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Are You Still Apologizing For Being A Woman?

As women in recovery, we likely have a lot to apologize for. More accurately, we have many things for which we have to make amends. We learn through our work with 12-step philosophy, that there is a difference between an apology and an amends. An apology is a written or oral reasoning or justification. We apologize when we need to give our reasons for having done what we did. Sometimes, with an apology, we might ask the person we have offended if there is something we can do to make up for the past offense. In an amends, on the other hand, taking action to right a wrong is the whole point. An amends is defined by just that- righting a wrong.

We know we owe someone an apology, and an amends, when something doesn’t feel right in our soul. Guilt plays an important role in our lives when it signals to us the difference between right and wrong. Through investigation and reflection, we find out where our responsibility lies and we take accountability for it. Toxic guilt develops when we cannot apologize enough, we cannot take responsibility enough, we cannot be accountable enough, we cannot do anything to right the wrong we so deeply believe we have committed. Most often, when we assume toxic guilt, we are taking on what doesn’t belong to us. Consequently, we spend our lives apologizing .

Women are all too familiar with this conundrum. Women are not supposed to talk too much or out of turn. We have to apologize for having minds, personalities, and intelligence by staying quiet. Women are supposed to uphold certain beauty standards. Women are given less medical attention. Women are forced to endure more pain. Women are blamed when they are sexually assaulted or harassed. Women have to subdue and harness their emotions for fear of being labeled and judged. The list goes on.

We apologize for being women in the way we think, feel, act, and behave. We have nothing to apologize for in regards to the gender we were born into and the gender identity we have assumed. If we ever decide to take action to make amends for a right we have done wrong, we can. However, there is no wrong about being a woman. When we choose recovery, we choose to stop apologizing for what we didn’t do. We stop taking on the toxic that isn’t ours. We move on with our lives. We recover.

 

Every day at Villa Tranquil, a women’s transitional living home, women are recovering. Building their sober lives after primary care, the women living in our beautiful home are healing mind, body, and spirit. Independently owned and operated by clinicians, our program offers women the ages of 18-65 continued safety, structure, and support. Call us now for information:  (561) 294-0427