Shame & Guilt In Grief & Loss

Dodependency | Hopelinks

Shame and Guilt, the Differences

The stages of grief and loss do not include shame and guilt as specific stages, though they are usually present in grief and loss recovery. Dealing with these issues is many times critical to the process.

An inner sense of being bad defective as a person. It is saying I am worthless.

Saying I acted in a way I am sorry about and changing the action.

Signs of Shame in a Person

  • Shutting down
  • Controlling others (not knowing how to control yourself)
  • Rigidity
  • Depression
  • Rage
  • Numbness

Shame tells a person it is not OK to express their true feelings as they are not worthy. If you expect to be treated with respect and not abused then you need to admit you are worthy of it. Others will treat you the way you present yourself to them in close relationships.

This does not mean you are responsible for their actions; it means you are responsible to tell people how you feel about their actions and set boundaries that you will not allow to be violated. Even in public, if you are short changed at a store it is your responsibility to ask for the money back.

How do you experience and show shame in codependency or your life?
What messages were you given in childhood that made you feel shamed or worthless?

Does shame block true access to other feelings?

What feelings do you hide?

A short paragraph using your life in each question is usually helpful.

Guilt is when you feel bad about your behavior and then instead of staying in the guilt, you can make amends if possible and change the behavior.

How do you experience guilt in codependency or your life?
List two things you have done over the last month that make you feel guilty.
What, or how, have you changed your behavior since then?

Fear is a common feeling especially in recovery without your drug.

Ways to Lessen Fear

  • Realize everyone has it to a degree.
  • Admit you fears to people close to you.
  • Identify the reasons for the fear and take appropriate action.
  • Exercise your body and mind.
  • Relaxation tape, praying and leaning on the strength of stronger source than you can be helpful through all the grief stages.

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