Shame Reduction & Hyper Sensitivity Aug 26, 2020 19:54:47 GMT
Post by Susan Peabody on Aug 26, 2020 19:54:47 GMT
“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more [shame], neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”
Many Christian addicts and alcoholics are ashamed to admit to their pastor and congregation that they are addicts. This is also true for sex addicts. So they go to 12-Step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous. There they find out that they are not alone. This is the beginning of a process of healing that I call shame reduction.
Shame hinders recovery and has to go. It begins to dissipate once one admits to God, themselves, and another human being the exact nature of their addiction. But often, the shame lingers around and we must not let this get us down.
When I got sober in 1982, I was ashamed of my alcoholism until the Holy Spirit came to me and told me I had been forgiven. It took longer to forgive myself for other things because the outside world kept mentioning them. One such shortcoming, that comes to mind, is my hyper-sensitivity to criticism. I was bullied as a child and it affected me. Criticism feels like rejection. But people kept telling me that I was being too sensitive and that it annoyed them. They told me to “develop a thick skin,” or to “not take things so personally,” or to “stop acting like a big baby,” etc. When my sponsor in AA told me that it was part of being an alcoholic to be hyper-sensitive I was so relieved that I cried.
Today, I still get comments like this. Mostly I am told to “just get over it.” However, when I go to an AA meeting people don’t talk like this. They totally understand why I am still affected by my childhood trauma because they are just like me. This is why at an AA meeting, after you talk, which we call sharing, nobody is allowed to respond or what we call “cross talk.”
I have been praying for my hyper-sensitivity to be healed and God keeps telling me that I am of more use to him as a wounded healer as long as I carry this burden. It makes me more empathetic to others who suffer this way. But he has promised that eventually I will be relieved on this burden. I can’t wait.
This brings me to my point. On this Christian Recovery Forum I want to say that you do not need to be ashamed of any part of who you are, even if it puts a burden on others to be more careful when it come to how they say things to you. The extra steps they take to communicate with you, without triggering your childhood wounds, is part of being a loving neighbor.
So let it be said that on this forum you are welcome just they way your are-—wounds and shortcomings and sins and everything else that is still being processed in your recovery. What one person on this board called “excess baggage.” When Christ asked us to love our neighbor, he meant just as they are, not the way you want them to be.