Why Addicts Hurt Other People and 3 Ways How to Repair Trust

  • ​Uncover a captivating personal story of addiction, recovery, and redemption
  • ​Discover why we sometimes hurt the ones we love and the guilt and shame that follows
  • ​Learn how alcohol's effects on the body contribute to a destructive cycle of emotions
  • ​Recognise the critical difference between who you are and your behaviour
  • ​Master a step-by-step process for clearing emotional baggage through making amends
  • ​Transform your life by facing guilt and shame head-on and embracing personal growth

In this blog post, I will share an eye-opening story from my past, delving into why we sometimes hurt the people we love and the subsequent feelings of guilt and shame. I will also discuss how to clear your emotional credit card to move past these painful experiences.

A Story from My Past

Once, in the middle of a Tuesday afternoon, I found myself driving around with a friend, trying to get money to drink and buy more drugs. My business was barely surviving, and I was desperate. I called a client who owed me money for a website I hadn't built yet, and I managed to persuade them to give me a check if I picked it up in person.

I went to their luxury kitchen showroom, high as a kite, and collected the check. This was just one of many instances where I used clients' money irresponsibly. Six months later, when I was working on staying clean and attending therapy, I had to face the consequences of my actions.

Taking Responsibility and Making Amends

I began to take responsibility for my past actions by answering clients' calls, replying to emails, and either repaying them or completing the work I owed. I apologized, had tough conversations, and took the criticism I deserved. It was a difficult process, but I managed to work through the guilt and shame, eventually feeling proud that I was no longer that person.

The Roots of Guilt and Shame

To understand how we end up with this emotional baggage, it's crucial to know the effects of alcohol on the body. While alcohol may provide temporary relaxation and positive emotions, it is also a depressant that numbs emotional pain. This suppression can lead to a higher risk of excessive drinking among trauma survivors.

Using alcohol to cope with reality results in disconnection from ourselves, and in this state, we may act in ways that go against our moral compass. Once sober, we feel guilt and shame for these actions, and this cycle continues if we don't address these emotions.

You Are Not Your Behaviour

Although we must take responsibility for our actions, it's essential to recognize that addiction isn't a choice, and we are not our behaviour. To forgive ourselves, we must separate who we are from what we've done.

Making Amends: A Step-by-Step Process

To clear guilt and shame from your emotional credit card, I recommend a process called making amends. There are two types of amends: direct and living.

  • ​Direct Amend: Directly apologising to someone for past actions and making things right. However, be aware that in some cases, making a direct amends may cause more harm than good.
  • Living Amend: Changing your behaviour and making a conscious effort to live a better life. This type of amend focuses on personal growth and self-improvement, which can lead to forgiveness and healing.

In conclusion, working through guilt and shame is a challenging but necessary process for personal growth and healing. By understanding the context of these emotions and employing the process of making amends, you can move past painful experiences and embrace a healthier, more fulfilling life.


