It is indeed agonizing to bear an untold story. Especially if that story is one that weighs the bearer down with shame, self-loathing, and deep insecurities.
I bore such a narrative for years. One that shaped and informed an inner monologue that seared my soul with unimaginable pain and psychologically hobbled me to the extent that everyday functioning required exhaustive effort.
It was a miracle that I didn’t give up and wind up institutionalized (in prison) or living on the streets. When I was in my early 20’s, I tortured myself with the obsession that I would wind up as a chronically homeless person.
25 years ago, I was blessed to get on the path of Recovery from my Bipolar Disorder and Addictions. As I traveled that path, there were many therapists and peers, particularly my Fellows in AA, whom I learned to trust enough to start sharing my story and revealing my authentic self.
As I have continued this practice, more frequently and more deeply, the twisted lies I was fed and the shame with which I was heavily dosed as a child have slowly been melting away.
This ugly false narrative-a horror story with me cast as the perpetual helpless victim-has been told to so many people in so many ways that it has been deeply archived. Still there, but gathering dust deep within the bowels of the library of my memory.
Sometimes I get triggered and drag this evil tome out of the dungeon. But thank God that when I do, I have tools and a support network that enable me to cast it back into the deepest recesses of my psyche.
You see, shame thrives in darkness. When we expose it to the light it ceases to exist. Or, at the very least, scurries deep into dark, hidden crevices. Where it belongs.