Beyond my shame
my soul lived
waiting to break free.
Could you see me?
I was in there.
The real me buried beneath my pain and shame.
The real me underneath the stigmatized me?
Stigma lessened me,
made me feel inadequate.
I never measured up.
I felt inferior because of the label I was given.
It wasn’t so much the label of mental illness
but the stigma society put on my label.
I was in there living beneath the shame–
trying to break free.
I caught the shame you threw at me
and absorbed it inside myself.
Stigma is contagious
like a virus
spread by many.
No one is immune.
Mental illness stole my identtiy and the life I planned on living.
I had to redefine myself from beyond the pain of shame.
The shame was always there
even when I pretended it wasn’t.
I could feel it gnawing at me
interfering with my abiity to fully live my life.
It was not my shame to wear
and was not my pain to bear.
So, I give it back to you.
You can have it.
I am not ashamed and I will not wear the shame of stigma anymore.
Beyond my shame I reemerged into the me that was waiting to be free–
the me that deserves a chance to live and love fully.
Will you give me a chance and let me show you I am more than you think I am–
more than you thought I was.
I am a fully capable, strong, smart, kind and good person.
I made mistakes behind my shame.
Please forgive me
and let me show you who I really am beyond my shame.
While I was imprisoned behind my shame, I grew stronger, wiser and kinder
and transformed into a better version of myself.
I had no choice. I had to.
I am still transforming but I am going to make it beyond the shame
–beyond the stigma.
There is mental wellness
and I have obtained it.
Shame ate my soul
but I will continue to rise above
of mental illness.
~written by Susan Walz
“Shame needs three things to grow exponentially in our lives: secrecy, silence and judgement.” ~Brene′ Brown
“The only way to get rid of your past is to make a future out of it.” ~unknown
“If we share our story with someone who responds with empathy and understanding, shame can’t survive.” ~ Brene′ Brown
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