Hello again, Sara here. Today I want to dive headfirst in to the most useless yet harmful feeling in my spice rack of feelings…shame.
Even as I type it, I feel it. It is an insidious word that sounds exactly like it feels. Disappointment, regret, jealousy, failure or anger…although not super positive feelings can all motivate me to make a change that I need to make or to at least take a hard look at myself. This may sound familiar, this ins’t our first rodeo on the topic as you’ll read.
But there is something about SHAME that sucks you into a deep, dark, cavernous, insurmountable hole that swallows you up while you wallow in self doubt…or it can be as subtle as making you question your every move. Everyone has a moment or series of moments in our lives where we have felt ashamed, some of us deeply. But if you know me, or have read this blog, you’ll know that previously, that was not a feeling I readily acknowledged in myself. I adorably wrote about how damaging it was to feel shame, writing it almost as if it were a choice that people decided to feel and one that I had moved past, deciding to rise above if you will! #ughsara #hahasweetgirl You guyssss, it is really interesting having a blog!
Writing things down in different stages of your life…publishing them for the world to see, growing, changing, going back and rereading your own words and wanting to take a DeLorean back to the past and yell in your own face, “GIRL, YOU DON’T KNOW SHIT!!!”
But, I’m not here to beat myself up!
I’ve always had the best of intentions with this blog and you can’t put an old head on young shoulders. Everything that I wrote in the past on this subject came from a sweet place of wanting people to accept their bodies. My positivity is so high and I see everyones potential and I hated to see people holding themselves back from whatever they wanted to do or be. I was only seeing shame as a way that people felt about their bodies. But I just hadn’t deeply connected with my own feelings yet. I didn’t understand all of the ways that shame presented itself. I was just at the beginning of truly knowing all of me, not just the fun parts. #heyoh I hadn’t/still haven’t discovered all of the things the world has to show me and as you know, I’m bout that growth!
2017 was the year that I was “supposed to embrace the feelings you’ve been shoving away for so long. This year is all about confronting the emotions that you have been trying to avoid.”-according to my horoscope which you know I think is everything…mostly bc this was absolutely right.
I realized I had some pieces of my puzzle missing. I was struggling to identify what I was actually feeling after becoming sober and losing my Grandma Apple. Having looked at the sunny side of life forever or using mind altering substances to avoid what I didn’t want to look at, I found myself submerged into the great unknown in my 30’s and I needed some help sorting through it all.
The help I needed came in the form of a therapist and healer that I’ve been seeing for almost a decade. #hiterri She offered her assistance and I jumped on the chance. I knew it was going to be tough but I trust her so much and I really wanted to dive off this cliff into greater understanding. Pieces of my soul were missing. There weren’t as many tears as I had expected. We kept peeling layers off of this onion and a lot of things came up, but I hadn’t hit that pivotal point yet. Until she finally asked me, what’s left, what’s trapped in there? And without hesitation I said shame. Honestly, it wasn’t so much that I said it as it came barreling out of me. I surprised myself with this, I loved my body after all!
She said keep going and what I had needed to happen for 28 years happened…the floodgates opened. I couldn’t stop sharing my feelings nor could I hold back the tears #bawling. Turns out that since the tornado (more on that in a later post) I have subconsciously felt ashamed of having any negative feelings. I didn’t want anyone to worry about me and I didn’t want my feelings to be a burden on others so I swallowed the overwhelming fear that was taking over my life and told everyone for the next couple of decades that everything was fine…great actually. By never letting myself tap into those feelings I was teaching myself that I was not worthy of having them…stunting my ability to ever know what or how I truly felt.
I’ve never cried so hard or felt so much relief.
I needed to look my shame in the face, hear myself say it out loud and let it the fuck go! I am allowed to have all the feelings on earth and beyond and let me tell you something sisters…I do. I feel everything now and everyday I am learning how to do it without judging myself.
I think I had to find myself and accept myself before I ever had a fighting chance of getting and staying healthy and it is a process that I imagine is never-ending. Everything else has been a temporary fix…that shame was stalking me and watching my every move, whispering in my ear. She sure wasn’t going to let me live my best life without a fight and without fully accepting and taking the things that scare me head on. Who knew that my own feelings would be the thing I feared most? And I may not have seen the last of her, but next time I will yell from the top of my lungs,”I’m drowning, please help me.”
I know that I am not alone and I really appreciate you letting me spill me guts. I wasn’t ready to share this for awhile. I needed it to just be mine. I had to start getting in touch with all of the feelings that I pushed violently to the side over the years, but I’m ready now.
This is what I have learned…I don’t know shit and we’re all just trying to figure it out together! And I think that is so exciting. If you are struggling with shame or finding your feelings, voice, self, insert blank…I am here for you. We have to stick together bc it’s a lot less scary in the dark when we’re together. I love y’all so much.