Why Do I Feel So Misunderstood?

As you begin your recovery journey, there may be indications that make you realize that you feel misunderstood. Feeling your feelings for the first time can reveal a great deal, including knowing that being misunderstood is nothing new. Your self-perception of not fitting in or that everyone is out to get you may have kept you from achieving your full potential and led you to cope with your fears and resentments through using drugs and alcohol. Numbing out allowed you to not care less about what others thought about you and care more about getting loaded. 

You have a way out from being misunderstood by others so you can feel better about who you are as you go along the way. Using tools like therapy and the 12 Steps can open you to see the truth, showing you where there are misconceptions. Working your program can help you eliminate the feelings of being misunderstood and start believing that you are worth more than you give yourself credit for. 

Your Shame 

When you let shame rule your life, you will pull back from others because you feel inferior. You believe that they could never comprehend what happened in the past or would immediately judge you if they only knew. This kind of mentality makes you act withdrawn due to the skeletons in your closet. The longer you stay sober, the more you realize that everyone has made mistakes and you should not act like you are lower than them. Work through the past issues so that you can start freeing yourself from the shame that makes you feel misunderstood.  

Your Thinking 

You should know that when you suffer from addiction, your brain can sometimes deceive you. Unfortunately, you have an addiction that tells you, “You do not have an addiction.” If that is the message your brain gives you, there are more lies and misleading thoughts that can take over your mind and make you emotionally sick. In order to override what your addiction is feeding you, taking recovery measures into your own hands is essential. The only way you can combat addictive thinking is by taking positive actions to change your negative mentality. 

Your Actions 

If you are out there under the influence acting out in risky behaviors, the perception you give out is that you are impulsive and dangerous. What may not be understood is that these shady behaviors are not you so much as they are your addiction taking charge. Under the influence, you may do terrible things to make sure you stay drunk or high. If you continue to do the same things when you are sober, you show others that you are not trying to recover. Doing the right things will go a long way in showing others who you really are. 

Your Attitude 

Demonstrating to the world that you do not care what anyone thinks or says about you is a farce. Your emotions under the influence may have led you to believe that you were invincible. By keeping up that same facade without any humility, you give people the impression that you are pretentious or reckless. Changing your attitude to one of gratitude will show others that you are enthusiastic to be sober and even more grateful to have your recovery. 

Your Past 

If everyone knew what you were capable of, they might walk away from you in judgment and horror. This thought probably is what you keep telling yourself repeatedly because of the shame you feel. Your negative energy from your shame may keep you closed off from others, so you do not say more than you should. People around you will feel that energy and take it as you being too apprehensive about getting to know others. Your past is a powerful tool and, if used correctly, can formulate your real purpose in recovery.  

Instead of letting drugs and alcohol win with all the lies and insecurity produced in your head from their effects, let go of your preconceived notions. Often feeling misunderstood goes hand and hand with low self-esteem. Now that you are working on yourself, you should see a rise in your confidence that will validate that you do fit in and that no one can get to you if you do not let them have power over you. 

If you still feel like you do not fit in, go to a recovery meeting, and tell them you are attending the meeting for the first time or that you are a newcomer. You will receive more love than you can imagine without having to give anything in return. Finding those with whom you relate to is critical because otherwise, only drugs and alcohol will be there to catch you if you fall. To prevent any misunderstanding from occurring ongoing, set standards for yourself not to settle and give yourself a break from critical thinking. You deserve to feel good about who you are and where you are going in your recovery without proving yourself forcibly. Letting go of your shame and guilt along with improvements in your thinking and within your actions will be proof enough. Let your example shine through so that you can feel reformed sufficiently to conform.


Valiant Living is here to give you a design for living that will show you that you are accepted and welcome to join us. We want nothing more than to help you with the cessation of drugs and alcohol. Offering a full range of rehabilitation and mental health services, we offer “Expanded Recovery” to enrich our clients’ lives in mind, body, and spirit. With the power of recovery, clients are restored to full health and experience life-changing healing. Call us today to get started at (303) 952-5035.