February 20, 2015

Calling it by its Name: Shame

I can see, more clearly now, how I have struggled with shame this past few weeks. I can trace it back to my concern at having a different "take" on the measles break-out  in SoCal.

I obsessed, first, trying to read up more about how the immune system 'might really' work, but many of the sources that made sense to me, had been heavily discredited.

Then some other things contributed to an over-all feeling of anxiety. A number of public events have been underway (planned by our faith fellowship) this week.   I have the sense that I may not be the only one feeling some awkwardness about our small numbers.

Yep, I feel guilt. And guilt turned to shame, as I realize whatever skills I have at making small talk have gone out the window~

One day, I pray I can change out some of what I tell myself when I am under stress!  Because my Inner Critic is having a  great old time telling me how inadequate I am!

I decided yesterday, to name what I was feeling.  Shame.  I would love it if John Bradshaw's book were a bit more gentle in its advice. I seem to have opened up to the hardest part of the book, where he tells you how to stop shame spirals.

I know now that when I am in a hard place with my shame, that I have a hard time focusing on positive action.

What helped me last night, was to share a bit with my husband, in just a few words. It also helped to reach out to a friend, and talk last night (though I probably talked too long).  And I was actually pretty reasonable and peaceful when I spoke to her. I am also being kind to myself and taking the edge off when the fear/shame are the worst. Yes, medications.  I took one just to be sure I could take the edge off. I also tried breathing more deeply and this helped me.

I trust my HP to guide me in self-care and use the tools I am given.  For now, I am glad I had the tools I needed last night. Talking slowly, listening, being part of conversation, all were good for me last night.

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