Shame


C: Said words in mixed company last night about a tabboo sexual topic
T: I am dirty, shameful, I should be ashamed of myself
F: Shame
A: I ruminate about how I should have been different, I hide, I don’t answer phone calls, I do thought-work instead of my job, I criticize and replay events and words over and over and over again.
R: I continue to hide parts of myself by not showing up in my life, perpetuating this cycle of shame

I feel absolutely cloaked in shame. I’m doing my best to allow the feeling, and I think I’ve processed some of it. I can get to a better feeling place with a thought ladder, I’m just going to have to practice it a lot.

Thought Ladder:
I don’t always think I’m shameful, dirty, or embarrassing.
When other people discuss this same topic, I’m not ashamed nor do I think they should be.
Sometimes I discuss this topic and don’t feel ashamed.
Someday I might not have shame about discussing these topics that are tabboo.
Someday I might decide not to feel shame for things that I express.
It’s possible that someday i will decide not to shame myself.
It’s possible that one day i will not hide parts of myself due to shame.
It’s possible that one day I won’t think parts of myself are shameful and should be hidden.
Its possible that I could unconditionally love and accept all parts of myself, even the parts that want to express thoughts on tabboo topics.
I am becoming a person that doesn’t shame myself.

That’s how far I can get.

My final model:
C Said words in mixed company last night about a tabboo sexual topic (while drinking)
T It’s possible that one day I won’t think parts of myself are shameful and should be hidden.
F Hopeful, optimistic
A The feeling of shame mostly subsides, i breathe more deeply, I plan the rest of my day, and get back to work. I practice my thought ladder over and over and over again to retrain my neural pathways.
R I retrain my neural pathways not to default to shame, and allow the parts of myself I hide to safely come out of their hiding spot.

Another thing I’m realizing is that I think these kinds of topics come out while drinking BECAUSE I have shame around it. I hide parts of myself, it hurts to do that, and I need a break from the chaos of my brain – so I drink alcohol and express myself. I’d really like to have a brain I don’t need to escape from.