Like anxiety and depression, shame can have a helpful and an helpful side. Imagine yourself receiving an award for best salesperson/teacher/writer/or whatever of the year in your company. If helpful shame does its job, you wouldn’t get up to the mic to ramble about how great you are and that no one can touch your sales/teaching/writing/or whatever skills. You wouldn't say, “my sales prowess is in a category of its own! You all wish you could be as extraordinary as me, too bad you can’t, there's only one me!” No, if helpful shame has its way, you will say a couple thank you’s, shake some hands, and bow yourself right off the stage at the appropriate time.
Helpful shame acts as a rudder steering the ship of your life away from narcissistic/overinflated/conceded waters. It keeps your from thinking you’re God or that you have superpowers (while I understand some of you may).
Now imagine the same scenario...you win an award for best x, y, z in your company; but, this time, instead of getting up to sing praises to yourself, you can’t even get out of your seat. Toxic shame, doing its work, bashes your head into the wall, beats you down and spits you out, before you can even think about getting out of your chair. Your mind, pushing you down says,“you’re not like these people, they all have degrees/you’re too dumb to get this award/there must’ve been some kind of mistake." The toxic, unhelpful brand of shame squeezes, beats, and forces you into a frozen state of inactivity. Left untreated, it's relentless. Like a psychopath, it will steal from you, torture you and even annihilate your life...and never think twice about it.
Questions to help you decide if you’re a good fit for shamed-focused therapy:
Do you have a gut-level, intense feeling that you're defective in some way?
Is it hard for you to trust yourself because you've believed the lies people have told you?
Do you often feel like someone/something needs to “fix” you?
Do you distrust your own security signals? (“the problem is with me, not that they are a bad person”).
Do you try to hide parts (or all) of your body from others?
While in conversations, does your brain constantly provide an unsolicited, demeaning narrative?
Do you stamp yourself as “unworthy, stupid, or as a bad person?”
Are you exhausted? Do you spend countless hours working on your looks/body/education/career just to prove that you are somebody?
Is it hard for you to make eye contact?
Do you hesitate to speak with others?
Are you constantly disappointed in yourself (or others)?
If you answered yes to any of these, you could benefit from shame-reduction focused counseling at Restoring Lives Counseling Services.
How We Can Help
At Restoring Lives Counseling, Colorado Springs (El Paso County), we love to help people totally obliterate toxic shame's plan in their life so that they can live a more forward moving, free existence. When you first meet your therapist, together, you’ll explore areas you’d like to see growth in. Next, you and your therapist will devise a recovery plan. Then, your therapist will use a variety of methods to help loosen shame's hold on you so you can be free to live the life you've dreamed of.
Shame can be isolating and painful; but it doesn't have to be. Many people have experienced relief from shame-based living by regularly attending sessions with a licensed therapist. Make the first move toward hope and healing by scheduling a free consultation today...719-433-1407. Or click on the link below to send us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org.