In this episode, I'm going to tell you an intriguing story from my past. And we're also going to discover why are we sometimes hurt the people that we love and the deep shame and guilt that usually follows. And I'll share with you how to clear your emotional credit card so you can move past those painful experiences. So I'm going to start by telling you a story of my past. It was the middle of a Tuesday afternoon, and I remember sitting in my friend's car driving around to get money to drink and buy more drugs. I hadn't been in the office in weeks and my business was somehow hanging on by a thread. Eventually I was so desperate, I called a client that still owed me money for a website I hadn't even built. I pushed so hard to get them to transfer the cash on the phone then and there that they caved and said they'd give me a check if I came to their office to pick it up. My friend drove half an hour and I walked into this client's luxury kitchen showroom to pick up the check. High as a kite. As the client handed me the check, I just looked down at the floor. Partly in shame and partly so. He didn't see my eyes. Then I scurried out there as quickly as my feet would let me. I took the check to one of those buy and sell shops where they give you cash for the check. Plus they take a rather large cut for themselves and the rest is history. Now, this is one of the countless times I pulled moves like this, and it just added on top of the thousands of pounds of clients money They had already paid me to do websites and I'd gone AWOL and spent it all on drink and drugs. Now, fast forward six months to when I was working on staying clean and having therapy each week. I was getting countless calls from clients asking about their projects and it was time to pay the piper. If I truly wanted to get my drinking under control and stay sober, I needed to face all this shame and guilt and clean up my mess. One by one, I started answering the calls and replying to emails and where I could. I paid people back or did the work that was owed. I apologised, had some really fucking tough conversations and I took some well deserved bollockings. Honestly. It felt like shit. But I wrote unsent letters. I journaled. I spoke about it in therapy, and I continued to process the guilt and shame and work through those emotions. And eventually it was all ironed out. And I feel proud to sit here today knowing that I'm not that person anymore. You know, I have my head held high knowing that I did what I could to clean up the mess and clean up my situation, no matter how fucking hard it was. But it does beg the question, how do we get this massive bag of shit that we're carrying around with us? Now, to answer that question, we need to start with what alcohol does to the body. So alcohol slows our central nervous system, which helps us feel relaxed in the moment, and it produces dopamine and positive emotions that make you feel good and help reinforce your desire to drink. But alcohol is also a depressant. And not only can it numb physical pain, it also numbs and suppresses the emotional pain. And that's why trauma survivors have a higher risk of drinking too much and in excess. So when we use alcohol to cope with reality, we begin to disconnect from ourselves. And in this disconnected state, we do things and say things that if we were sober and rational, would be outside our bounds of morality. And how we act when disconnected from our own morality creates feelings of guilt and shame once we've sobered up. And because we're terrible at sitting with our emotions to begin with, we end up drinking on the shame and guilt, too. And the cycle continues and continues and continues. Sometimes we do things in the moment that we regret because we were too focussed on meeting our own needs. Regardless of how that was going to impact the people around us. Now. It does not make us bad people. It just makes us egotistical in that moment when we act from a place of that inner child with the blinkers on and we don't consider the wake of destruction that we leave behind us. You know, it's not like we feel shame from stealing the money out of our grandma's purse and then steal it. We're just so cut off from the emotion. We just think, well, if that was £10 was in my pocket, I could get drunk tonight. It's just as simple as that. Any whispers of that guilt and shame in that moment I just pushed down, way down, never to be found Like the £10 note now hidden in our pocket. Now I want to make it clear that our behaviour is not right and that we should take responsibility for it. But ultimately, addiction isn't a choice because it wasn't our choice to experience all the trauma in our past and all the things we've been through. But we must take responsibility for how we behave as a result of our past and improve our behaviour. In order to forgive yourself, you need to detach who you are from what you've done because you are not your behaviour. Let me say that again. You are not your behaviour. Now that you understand all of the context of the guilt and shame and how this builds up within us, and I want to teach you a step by step process to clear the guilt and shame from your emotional credit card. So you can actually start to move on and move through these tough emotions. So this is through a process of what I call making amends. Now, there's two different types of amends. There's a direct amend and a living amend. So the direct amend is when you directly apologise to someone for what you've done in the past and do whatever you can to make things right. Now, some of you might think you need to make a direct amends with every single person you've hurt in life, but in some cases this can do more harm than good. Like if you told someone's partner that you slept with her husband, that could ruin the whole family as a result of your disclosure. And also, sometimes this is not possible because the person you want to apologise to is no longer with us. For example, me and my mom, I can't make a direct amends to her because she's she's not alive. So it's important to be considerate and consider the context of the situation when choosing how to make your amends. And this is why sometimes we need to make the second type, which is a living amends. Now, a living amends is when you stop making the same mistake in the future and you lived a more aligned and conscious life. Now, we can't change the past and it may not be appropriate to talk to the person. So the first step is to do an unsent letter journal and write out your apology. And that's what I've done with Mum loads of times. I've written her letters and apologised for things and just processed that guilt and shame within me and got it all out on paper. And then normally I take that letter and burn it or shred it and just let all of that weight of the guilt and shame go. Now, I don't want to tell you to all go and start fires, but burning it for me in a safe environment is important because it allows me to see it all kind of disappear. But if you've got a shredder to hand, you can shred it. And this is so important because even though we can't change the past, we certainly can impact the future. So once you've done the letter, you need to avoid repeating the same mistakes again. And that's why you're putting in all the effort and listening to these podcasts and doing research online is because you don't want to keep hurting people around you and you don't want to actually keep having that impact. Now, in our flagship video program, we actually go over a step by step guide on how to make an amends. And you go through a four step process, which we don't have time to cover today. But if you want to, you can book a call with me to have a talk about it or go to the website Inside addiction.co.uk. That's inside addiction.co.uk and you can see more information about it and have a look at the programme and some of the things we cover. But I really hope this episode gave you an insight into a bit of shame and guilt, some of my own experience and why it's like and why we get in these situations where we create these emotions and why we actually hurt the people that we care about and a bit of a way to make an amends for some of those things. So I want you to go and have a think about the different types of amends you need to go and make and then put in the action and go and make them and go and apologise to the people. Write some letters. And like I say, if you're that way inclined, have a look more into our programmes and get in touch if you need anything else.

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