Growing Out of My Shame

by growing out of my shame.

Shame on you for shaming me. Or is it… shame on me for shaming you?

You have no shame! Actually… you really should have just a little shame.

You should be ashamed if you’re shameless. Except… no worries, there is enough shame to go around.

Did you know you can resolve yourself of shame? But… you should not absolve yourself of the sin causing the shame. Especially when the shame is brought on from a night of getting dissolved from alcohol due to not addressing your unresolved shame.

Nothing here to be shameful about, because I solved my shame problem.

And… you can too!

I hid behind my shame.
Hiding behind my shame.

March 17, 2021, following an extremely traumatic event, I made the most egregious blunder. I did not properly handle a situation, which I created, and my consequence, was to allow the insanity of the alcohol to take over. Due to my actions that night, I made my first decision, to no longer allow alcohol to dictate my life choices, yet that choice alone would not right any wrongs.

The events of the evening hit me like a tidal wave, and my emotions took over. Following a night of drinking I was thrust overboard into the angry waters of the bay. As the frigid icy waters were slouching against the dock-sucking me further out into the sea of despair. The sudden onset of hypothermia due to my actions set in and slowly my body became numb. I was being consumed with guilt and I could barely stay afloat.

The guilt is a natural feeling from my self-destruction. Guilt the feeling of knowing what I did is wrong. An emotion slowly paralyzing me from the inside out.

In the days to come I was consumed with the guilt and I did not know how to properly process it. Necessary changes needed made and it would need to be an inside job. With the support of my husband I decided to take the necessary steps to resolve my problems.

Slowly, I had come to terms with what I had done and over the next nineteen days, shame started to creep in.

Still stuck fighting to stay afloat, April 6, 2021, just two days following Easter Sunday, I was under attack. The sharks had smelled my guilt and they were relentless. Because my initial gaping wound was not healing properly, it was attracting the predatory fish.

The shame was a natural feeling that stemmed from internalizing, how the others viewed my self-destruction. Shame the feeling, I am a bad person. An emotion derived from my actions, determined to devour me from the outside in.

No longer was the guilt weighing me down. Consequently, the shame was eating me alive. Late in the day on April 6, 2021, it was not the guilt from my past actions, rather the shame of the person who committed the heinous offense. It was no longer about the alcohol. It became personal, it was about me. Healing would come from growing out of my shame.

Wearing my badge of courage.
Wearing my badge of courage.

On a deserted island, not one loved person in sight, but protected from the predators, I found myself alone. My husband wasn’t with me to hold me, to offer his support. I wasn’t with my daughters to comfort them. But God had me right where he needed me, alone dependent on Him.

The emotions that evening were so intense. God was very deliberate with His actions. I needed to feel the guilt prior to the shame. March 17 was the catalyst to prepare me for God’s plan. He hired His top gun, Jesus, to prepare me for a total makeover. Jesus made it possible for me to grow out of my shame.

The Badge of Courage

The Scarlet letter stands for many things, not just adultery, but alcohol, agony, able, and advance.
The A stands for Able

Nathaniel Hawthorne’s symbolic novel, The Scarlet Letter, is rich with how the novel’s protagonist processed her shame. Hester Prynne is forced to wear a mark of shame. The A represents her sin, Adultery. The A also stands for the Agony she must endure through the humiliation and punishment from her local community. Over time Hester was able to grow out of her shame. As Hester accepted and atoned for her wrong doing, she earned redemption for her sin. These actions did not go unnoticed. The A evolved into a positive symbol, Able, demonstrating her growth and her ability to summon freewill. She chose alienation over flight. The shameful emblem became significant as she catapulted to a female of strength for the afflicted.

Hester Prynne is an excellent role model as to how we can accept our sins, properly process our shame, and seek redemption/atonement, while taking control of our own identity.

You see my friend… it isn’t what you do or did. I cannot change what I did. And, what I did was not adultery, but the other A word. It is who you are. I can change who I am, creating the ideal woman God intends for me and you to be.

And, trust me… if I am Able, then you are more than capAble!


For further information on the difference between guilt and shame,

Developing shame resilience

A is also for addiction. Encouraging those struggling with addiction, be it alcohol, prescription drugs, adultery or simply yourself

Help is available.

2 responses to “Growing Out of My Shame”

  1. Thank you for extending yourself by sharing your realizations and making yourself vulnerable. I too have inflicted myself with shame multiple times in my life. I am beyond thankful that I now know that each experience is meant to be and we have lessons to learn in all. I hope our paths cross again soon!

    • We are in this together! I miss running into you. Everything we do is purposeful. Our only job is to learn to grow from our experiences.❤️

Leave a Reply