Shame, shame is not the same as guilt. They’re very different. Guilt is over what I’ve done and the treatment for that as I’ve said is step 9. We make direct amends, you know, to those we’ve harmed. So this is what I did, and the treatment is step 9.
Shame is over who I am, and the treatment for that is step 1. Acknowledging that I’m an addict, that some of the things that I’ve done have been in the course of my addiction, and I feel a terrible sense of shame that I could ever have done that sort of thing, but the plain fact is I have and the plain fact is so have other addicts.
I’m not allowing myself to get off the hook. I am saying I am responsible for my behavior as far as it affect other people and I do need to make amends. I’m not saying, “Oh, I did that because I’m an addict. It doesn’t matter,” and we know, it does matter. I do need to take responsibility, acknowledge what I did and make the amends. But as far as the shame is concerned over being an addict I’m not ashamed of that. I am an addict.
The Lefever family is riddled with addiction, for generations of it. It’s what I inherited. It’s in my genes. I handed it on to my son. Should I be ashamed of that? But we’re all shortsighted as well, should I be ashamed of that? I’m not ashamed of being an addict. I’ll say this to you and I’ll say it on television, I’m not ashamed of being an addict. I just am an addict. But I can feel very guilty about my behavior.
So this is I treat by looking at my relationship with the other person and making the amends, that I treat. And I come to terms in fact, I just am an addict and therefore, I go to meetings and work the 12 steps. You see I’m not glossing it over at all. Anybody who thinks that this is just a cop-out, okay try doing a step 4 full and fearless moral inventory. Try acknowledging in step 5 exactly what you’ve done wrong. Try and making the amends in step 9, you know, just try and working your 12 step program if people think it’s a cop-out, it’s not. It’s a fundamental acknowledgement of my addictive nature. I am an addict and therefore, I have a responsibility to make sure I’d treat on a day-to-day basis.