Shame, defined

Definition of shame: at



I think the thing that causes (me) to resist getting close to people is fear of rejection, kind of… but I’m not sure that’s the best way of describing it. Maybe the truth is more like: I have already rejected a part of myself, and I am ashamed of my inadequacies, and if I keep people at arms’ length they’re less likely to discover the thing(s) about which I am so deeply eaten up with shame. And I’m not insinuating that my character defects are better or worse than anyone else’s, mind you. I don’t spend a lot of time comparing myself to others; just to myself, and where I could, should, or ought to be, in my estimation.
I carry the blame for my faults on my own shoulders. It’s a battle between myself and the Committee -you know, the one between my ears- for the most part, and the choice to succumb to their tempting manipulations, I make, alone.

As the video in a previous post ( ) pointed out, community is very much a part of recovery. It’s been that way for the entire time I’ve been clean, and it’s terribly unlikely to change within the foreseeable future.
I was listening to a podcast (Sober Right Now on Soundcloud) earlier, in which @Magzshores of talked about losing a weekend in a blackout, and the feelings of losing custody of her child and the ensuing struggle to get sober & return to being an active participant in her daughters (and her own) life…
It made sense to me, how we truly are all the same, in the way we feel things. I thought of some of the details of my own getting-clean/early sobriety story, and contemplated whether and when I might ever share such deeply painful and ugly details. I feel certain that at some point I will tell you what it was like, what happened, and what it’s like now, but I don’t know when.

I know how I thought about the recovering women I knew, who had decades or more of continuous recovery, when I’d just come in. The wonder, the awe, the near-Divinity I ascribed to them. And then I think of how it feels, from the inside, to have so many years between myself and my last drink/drug. The difference between what I thought of them and what I know of myself is, well, rather disturbing. I wonder to myself whether they ever felt the same as I do, and I know deep inside that surely, some of them did.

In the past year or so, I’ve moved about 500 miles across the country from where my sobriety began, from where all of my friends and associates are, and settled in a place where it’s like starting in recovery all over again. The meetings are different, the people speak differently. I’ve felt like what the Germans call an Ausländer for just about a year. At least in Germany there were hundreds of others like me within close proximity, and it didn’t feel so much like being completely alone. There again, a small voice whispers, “we have a disease of perception”.
Since being in this strange new place, I’ve had beautiful experiences, and I’ve created a mess or two…someday I will stop tripping over mouse turds and shooting myself in the foot.

So, how can it be that a person with the dwindling powers of recall that I have, who can scarcely tell you what I had for dinner last night, is able to remember so many poor choices and raging character defects?? I don’t have to remember details, mind you, just situations where I failed, and where the consequences were not only long-lasting, but also deeply affected my family, as well.



Suffice it to say, I’m going to have to make some local connections in order to get back to doing some step work.
There’s not many things that have been so reliable in helping everything calm down and feel safer, in my heart and soul, as working the Steps. But at the moment, letting someone get to know me is the LAST thing I want to do.
If I were talking to myself about this, I guess right about now is when I’d say “then it sounds like that’s just what you need to do.”

So, I read your blogs, and I learn the basics, over again, and ever so slowly, I share my e,s, & h. Thanks. Sometimes my need for you all is so very clear. It is, after all, “a WE Program”.

Posted from a hole under a rock.


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