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shame spiral?

MIgander posted 3/25/2020 17:17 PM

Anyone got tips for getting out of the shame spiral?

Or does anyone remember where that thread went?

Could use some help on that lately.

LifeDestroyer posted 3/25/2020 17:36 PM

I had to sit in it and then force myself to think of something else. My mind keeps wanting to go into one now that my husband has started the divorce process and I just had to tell our daughter that we won't be living together. Then there's the whole virus going around and our schools shutting down.

[This message edited by LifeDestroyer at 5:36 PM, March 25th (Wednesday)]

Stinger posted 3/25/2020 19:21 PM

Act with integrity.

kairos posted 3/26/2020 21:02 PM

I like this definition on Psychcentral: "Breaking the Cycle of Shame & Self-Destructive Behavior. ... Shame involves an internalized feeling of being exposed and humiliated. Shame is different from guilt. Shame is a feeling of badness about the self. Guilt is about behavior — a feeling of “conscience” from having done something wrong or against one's values."

Guilt and regret and remorse are useful feelings. But shame is self-destructive and has very little purpose in getting back on your feet and becoming a recovered person. Stinger says "act with integrity" because each time you choose to do the right thing, you prove to yourself that you're really not bad. You made a poor choice(s), but that doesn't define you as a person, as long as you don't let it.

The other part is time: action (change in behavior) X time = reliable results.

The problem is that there is this thing called the "shame cycle". You think you're made it out and then all of those emotions of regret and shame come flooding back. And then it corrodes 'action', and then you feel helpless. Back to square 1.

Time my friend. Time. Keep making good choices. Do the hard work: therapy, journaling, understanding the 'whys', and most of all, owning up to your responsibility in the matter. You chose this. You did this. The good news is that you CAN CHOOSE to recover and become a safe partner one day.

MIgander posted 3/27/2020 07:24 AM

Thanks everyone for the advice.

Working on the whole, "I am a bad person because I chose this (shame)" vs. "I chose something horribly against my values as a person, I must never do this again (remorse)".

Making some headway... not there yet.

Thanks for the advice!

kairos posted 3/27/2020 13:54 PM

Recognizing that you are not a bad person, you are a person who made terrible choices is key.

Hope you're getting into IC. IC helped me unpack the old traumas, old patterns, while slowly letting go of the shame. In parallel, working on self-love and self-compassion.

All of these things require little steps though. Maybe it's a negative thought you have. Reverse that negative thought by realizing how unfounded it is. Find those little ways in the day to practice brutal honesty and align with your moral compass. If you don't have a moral compass anymore, starting thinking about that. What would it look like? At a certain point my therapist asked me to write personal vows to myself. This was a game changer.

That said, there's no performance, no timeline, no goal or objective. Love yourself. :)

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