Tonight I had dinner with a friend whom I haven’t seen in ages. The first half was catching up with her life and she asked about mine. I am interested in her and the people she cares about, as I know she is interested in my people. Yet, I leave after two hours feeling shameful that I talked too much and got too excited about my life, maybe overwhelmed her.
Countless times I feel ashamed after talking about my true self and my true interests.
This is typical emotion for someone raised with alcoholism like me. My inner self fears to relax and show you who I truly am. But what I really do is judge my insides by other people’s outer expectations. Not a healthy behavior. I write about it to understand how I feel right this second.
The critic and judge operate with double swords to cut me up. I don’t deserve to be happy, and should calm down so I can fit in with a mood or atmosphere. Observing the cycle helps me manage to stop feeling shameful for breathing.
What strategies am I using to grow healthy? Write what I feel at the time, live through the emotional pain of not being perfect, and accept that other people may not like me. Not minimizing my process helps it pass, especially after I post this blog.
It would be wonderful to ‘wrap up my feelings’ so they’d go away, but toxic shame isn’t emotion to simply disappear. It has to be faced with truth and compassion. ‘Get over it’ is true, but it takes time and practice. I can change and focus on forgiveness for my imperfect humanity. I don’t ever want to punish myself by constantly feeling less than and unworthy.
Stay the true north compass through this journey. Help other people manage their own pain, too. Knowing that I might help you, dear Reader to hang in there, matters to me. If you’ve ever felt like I’m describing, than we are not alone.