. Since our lives are not stagnant, no one is ever all good or bad. Instead, we are all always different types of complicated.
Operating a vehicle while intoxicated can lead to permanent consequences for yourself and others. For a successful recovery, you must learn to navigate a balance of accepting responsibility for your actions without dwelling on them. Restoration Recovery Centers can help you achieve this balance because we see you as the complex person you are and can create a treatment plan that specifically caters to your recovery needs. Our mental health professionals will work closely with you to help you build the skills you need for a successful recovery. If you or someone you know is struggling with substance use, call (888) 290-0925 to learn how Restoration Recovery Centers can help you restore your life’s purpose and heal from addiction.