Monday, June 3, 2013

Let's Talk About Relapse! Day 4 - Keep Peeling Away The Shame"

It's been a few days since we were talking about peeling away the shame of relapse.  I hope you  had the opportunity to read my previous post - the interview with Cathy Taughinbaugh - "Relapse: Finding the Way One Breath at a Time".  If not, please go back and read it now!  We talked about the relationship between shame, denial, and relapse - important stuff!!


Now, getting back to peeling away the layers of shame. Did you do your homework?  Did you start naming your layers - guilt, self-blame, self-hatred, embarrassment? Did you work on releasing each one, slowly and a little at a time? Did you find a process that works for you - writing or journaling, meditating, visualization, praying, etc.? If so, great - keep going!  If not, get started today -now. Let's talk about how.

One of the reasons individuals don't succeed when starting any new kind of behavior, or program, or change in lifestyle is that they don't start small. They bite off too much at once, feel over-whelmed, and then give up! So, look over your daily and weekly schedule. When is a good time to work on this exercise?  Morning, mid-day, evening?  Set aside 10 minutes (or more if possible), every day (or at least every other day), and begin. Add more time as you feel successful in what you are doing.

Another excellent way to incorporate 'releasing' or 'letting go' of negative thought patterns is to blend it into another established pattern of behavior.  For example, I walk for an hour at least every other day (more if the weather is good).  During my walks up in the mountains where I live, I practice my 'letting go' of any negative feelings or emotions. It feels amazing - walking, breathing, releasing...  And remember, at the same time as we are letting go of shame, we are also 'forgiving ourselves'. Practice this...say it...mean it.


By forgiving ourselves, we are reminding ourselves that we are human - that we make mistakes.  At the same time, we loosen the grip that shame has on us so that we can free ourselves to learn from our choices and make healthier decisions ahead.

Keep going.  Keep practicing this internal cleansing. Keep your healing a priority.


Next time, we'll dig a little deeper into the issue of shame...and continue to free ourselves in the process.

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