SHAMESome time ago I agreed to write & share my story on another website. However, I’ve yet to do so! Until now I couldn’t figure out what’s been keeping me from following through with my agreement, as this is highly unlike me. In theory, sharing my story sounds great! But it’s as if I’m avoiding it.

Just sitting down to write about it arouses so many painful emotions. Why do I still cry every time I even get close to revisiting it? I say that I’m not ashamed but the deeper inward I look, I realize that’s just me trying to convince myself.

When I first got sober I would get these PTSD-like flashbacks of memories from “the madness.” They would overtake me with feelings of panic. I would get short of breath & sometimes just burst into tears; never mind the fact that I was in the middle of a crowded grocery store. The healthier I became the less frequent & intense these flashbacks became. However, I still have certain triggers. For example, there are a couple areas of town, one in particular, that immediately & without fail, induce crippling & sudden anxiety. Why?


“Shame is an overwhelming negative sense that who we are isn’t okay.”

Can you imagine constantly walking around feeling this way?. . . That who you are is not okay?? It’s wearing. For a long time, I consistently allowed shame to push me into using unhealthy coping tools, like self-harm. I didn’t realize this was shame related. I’m lucky that I didn’t allow that agonizing shame to push me right back into my previous self-destructive lifestyle.

In an effort to release myself from the grip of any & all triggers, I referred to one of my favorite meditation books, The Language of Letting Go (Hazelden Meditation Series) By Melody Beattie. (That’s my Amazon affiliate link. For more information on how I use affiliate links, please see my Privacy Policy.)

Our past, and the brainwashing we may have had that imposed “original shame” upon us, may try to put shame on us. This can happen when we’re all alone, walking through the grocery store or just quietly going about living our life.

Don’t think. . . . Don’t feel. . . . Don’t live life. . . . Be ashamed!

Learn to recognize it and avoid it like the plague.”

Shame comes in all shapes & sizes & it doesn’t discriminate. You definitely DO NOT have to experience something as dramatic or life-changing as I for it to result in shame.

Indicators of Shame

– according to Counseling on Stirling 

Feeling as though we:

are exposed | have no voice | have to cover up | are foolish | are too vulnerable | are a fraud | are powerless | want to disappear | are too needy

I thoroughly know that in order for true healing to take place I must forgive & completely accept myself.

This means sharing my story – again & again. I know that I’m not only sharing it for myself. I’m sharing it for others who find themselves where I have been. Others who are consumed with shame. By forgiving & accepting myself I’m showing others that it’s okay for them to do the same. I’m showing others that they honestly do not have anything to be ashamed of. Which is what I truly believe, logically anyway. But unfortunately logic does not always prevail.

Additional Resources on Shame

7 Differences Between Shame and Guilt

Guilt and Shame {in regard to PTSD}

Examples of How Children Are Shamed

No matter how much self-work I do there will always be more waiting for me, I know this. But sometimes it’s tiring & frustrating.

Have you ever experienced shame? How did you cope with it?

 Krista-Lee-Pfeiffer :: Blogger & Creator of

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