Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Let's Talk About Relapse! Day 3 - "Peeling Away The Shame"

Did you do your homework? Did you spend some time reflecting or writing about your new truth?  Don't feel badly if you didn't!  And, most importantly, don't add more shame onto yourself!!  Start right now!! Here is where we begin...

The shame that I am feeling right now is going to provide me with the exact nutrients that I need to grow again.

How is that possible?  Just stay with me... and let's begin our work. Let's start peeling away the shame and see what we find!

For me, shame feels like layers and layers of blankets that are smothering me. I can't get out from underneath them, and, I don't have the strength to throw them all off, to toss them away. So, I do it a little at a time. I name it and begin removing it. One of my layers of shame is self-blame.  That is huge for me.  I hate disappointing other people, but I hate disappointing myself!! When I relapsed several years ago, I still remember the shroud of self-blame that was wrapped tightly around me.  The only way loosen its grip on me was to begin to peel it away - to unwind it...slowly.

And so I did.  As I visualized removing the layers of self-blame, I simultaneously released their hold on me. I forgave myself.  I let it go.  If it came back, I let it go again. And again. Today, it rarely visits me.  But if it does, out it goes!

Homework:  I don't know what your layers consist of. Is it guilt, disappoinment,embarrassment, self-hatred, disgust, self -blame....others??   It is important that you think about them and name them. But, start with one at a time.  In fact, right now, chose just one layer.  Name it. Feel it. Grieve it. And now, let it go. Whatever your process is - visualization, meditation, prayer, writing - release it.  Forgive yourself. It it returns, release it again. As many times as needed - whenever it is needed. Keep going.  Don't  think about other emotions; we'll continue with removing other layers of shame next time.

Focus in on the present.  Feel the release taking place. And as shame loosens its grip on you, breathe in and out... a little more freely...a little  more at peace.  Keep breathing.

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