Thursday, January 10, 2013

True Feelings - A real close look at shame

I wrote this in October of last year and never published it. I was trying to sort out some feelings. After yesterday's post and talking about shame it felt appropriate to post it because it really embodies what kind of emotions causes resistance. Here it goes:
I am depressed

I am writing this as a confession of real feelings. Something I would never post publicly because I am too ashamed, embarrassed, and every other adjective that admits that I am not strong enough to pull myself out of this depression on my own.

I started this blog to pull myself out of my own weaknesses  out of depression and anxiety. At the time I started it I was working in a job that I label as high pressure (IT tech in a call center) job, even though I am sure there are higher pressure jobs out there. My job stressed me the hell out and I wanted to accomplish something more so I started writing to give myself an outlet, the original purpose of the blog was just to have an outlet for whatever and not care about who read it. I posted random thoughts, funny pictures, things I thought that were neat about productivity, pictures I took, etc. It became an outlet for my own interests. In addition to the blog I took pictures, kept journals, prayed, went to church, read the bible, and had daily reminders to keep me on path.

Over time the process worked well. It wasn't a planned process but it was action. Action to move me forward and to keep me productive helping me to train towards improvement and a path of defined purpose. It had it's ups and downs but because there was a process I was present enough to respond to those by journaling, looking for help, even seeing counselors on occasion.

Along the way I made some accomplishments that when reflecting on now I feel good about. At work I headed up and completed projects taking on a leadership role in my department. I wasn't perfect and really let the stress get to me a times but I made some real strides at times and for those I feel really good about. In my relationships I made new friends and worked to maintain my existing ones, this lead to reconciling things with an ex girlfriend and forming a strong friendship with her that outshines our failed relationship, forgiving grudges I had maintained for a long time, and made new friendships to support spirituality, productivity,and creativity. In my personal life I helped make milestones including get out of debt, help my family get out of debt, move out on my own, and get in shape losing a lot of weight. My biggest accomplishment I made along the way was to accept that God is asking me to get on the path to seminary and possibly the ministry and start moving towards that path.

Two years ago in the same month I lost my job and my brother committed suicide. I had to move back home. It hit hard but I was still motivated so I resolved myself to embrace unemployment as a gift (I even called it funemployment at the time) and that I wouldn't let it stop me. I continued school for a year and completed my transfer credit so I am all ready to start moving towards to my bachelors!

But no, I have not moved forward. For the past year I have been spinning my wheels.
While reading this I get a sinking feeling in my heart. I am reminded of the shame I felt and still feel some shame for what I describe as spinning my wheels for a year. Wasting time.

How do I deal with the shame? 

What was the reality of the situation?

 I was feeling really low. Resistance had been really strong that year. I had experience the psychic trauma of losing my job and two family members (I lost a very young cousin to a failed heart at the same time) in the same month just two years before in the same month, October.

Had I handled it well? 

This is a hard question to answer because the shame clouds my outlook on myself. I leaned pretty hard on my parents but I have been working for them as a household manager (coined this term recently because it has been hard for me to explain to people what I do from day to day, finances, organization, errands and bill paying.) and have stayed home quite a bit with my step father who took ill this year. I have trouble taking credit for this stuff as a good thing because I feel like I am just doing what I am supposed to be doing.

What kind of outcome do I want?

This is another hard question. One of the problems with shame is the feeling that I don't deserve to get what I want. How do I deal with that? Prayer.

My Prayer
Dear Lord,
What do I do? Please give me the words for this prayer because my thoughts are so shrouded by shame that I need them.
 
Please help me to have the strength to get past shame. Please remind me that you died for my sins and I know longer have need for shame, guilt, or worry. Remind me that all my strengths comes from you and rather then pushing myself, I can fall into your arms and let you carry me. 
Father God, please fill me with your spirit and show me your will. Please make it plain as I have never been good at noticing it on my own. Thank you for being there for me Lord and reminding me that you are always there. Help me to stay in prayer and not turn my back on you Lord.
In your ever present Holy Name Lord,
Amen
 
This was a very hard post to write but I do feel better. Just the fact that I was able to write this down is a sign that God is helping me and I have hope that I can move forward and accomplish some good prayerful outcomes this year. I like that -  prayerful outcomes. It seems like God is answering my prayers already. Future posts will have to continue to explore shame, motivation, guilt, fear, and this new term - prayerful outcomes.

Thanks Lord.



1 comment:

Elynn Fris said...

apparently I am NOT the only 1 that needs to be easier on themselves and think what they do on a daily basis is worth something. I'm pretty sure we had the same conversation about me being humble. I think someone else is being humble now :)

it's okay that you took a year to get your stuff together to find yourself. We have both been through an awful lot last 2 years. but now it's time for you to move on and get focused and do what brian does best which is productivity except now he's actually going to exercise it. and it takes a strong person to realize that. some people get stuck for years, for their entire life and they never move. at least you know you're going to move and you're going to start doing it now.