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Shame

Shame, my old friend (or frenemy).  I could find a seat for her at the most crowded table.

I feel vulnerable posting any of this, because again, it's not done to admit you have shame or weakness or pain. Somehow this makes me a "person with problems", not just a "person".

In my quiet moments, the clearer ones, I keep returning to the idea that I'm pretty sure these feelings are universal, and if anything, my wrestling with them is an indication of my wellness, not my sickness. Admitting openly that I was self destructive feels dramatic, and yet, I look around me and I see a lot of suicidal people, but they're just doing it slowly, or using methods that may not be socially approved, exactly, but they're easier to turn a blind eye to: work, eating, not eating, substances, shopping, sex, exercise, busyness and lack of self-care. Some of these even masquerade as virtues.

So, I've been feeling a lot of shame about the divorce and it sounds a little like this:

"If I had been the person I said I was, the person I convinced everyone that I was, the super-educated, got it all together, brilliant, talented, accomplished, high-functioning badass I presented as, I would have been able to stay, to fit, to make it work. But I'm not, so I failed. I failed him, and I failed the kids, and I failed myself, and now everyone knows that I really never belonged there in the first place. I couldn't go on, and I just wasn't enough. Genetics don't lie." (shame)

Cognitively, I know it's not true, that it's an old script and needs shushing, but it's an invasive one. It comes back, again and again, about almost anything.

Tonight, for instance.  I came home, intended to go to yoga, bake a cake, eat something homemade and artisanal. All good things, but none of that happened (shame).

I went to the grocery store (an accomplishment!) but was too tired to go to yoga (shame) so I ate a frozen dinner (shame) and washed my face, brushed my hair and coiled it into a french twist, put on a sundress and curled up on the couch and watched television while eating an apple and drinking hot water with lemon (shame).

This is who I am. It's what I enjoy, and most importantly, it's all I can do. I'm exhausted and "not fit for comp'ny" as you might say, and even that makes me feel insufficient.

I'm so sick of holding myself to a standard of achievement and behavior and accomplishment that leaves me harried, distracted and eternally unsatisfied. 

I want it to be enough. Just this. The couch and the lemon water and the rest.

And I want to be enough. The request I'd make of society and the universe, though, is let me be enough, and even let me be not enough, not in a judgmental way, but in a way that makes me worthy of help. 

Please stop assuming I've got it all covered, and don't need help. Please stop assuming I'm different or better or unapproachable because of where I've been and what I've done. 

I both do and do not have it all covered: because I am human. But I'm also interested and willing to be known, craving to connect, to be present, because I have been on that treadmill of the brilliant loner for way too long. 

I'll warn you: I yell. I have psoriasis. I cry at sad songs and when my kids are hurt. I read slowly. I put mayonnaise on French fries and I'm a lazy gardener. I don't like to exercise in any way that requires special clothing. There's more, lots more.

Most of all, my heart is fierce and big and kind when she's at her best, but she's cloistered right now. Taking stock and hiding away, peeking out from the porch of the cave of all my treasures, waiting for the right people to approach.

My heart is tired of working so hard and I can only handle one thing at once, and that thing right now is self care and forgiveness.

Forgiveness and acceptance.  Acceptance of everything I am, forgiveness for everything I'm not. Forgiveness for where I've been and acceptance of where I'm going.  




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