Dear shame,

God you’re so hard to feel!

You weigh down on me, smother me, and take away my vitality. You’re clearly very important and it’s only now I’ve done enough looking inward, we meet properly.

Hello old friend.

I had no idea it was you all this time. Lurking beneath my addictions. Beneath the familiar anxiety I feel when working. You were there when I got called a cunt at school. And you were there when I did the bullying.

I’m listening now. I hear you say:

‘You’re a worthless piece of shit. You need to be better. You should work more, have more money, be with someone who is a 10/10 and a shit tonne of friends’

And I get it. I understand why you think this way. Thank you for revealing yourself to me so I can see the script that’s underpinned my entire life.

And genuinely: thank you for helping me to survive. For without you taking on these voices of hate, it would have been very hard. Perhaps too hard to get by.

And now I open my arms to you. I will share your voice. I will listen. You’re not to be rid of. I know that now. I only have a suggestion…

How about we work together?

You can show me my limits as a human. You can guide me towards my higher self. You can show me where the boundaries are and humble me when I need to be. I promise to feel you. I will not be silent. You won’t need to roar, to get my attention. I’m showing up now. I’m here.

I know we’ve had a bumpy relationship. It’s been so hard to accept you! I thought you were a bully, tormenting me this entire time. I hope you can understand why… what you say sometimes really hurts me. But how can I expect you to know something you’ve never learnt? To know how to treat me tenderly, when you’ve been rejected all this time…

Well not anymore.

I’m here when you want to express yourself. And day by day we can start to learn how to grow together. How to interact with each other.

Welcome. Have a seat at the table Shame.

There’s plenty of room for you.

Published by WillAdolphy

Trainee therapist, host of the 'Into the Void' podcast and Artistic Director of Flux Theatre.

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