Forgiving Yourself for Embarrassing Drunken Behavior

July 2, 2015 Becky Doyle

Have you ever made a total idiot out of yourself while drunk? Do you want to forgive yourself for embarrassing drunken behavior? Check out these four tips.

Forgiving yourself for embarrassing drunken behavior can be tough. Being drunk is one of the most common reasons behind people embarrassing themselves or being stupid. It’s pretty safe to assume that if you have been drunk, you have embarrassed yourself in some small, minor way. And if you’re an alcoholic, you might have some pretty epic stories of nights that ended in a major embarrassment to you or someone else. In some instances, those stories are laughable and can be shaken off or simply shared in jest. In other situations, these are the ghost and horror stories of our drinking days: embarrassing drunken nights never to be admitted or acknowledged in any way because the shame and embarrassment was too great. Embarrassing drunken stories that fueled me to drink more. If I drank more, it would be easy to forget my shame. It took me a long time to forgive myself for my embarrassing drunken behavior.

Now, as a sober, recovering alcoholic, I don’t have that escape anymore. I still have embarrassing moments and I still remember the most awful nights of my drinking days, but I deal with them differently. This is what I do.

Feeling Embarrassed from Your Drunken Behavior? Let Yourself Swear

Have you ever made a total idiot out of yourself while drunk? Do you want to forgive yourself for embarrassing drunken behavior? Check out these four tips.

If my mind is wandering while walking to my car and I remember a particularly embarrassing drunken moment, I will spontaneously start swearing under my breath. To someone walking next to me, it might be a bit alarming, but for me, it’s an instinctive action that actually makes me feel a little better. Swearing is actually good for you, as proven by a study in the United Kingdom, and helps relieve stress. You can release negative emotions and release emotional pain through swearing, so don’t resist it.

Forgive Yourself for Embarrassing Drunk Behavior by Recognizing Your Shame

Much like with addiction recovery, acknowledging your shame is the first part of accepting and recovering from it. A totally normal human emotion, shame, must be dealt with in order to learn, grow, and move forward from a haunting past.

Don’t Try to Rationalize Embarrassing Drunken Behavior

Alcoholism is not rational. If it were, there would not be so many unanswered questions about the disease of addiction. Therefore, trying to justify or explain your drunken antics is a lost cause. Especially because when active in an addiction, people often behave in ways that do not align with their own moral code. So if you’re dealing with shame, chances are you already know what you did was bad or embarrassing and no level of rational thought will make that go away.

Remember People You Have Forgiven

When all else fails, remember that at some point in your life, someone else had to ask you for forgiveness. How or why did you forgive them?

The highest form of love is forgiveness. The greater the offense, the more love is required to forgive that person. Double the amount of love required when you are forgiving yourself. This may be difficult to do, especially in early sobriety when self-loathing is usually at its peak. If you aren’t able to quickly identify five things you love about yourself, you need to adopt some daily practices to boost our self-esteem.

Shame and embarrassment are good reminders of how our alcoholism shaped our behavior, and not in a good way. But like everything, they are only good in moderation: too much shame hinders us and prevents us from living life fully. Work through the embarrassment to forgive yourself. Only then will the shame of your drunken past begin to fade to a memory devoid of pain.

Creative Commons photo attribution to mloberg.

You can find Becky on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and her website.

APA Reference
Doyle, B. (2015, July 2). Forgiving Yourself for Embarrassing Drunken Behavior, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, December 1 from

Author: Becky Doyle

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Kira Lesley
September, 2 2016 at 6:52 am

Hi Vivek,
Thank you for sharing your experience. I can understand why you were feeling upset about your behavior while drunk. If this is a pattern for you, engaging in behavior while drinking that makes you feel bad and may negatively affect others, you may want to consider trying moderation or abstinence from alcohol.
As far as the behavior goes though, I just want you to know that while of course this is not good behavior, it seems you are aware of that, which is a much better place to start than thinking you've done nothing wrong! Anyone with an alcohol problem has certainly been in your position, I know I have. It does not sound like you've done any irreparable harm. I hope you can use this as a learning opportunity. Like I said, all of us with drinking problems have engaged in embarrassing behavior while drinking. How you react to them is key.

August, 5 2016 at 9:07 am

It was my ex boyfriend farewell party. He was leaving town. It was my second time I drink.I got so drunk,danced so hard,sang silly songs,pulling my ex boyfriend to dance with me ,I was an embarrassment to my ex boyfriend. .he got so pissed and embarrassed, then dumped me the next 2days because of how I behaved. .I love him :/ but he I really embarrassed him in front of his friends and now he wants nothing to do with me. Its been 4 weeks ago since this happened, I really can't forgive myself about how I embarrassed and humiliated him. I'm so depressed

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

June, 12 2018 at 6:12 pm

If it was only your second time drinking he should understand your a light weight and just forgive you if he really loves you. People make mistakes. I guess he doesn't. Js

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

November, 9 2018 at 7:26 am

There is nothing worse than intolerace. That guy doesn't deserve you anyway.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

J Smith
November, 22 2018 at 2:02 pm

This might hurt a little, but if your ex bf dumped you over that he was probably planning on leaving anyway. He most likely just siezed the opportunity to leave. He doesn't deserve you, people like that are cowards.

July, 22 2016 at 8:52 am

I lost my job a little over a month ago due to alcoholism. I never drank at work, but didn't go to work due to my drinking for a week and tried to lie my way out of it. They fired me when I admitted to my supervisor that I was drinking. Anyway, I'm so embarrassed. I work in the community and don't even think anyone know (maybe some or assuming) because I had a DUI about 3 years ago, which in this community, at the time, was published in a local newspaper (any arrests made and why).
I'm beating myself up today. I could've had a job and everything still the same and fine, but instead I had to go and drink and mess up everything. Feeling ashamed and embarrassed.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Becky Doyle
July, 27 2016 at 7:25 pm

Itbey, I'm so sorry to hear you're going through a rough spot right now. Give yourself credit for acknowledging the true problem though. Nobody is perfect, we all make mistakes or bad choices... but that doesn't make us bad people.

Major Depression
July, 7 2015 at 6:36 am

Forgiving yourself is the key to the ultimate happiness :D

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Becky Doyle
July, 30 2015 at 9:50 am

True true!

July, 7 2015 at 12:33 am

Yesterday being drunk I got hysteric and broke my wife's computer. It was like daemon inside me, I could not control myself at all. I understand that it's much worse that just embarrassing behavior. I can't except this fact. I feel so sorry, however I cannot find words to describe how sorry I am. She left at night. I called her hundreds of times, she did not pick up the phone. I feel so measurable. All this is just unbearable. Probably we should split up as I got hysteric not for the first time and I'm afraid not the last one.
How can I find my peace?

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Becky Doyle
July, 30 2015 at 9:50 am

It sounds like you need one on one work with a therapist or in a recovery program like AA, LifeRing, or SMART Recovery. Check out this post which explains the differences between the programs:…
p.s. they're FREE
She probably just needs space right now. While I cannot say one way or the other whether or not you'll stay together, the best thing you can do for your marriage right now is work on getting sober.

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