I have been reading more of the book, Healing the Shame that Binds You, by John Bradshaw, since writing my last post. I felt as though it was taking me forever to get past the first part, so I skipped to part two. Not sure if I should done that but I’m already getting a lot more out of it.
At the start of the chapter on the ‘externalisation’ process, Bradshaw states that ‘to heal our toxic shame we must come out of hiding. As long as our shame is hidden, there is nothing we can do about it. In order to change our toxic shame we must embrace it…
...Embracing our shame involves pain. Pain is what we try to avoid. In fact, most of our neurotic behavior is due to the avoidance of legitimate pain. We try to find an easier way. This is perfectly reasonable.
In the case of shame, the more we avoid it, the worse it gets‘
He also says…
‘In order to be healed we must come out of isolation and hiding. This means finding a person, or ideally a group of significant others, whom we are willing to trust’.
So I think I am at the point of realising I have these issues with shame, and feelings of depression for various reasons, but I want to overcome them. And I’m craving connection. I’ve started to push away from people who I know I don’t connect with on that deeper level. What I do need, is to find my ‘person (or people) to trust’.
‘ The best way to come out of hiding is to find a non-shaming intimate person or social network. The operative word here is intimate. We have to get on a core, gut level, because shame is core, gut level stuff‘.
I want to share my innermost fears and secrets, and feel the acceptance that will enable me to neutralise the toxic shame.
‘Toxic shame masks our deepest secrets about ourselves; it embodies our belief that we are essentially defective. We feel so awful, we dare not look at it ourselves, must less tell anyone. The only way we can find out we were wrong about ourselves is to risk exposing ourselves to someone else’s scrutiny’.
Thats just it, in a nutshell. He goes on to say that seeing a therapist is one way to expose the shame. That is always an (expensive) option for the future. I also have this blog, and I’m able to read all the wonderful sober blogs out there, which are so full of inspiration I shouldn’t be feeling down at all! But I still hope to find friendship out there…
Dear Universe, I am ready to trust, and be exposed to someone else’s scrutiny.