Get Inspired/ Personal Best
Kristin Booker • July 17, 2015

Personal Best: No More Shame

This week started like any other week. I shot out of bed on Monday morning, filled with a head full of Other People’s Requirements. We all have them. I am no different. I have obligations to ensure that I can survive. I would do my very best to meet them, and the next week would start again in much the same way.

I would do my very best to meet them.

This week did not unfold like any other week. I completed a last-minute assignment for a client. I did my very best to write this article. I submitted it. I moved to the next obligation on the list. I went on about my daily deliverables. More email flowed in. Anxiety rose slightly. Could I juggle all the obligations?

I did my very best to meet them.

In one day, the world changed. I became agonizingly sick, sicker than I’ve been in years. I soldiered on because I have obligations, I have that checklist that says if I don’t deliver, I could be off your radar. You would forget about me, and I might not survive. I soldiered through the pain. Doubled over, I smiled at events and made polite conversation. The list got larger as the pain increased.

I tried my very best to meet them.

In the day, I was attacked on social media. It seems despite my best efforts, I was deemed by a mass mob to be unfit to tie my own shoes, much less write professionally. The comments were vicious; the anger was unbelievable. A piece I wrote that I intended to be a request that we all come together and be sensitive to each other’s needs became a battleground for opinions about me. It appears I should be ashamed to have even breathed air this morning. Ignorant despite research…you should be ashamed of yourself. My abdomen turned into a vice grip as I read these comments in the doctor’s office. The list remained long, but it appeared “get your shit together” was now on my agenda. Shame on you, came the backlash.

I officially stopped trying my very best to meet them.

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During this doctor’s visit, I got some rather sobering news: some residual affects of my childhood abuse have come back to haunt me as a current health condition. In my conversations with the doctor, I had to answer questions as to how the trauma happened in the first place. They are conditions for which I have felt shame my entire life. It seems the ring of belly fat and the internal distress I’ve been experiencing has been the housing, care, and feeding of other people’s violence against me, which has turned into me perpetuating that angst against myself. I have to let it go, or I will literally destroy myself from the inside out.

I have to let it go, or I will literally destroy myself from the inside out.

The doctor explained the protocol for dealing with the damage, a new manner for living. The way I have done things is not the way I will do them now. There are new obligations on the list. I must put myself first, or my existence will become unbearable.

I must put myself first, or my existence will become unbearable.

I walked out of the office, and destroyed the old to-do list. I let go of the Internet hatred, I released the requests for more shame. I do not subscribe to these demands anymore. I do not accept the fear that lack of approval means I should erase my entire existence. I will not crumble under the weight of your opinions. I do not believe in a world where anyone who tries their very best should be ashamed of falling short. I am no longer in possession of a desire to play those games or live by those rules. My life depends upon acceptance of myself and living a kinder, gentle existence. You must take your violence elsewhere, and I must not perpetrate such acts upon myself. I no longer believe in shame.

I no longer believe in shame.

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I am obliged to put myself first. My survival depends upon my love for myself. I deserve my own love and respect, and I trust myself to deliver it. I have a new set of priorities, and I am at the top of that list. I will do my very best to meet them.

I will do my very best to meet them.

Photos: Giafrese

 

 

 

 

 

 

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4 Responses to Personal Best: No More Shame

  1. Mel Bratz says:

    Bravo to you. It sounds like you are at an amazing turning point.

    I’m just now exploring your website as this post came through my facebook feed. I’ve recently started taking hot yoga, and the phrase “we store our issues in our tissues” really jumped out at me from one or your interviews. I struggle immensely with camel pose and that backward bend. My teacher thinks I’ve got something that’s going to release eventually. I can’t identify my issue but suspect he’s right.

    If you are looking for something to help guide you on your journey of self care, I’d like to share what has helped me immensely in this major year of difficult personal transitions. There’s a wellness coach named Kelly Coffey who teaches a webinar based class called Pleasure Principles. I took her course in January over four weeks and have finally been able to develop a healthier relationship with food, sleep, all the things I knew I “should” be doing for myself but just couldn’t manage to stick with or work into my life. Coffey’s website is here – please poke around, see if something strikes a chord, and much power to you in your path forward!

    If you are looking for something new to help guide you on your journey of self care, I’d like to share what has helped me immensely in this major year of difficult personal transitions. There’s a wellness coach named Kelly Coffey who teaches a webinar based class called Pleasure Principles. I took her course in January and have finally been able to develop a healthier relationship with food, sleep, all the things I knew I “should” be doing for myself but just couldn’t manage to stick with or work into my life. Coffey’s website is here – pleas poke around, see if something strikes a chord, and much power to you in your path forward!

    http://www.strongcoffey.com/

    Peace,
    Mel

    • Kristin Booker says:

      First of all, thank you for reading and commenting on the post. I’m grateful for the recommendation, and I’d love to check it out. I’ve grabbed the link and I’ll read it right now. Thank you so much, Mel!

  2. Kate says:

    I read your article, “How to lose 85 pounds, one food at a time” and liked it so much that I went in search of more from you, and stumbled upon this gem. Wow.

    First, I love your ‘voice’; your writing voice.

    Next, I get that idea that we kill ourselves from the inside out without knowing that we’re doing it. I think way more people suffer from this than anyone is aware. We don’t even have to have childhood traumas to do so. Society is very, very good at telling us we’re not worthy of the air we breathe. While at the same time saying we’re all *special* and *terrific* with that fake hopeful optimism.

    Society can be very bi-polar.

    Anyway, good for you. Shame is a horrible thing we do to ourselves and each other.

    I wish you all the best. You deserve it.

    • Kristin Booker says:

      Thank you for that amazing comment. It’s really good to hear from you. I think as women we don’t believe that those negative perceptions and shame are poisonous, but I’m inclined to think they’re tearing us apart from the inside out. Thank you again. 🙂

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