Shame is a painful emotion that needles into the core of who we are. It often leads to someone hiding away out of a sense of unworthiness, and often leads to addictive behavior. It’s an emotion that people hold close to them. Not wanting to reveal the humiliation and hopelessness of feeling like there is something fundamentally wrong with them, they turn inward and hide themselves away. It is the emotion that makes you want to trek deep into a cave and not come out, or that makes you want to sleep until all your problems go away, even though you know they’ll be there when they wake up.
Why do we feel shame?
There are a lot of reasons people feel this feeling of being inherently wrong, or bad. Experiences of abuse, great loss, or other traumatic events can lead to shame.
How do we deal with Shame?
Often people try to run from difficult feelings by self-medicating. Using drugs or drinking alcohol can temporarily make you feel emboldened and make that feeling of self-hatred fade into the background, until you sober up. But then the cycle comes back around, and those bold feelings are replaced by guilt and shame once again.
What are some healthy ways to deal with shame?
The first step is to pay attention to it. Instead of avoiding shame, just breathe. Let shame sit there for a second. It’s uncomfortable, but if you can’t feel your emotions you can never truly process them. Next remind yourself that everyone has the right to a life of love and healthy pursuits. Next and most importantly, if you are suffering from a feeling of chronic shame, tell someone how you’re feeling. It’s hard but speaking with a loved one, friend, and ultimately a therapist can help you find the tools to deal with these hard emotions so you can feel whole again.
For those who turned to drugs or alcohol for self-medicating in the face of shame in Plantation, FL, call us today to get the help you need ending the substance abuse through medical detox.