Sunday, December 5, 2010

Letting Go of Shame

Prompt: Let Go. What (or whom) did you let go of this year? Why?
Prompt Author: Alice Bradley

Aside from letting go of a toxic relationship earlier in the year, I've decided to let go of some of the shame I've been carrying around concerning my illness.  I worked my ass off in my twenties to get to where I thought I was supposed to be, only to be blindsided at 29. 

I thought that as soon as my friends had convinced me to see a doctor, that the medical community would figure out what was wrong with me, treat me, and then I could get back to the business of "having it all".  But within three months of seeing that first doctor, my bank account was drained, I had to move into a studio apartment, and give up physical custody of my then nine year old son.  And yet... I still had no answers.

It was soon apparent to me that I would need more help and ended up moving back to my hometown of St. Louis after being gone for 12 years.  I drained my meager retirement fund, had to get on food stamps, and started the process of applying for disability.  This was one of the hardest times in my life.

But it didn't break me.

Oh, it came close- very close.  But I'm still here, and part of the reason I started this blog was to keep my sanity through it all.  I kept this blog private for a while, but after hearing more and more stories similar to mine, I realized that there is no shame in what I am going through.  I couldn't have helped any of this!  I wasn't doing anything wrong to cause this- in fact, just months prior to the onset of the pain, I had quit smoking, started working out regularly, and began eating healthier foods!

After seeing the benefit of moving forward, in an open, honest, and somewhat vulnerable way, I decided to go public with this blog.  So, Reverb10, I have dropped the shame this year!  Celebrate with me!

this post a part of Reverb10: Reverb 10 is an annual event and online initiative to reflect on your year and manifest what’s next. Use the end of your year as an opportunity to reflect on what's happened, and to send out reverberations for the year ahead.


  1. Emily, your Cognitive Dissonance paintings are amazing!

    Shame is a stinky soul-sucker. Aren't you glad we're letting it go :)

  2. Thank you so much! And I think from now on, when shame starts knockin' at my door, I'm going to yell, "Go away- you're a stinky soul-sucker!" That made me smile:)

  3. hahahahahahahahahahahaahhaahah

    Thank you for my first out loud laugh of the day! :)

    Hmm... I've got sketch ideas in my head now...