Alcoholism and Addiction to drugs are the tips of the iceberg in terms of cultural malfunction.
The 21st Century western society is a hotbed of personal tragedy and until we name the culprit, it’s not going to get any better.
Shame is to blame.
I am not expert in the fields of human development and sociology. I have seen, however, hundreds of people either die or remain terminally ill because of Shame. See This Article
My experience is in alcohol addiction, and by association drugs. It is so heartbreaking to see those who are at death’s door come for recovery, and not be able to grasp it.
Whilst drug abuse – both Over The Counter and illicit – are rising dilemmas, alcohol abuse is still king apparently.
A National Study report in 2015 indicated that despite the rise of opioid abuse alcohol addiction is still number one.
The Rehab Trade is flourishing, yet the rate of recovery remains low.
The Shame that is perhaps at the root of all this is explained in depth by Brene Brown in ‘Daring Greatly’.
She speaks of Shame 1,2,3.
- We all have it
- We’re all afraid to talk about it
- The less we talk about Shame, the more control over our lives it has.
Somehow, we all have Shame around how we look to others, the secrets we keep about our thoughts and actions, and what we do to avoid the pain of Shame.
Addiction is very much at the heart of this, but so is relationships at work and in the home.
There is Shame about the things in our past and the things we do daily. The way we were treated is Shameful and this continues on to the way we treat others, especially our beloved ones.
Unfortunately, in the Recovery Movement that I have been around, and the Rehab stories that I’ve been privy to, the closer we get to discovery the more Shame puts the skids on any attempts we make.
In an article published this week from a prison inmate, it was said that abstinence is probable in jail but recovery is difficult. They are fed poorly, are forced to abstain by separation, and in a very hostile and intimidating environment.
Upon release, evidence shows little signs of improvement.
Life on the outside is like that.
It’s impossible to escape if the prison is your mind. And it’s improbable that long-term wellbeing is maintained until the organ that is affected is given the required remedy and time to heal.
What is that?
First, we all need to identify with the problem. Denial is a bitch (Beautiful People And Rabbit Holes)
Secondly, Shame must be exposed. Secrets keep Shame alive, and wholehearted living and empathy are the medicine
Remember, Guilt says ‘I did bad’, Shame says ‘I am bad’.
Thirdly, establish a new vocabulary. Be open about mistakes because to ‘Err is Human’. It’s okay to Fuck Up!
Surrounding ourselves with people who empathize with our humanness and accept our faults is a lot better than pretending to be someone we’re not, and hiding our frailties like a sinful secret.
Brene has a Shame-buddy. I like that.
Whenever she feels like she’s feeling Shame she can call a friend (sometimes from the closet she’s hiding in) and say, “I’m spiralling!!! Help!”
Today, I have a Sponsor, a Therapist, a loving partner, and an open honest relationship with as many people as I can. When I feel Shame, I am good to get help from someone.
I walk along the river and along the beach (I know I very lucky to have both!).
I pray and meditate a lot, but not as much as I think I could [SHAME!]
I eat healthily and drink a lot of water, but I take supplements just in case.
This is a long way from drinking cask wine at 4.30 most mornings so that I could face the day. I hope you get some help in facing your gremlins.
The life of love and peace that I enjoy I wish for all sentient beings.