Overcoming the Blame Game During Addiction Recovery


The blame game is the act of deferring to blame in a challenging situation. Not only does it have to do with evading responsibility, but it can also lead to anger problems and ultimately offers no solution during a trying time. When complicated issues arise, your priority shouldn’t be to find another to blame; it should be acting to resolve the issue and learn from the situation to avoid running into the same problem again. However, blame, like fear, is sometimes instinctual. While both are preventable, when something bad happens, you might blame something or someone, develop resentment and avoid this situation or person in the future.

Additionally, maintaining recovery from addiction requires learning to overcome blame in all its forms, including blaming others in the initial stages of denial to blaming yourself for every negative occurrence without taking steps to improve. If you have been playing the blame game, it is time to understand how the blame game negatively impacts your recovery and look at healthier ways to handle challenging situations.


Recognize that Blaming Others Hurts Relationships

When you are under the weight of addiction, it can come with denial. Denial occurs for several reasons, but one of the driving reasons is not wanting to accept that you have a substance use disorder. However, when you confront the idea that you have an issue, your initial reaction might be to reject the idea. Therefore, you might become defensive. Being in denial and developing a negative attitude and outlook of yourself and others is where the blaming often begins. Blaming others occurs to deflect and direct attention away from your addiction. When you continually defer to this behavior, it becomes an easy way to avoid taking responsibility – which also avoids the great deal of courage and effort that taking responsibility entails. Over time, this behavior can deteriorate relationships, careers and lives.


Confront Your Substance Use

The first step toward getting away from denial and negative behavior is to realize that you have a substance use disorder. It is not just knowing that you need help; it is also about embracing the fact that you need change. The challenges you face will not improve until you accept responsibility for them and motivate yourself to stop blaming others and take action to change your situation. Seeking treatment and getting onto the road to recovery offers you the freedom to realize that you can live a different and healthier life.


Stop Blaming Yourself

Learning how to stop blaming yourself can be more challenging than overcoming denial. Blaming yourself could even carry into early recovery and interfere with your progress. Further, early recovery is all about bringing balance back to your emotions, which is not only challenging but can be overwhelming and therefore create doubt about your ability to handle recovery. When you experience doubt, you can begin feeling anxious, stressed or depressed and then start feeling terrible about yourself, which fuels the impulse to use and the impulse to blame yourself.

Guilt is also a regular fixture of addiction. Overcoming guilt means being able to confront and cope with difficult thoughts and emotions. However, sometimes your emotions become too strong and therefore create intense triggers and impulses. Recovery is about offering you points of contact and tools to help you endure these times. Consider seeking a counselor or therapist, reaching out to your support network, or practicing mindfulness as effective strategies to help confront your emotions and shift negative perceptions to positive ones. With practice, patience and persistence, you will soon generate momentum and cultivate a healthier outlook on yourself and your life.


Turn Blame into Accepting Mistakes

It is not healthy to continuously place blame. With blame, there could be a lot of judgment and aggression. However, blame does have its place. It is essential to identify where you made a mistake or where a situation took an undesirable turn and what decisions you made in those moments. However, there is a difference between understanding mistakes and becoming fixated on these mistakes and holding onto resentment. If there is a problem or challenge in your life, it is essential to confront the issue and resolve it. When you learn from your past experiences and identify your actions in those moments, you gain knowledge and grow past these behaviors.


Forgive Yourself

Recognizing your mistakes and actions also helps you begin the process of forgiveness. Forgiveness enables you to accept your past and realize that you are no longer the same person you were when you were using substances. Forgiveness allows you to move forward with a sense of freedom, knowing that you can only control what you can control. Therefore, you always have a choice no matter how difficult the situation is. Each mistake and challenge is an opportunity for learning and growth. However, to start fresh, you must first forgive yourself and others.


There are various contributing factors as to why you develop a substance use disorder, including the environment, genetics, or both. However, using blame only feeds negativity that will continue to hurt you if you don’t utilize healthier ways to confront your challenges. At DiscoveryMD, we meet our patients wherever they are in their addiction recovery journey. We offer an array of treatments and therapeutic approaches to ensure that we can tailor a treatment plan to meet your individual needs and achieve sobriety. Stop blaming and get onto the road to recovery today to start living the life you deserve. To find out more, contact us today.

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