Tonight I called my sister-in-law. I told her I’ve been addicted to opiates for 15 years. Her response moved me to a point way beyond the shame that I have felt for so long, and into a place of absolute love and respect for the beautiful soul that she is (my shame that I wasn’t there for her as much as I could have been when she was going through the pain of her own addiction).

I was deeply humbled by her compassion, her love, her understanding, her willingness to be here for me whenever I may need her.

I also realise the pain that I am putting my husband through with all of this, and see his absolute love and support, his patience, despite the pain, anger, fear that he is feeling too. I feel so sorry that I am causing all of this and wish it didn’t have to be this way. I am sorry.

In my deep pain and darkness I have reached out my hand and been saved from falling deeper by three people (L, N and N) who have shown me unconditional love, understanding and support, way beyond anything that I could have ever imagined or feel I deserve.

I am lucky to have all of these people in my life. They have let me rant, talk about myself and what’s going on for me, be confused and broken. They have offered to hold my hand and be there for me. Patiently stood by and listened without judgement when I have fucked up, and fucked up again. These people have seen my raw vulnerability, a hard place to be. I feel like I have been seen.

I really find it hard to accept that I deserve any this unconditional compassion and empathy. I find it so easy to feel that familiar feeling of shame when I expose my vulnerability.

To help my understanding of my shame, I watched these two Ted talks again. Wow they were so fitting with what I am feeling at the moment.

Brené Brown – The Power of Vulnerability

Brené Brown – Listening to Shame

Four things really stood out from these Ted talks for me:

  • Shame is the fear of disconnection – Is there something about me that if other people know it or see it, that I won’t be worthy of connection.
  • In order for connection to happen, we have to allow ourselves to be seen, really seen.
  • Vulnerability is the birthplace of joy, of creativity, of belonging, of love.
  • You cannot selectively numb the bad feelings. When you numb those, you numb joy, gratitude, happiness.

I feel a deep, heart-felt gratitude for my husband, my sister-in-law, to N, L and N.

And tomorrow, I start another chapter. I’m going to my first NA meeting (though I’m very nervous).