The last week I’ve noticed a whole new depth of shame. Shame around my suicide attempt. Shame around other stuff too, but that’s a whole other post. What. A. Freakin’. Week.
I think I’ve been aware of this for a while – maybe like this whole year and a half! – but I feel like this shame is here at the surface to be healed. After doing something like attempting to take your own life, shame feels like an obvious symptom to follow after. It is a symptom because of how it fucks your body up when you’re feeling it. I’ve noticed how it’s literally like a drug. It’s like a poison. A rotten apple that’s been planted in your system and from it, lots of maggots crawl out and squirm and cause havoc with your belief systems, a sense of worthiness and a sense of self. And they don’t stop until you tell them to fuck the hell off by sharing the shame with someone else. Just yelling at them, face on, don’t seem to work. I just end up stressed and in turmoil and more pain, and they continue to rummage around, eating away any form of self love, respect or feeling of deserving anything good or loving. Fucking maggots.
Anyways, so this shame I’m talking about is pretty fucking huge. And I think until now I haven’t needed to face it. I have a bit, obviously, but only in bite sized pieces. I’ve been able to avoid and dance around the big chunk of it, and let the maggots do their thing. (This metaphor is really quite gross but I’m quite enjoying it as I feel like it suits it quite well, so enjoy the maggot talk folks.) I’ve almost let them be there because they have been just as all encompassing as they are now, but they weren’t my focus on working through things. I had other maggots as my priority.
But now I’m noticing how deeply this shame runs – how deeply it’s gone. Or maybe I’m just getting a deeper insight, as my heart continues to open. It’s the shame of the fact I attempted. It’s the beliefs that have formed from this…this simple yet life changing act. The theories my inner critic has created, of all the things I now don’t deserve (according to him) and all the reasons I shouldn’t be here some more (according to him). I particularly noticed this this week as I’ve had a week from hell. A mind trippy low dark, deeply dark, week due to a reaction with a herb that brought up a tonne of grief that I couldn’t handle.
During the whole time though, I watched as the impact of my overdose flooded me with shame and a sense of unworthiness. As I lay here swimming in a darkness I’ve never experienced before, I couldn’t properly reach out – partly because I literally couldn’t feel and barely fucking function, but also because within the shame I was flooded with, were beliefs that had been built from foundations of taking an overdose. And, lets be honest, foundations that were probably laid watching my mothers suicide attempts. That’s where my critic was born after all, so actually the judgement, hatred and critical words were born then. Not a year and a half ago – they were just turned towards me, when I attempted. Holy smokes that’s a beautiful thing to realise.
In this week of darkness, I realised that the difficulty of calling up a friend or meeting for coffee and truly owning up to the fact you’re feeling suicidal or desperate, or simply just depressed felt like such a mega task. In the past 18 months I just wouldn’t have said anything because the guilt of how much I needed friends during the time of my overdose and afterwards, still was running so strong. As was the fear of what me saying that, might bring up in them. But this time round, those two elements had faded. I think time really does heal. All those folks that say that are right. It just doesn’t feel as fresh anymore. And so this time round I could sit and openly say that I was really motherfucking struggling, and not care take. But instead, what lay beneath this new round ability to not care-take, was a river of beliefs that headed from my head to my heart and back again. The utter shame and sense of unworthiness because of what I did. A feel I don’t deserve support because of what I did. A sense that I don’t deserve deep connection and companionship because of what I did. And, most of all, that I don’t deserve regular support and love and company when I feel like this – I need to deal with it alone because anything else is too much. Too much for me, too much for the planet, and too much for the other person. It’s just too much to ask.
Or is it?
Does the fact I attempted suicide mean I deserve any less than another person? No.
Does the fact I attempted suicide mean I deserve to go it alone, and need to go it alone? No
Does the fact I attempted suicide mean I shouldn’t tell anyone when I’m feeling deep in darkness and desperation or a sense of hopelessness? NO. It means I just need to pick those that feel safe and can hold it, and me.
Does the fact I attempted suicide suggest that I am totally doomed forever, red marked as a fuck up? A 2 out of 10, or an F? Err, NO.
And that goes for any of you out there too. I’m not sure how this shame truly heals, except I have a feeling it’s time and connection. And sharing. And, words from myself to the wounded part of me, and a middle finger to the critic, reminding myself I do deserve it and I do deserve love, despite whatever I’ve done or did or do. I deserve the unconditional kind. The kind I never got.
Until now – from me and those I love around me.