Shame can become all consuming. It drowns out any feelings of self-worth and completely erodes any little bit of self-esteem that you desperately try to cling onto. It can stop you from reaching out for help when you need it most. It makes you want to hide away, curl up and die. Overcoming shame is not easy. It is hard, grueling, intense emotional work. I know I suffer with shame and plenty of it. It makes me want to hide myself away from the world and those closest to me. My golden rule is to try my hardest to never let any of my problems burden other people. I don’t want them to see how bad things truly are and I’m quite independent when dealing with my own stuff. No matter the cost, I want to appear as high functioning and ‘normal’ as I possibly can even when I’m completely crumbling away on the inside. I don’t want to appear weak. I hate weakness. I have a big dislike for people that I deem too weak and even more so for people that are too lazy to do anything to change it. It’s common knowledge in nature that animals of prey will be the first ones to be picked off by predators if they outwardly show any signs of weakness. If they want to survive, they are either strong or they need to at least try and act like they are. That’s the reality. It’s very common for me to spend a whole day being around other people exhausting myself by keeping up a pretence that everything is fine only to come home alone and spend the whole night in a depersonalised haze rocking back and fourth on the floor in an absolute mess. Repeatedly it goes on and it becomes a really hard habit to break. It works for a while until you realise the damage it is truly doing to you in the process. Shame hates it when we reach out and tell our story. It hates having words wrapped around it – it can’t survive being shared. Shame loves secrecy. When we bury our story, the shame metastasizes. I’m slowly destroying myself to hide my shame from other people and maybe that needs to change.