So what got me out? What helped me move past my shame?
I wish I could tell you it was easy.
I wish I could say that it didn’t take years to process my shame–but it did.
And it’s because I didn’t have easy access to the resources I needed.
I had to stumble around until I figured out what helped the most.
But once I got them, I was on the path to healing.
This is what helped me the most in dealing with my shame:
1 - Opening up to someone I could trust - First it was my girlfriend, who is now my wife. Then I found a therapist who helped me process my shame. Talking with them let the air in. I started to see that my beliefs were unfounded.
2- Watching videos and reading about shame - It was the therapist who introduced me to Brene Brown and her TED Talk about shame. Consuming helpful content connected me with others’ experiences and helped me feel less alone.
3 - Writing down what I was feeling - This was most powerful for me. Writing comes naturally to me, and I truly believe that getting words on paper released them from the holding tank that was my head.
Those are the big three, and I think it’s no coincidence that they happen to span the communication spectrum.
By talking with a therapist and with my girlfriend-now-wife, I found the words and created safe spaces that I could step into and grow over time.
By watching videos and reading books, I came to understand how universal the feeling of shame truly is–and how manageable it can be with the proper tools and perspective.
And by writing down what I was feeling, I gained space–and perspective–from my shame.
If you’re dealing with shame–or if you’ve ever dealt with it–I encourage you to use these three strategies as a template.
Once you open up about what’s ailing you, the world starts to change.
You start to realize that the things you kept inside never should have been there in the first place.
They are not who you are.
They were never your burden to carry.