Healing Toxic Shame from the Past
Healing toxic shame is a process; it takes a lot of time, self-awareness and a willingness to confront the sources of shame in your past, but it is definitely possible. Personally, I have been working on healing toxic shame a lot in therapy lately, because it's impossible for me to truly recover from my issues with anxiety or depression if I believe the toxic shame from my past that tells me I'm not good enough.
I don't have a lot of surefire strategies for healing at this point because I'm still pretty new to the whole idea of toxic shame and its effect on my brain, my heart, and my life. However, I can offer one piece of advice: reclaim the words that were once used to hurt you.
Healing the Toxic Shame of Being 'Dramatic'
In my case, I was often called "dramatic" when others wanted to dismiss my emotions. I internalized this message to mean that I was wrong; my interpretation of the situation was wrong, my reaction to it was wrong, and in general, I was just wrong. For years, the word "dramatic" held all of these shame-filled, harmful connotations, and I did everything I could to seem less dramatic. I cut off my emotions at the knees when I could; I hid my true feelings all the time; I tried to be different, to be better, to be "right."
Now, I am working on reclaiming the word "dramatic" because it doesn't have to be a bad word. Being dramatic lends itself well to also being funny, empathetic, and communicative, which I often think of as some of my best qualities.
It's just one word, and reclaiming it won't suddenly make me feel like a good person, but it does help me see that I didn't deserve the toxic shame in my past, and I don't need to continue to internalize it in order to be "better." After all, I'm already good enough, dramatics and all.
What about you? Are you working on healing toxic shame? If so, share your story with the community below, and know that you are definitely not alone.
Griffith, M. (2019, August 20). Healing Toxic Shame from the Past, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, August 4 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/recoveringfrommentalillness/2019/8/healing-toxic-shame-from-the-past