Those of us with a mental illness, addiction, or emotional trauma tend to keep our distorted, torturous thoughts and relived shaming, painful memories locked in our minds because we are ashamed of them and believe that verbalizing them to another human being would be worse than death.
Social stigma, past experiences with cruel, ignorant people, trust issues, and our own cognitive distortions keep these thoughts imprisoned in our minds, where they inflict excruciating pain upon us, ruminating endlessly and tearing our self worth and peace of mind to shreds.
Therapy, counseling, talking to a spouse or friend provide a great relief, but the ultimate long term relief and shift in consciousness (for me) have come from peer support in spiritual fellowship groups with others suffering from the same affliction. 8 years ago, AA saved my life. And I am now in another group, that is not 12 Step based, but that is providing me similar healing.
Finding “my people” who “get it” has been a linchpin in my recovery.