Overshare Shame Spiral

Shame Spiral Image

Oversharing is something I have had a tug of war with all of my life – on the one hand I am silenced by fear of saying the wrong / inappropriate thing and on the other hand I overshare and feel shame and panic while catastrophisizing about the possible cascading consequences (that somehow always end with me being publicly ridiculed and rejected – hello judgement my old friend).

I am struggling with this experience at the moment after sending a well meaning but inappropriate, overshare message to a friend. The problem with sending such message (as opposed a face to face interaction) is the lack of context but most of all it is the lack of reply that has sent me into a painful spiral of self doubt, self flagellation and catastrophization.

Chances are, my friend has not replied because they are very busy – I objectively know that if I need to put more than 1 minute brain power into a message it will be procrastinated on but that doesn’t stop my mental gremlins taking over. It could be that they do have strong feelings but I cannot predict or plan for those – regardless of how much I try.

My brain is on overdrive trying to ‘correct’ this situation. It wants to send another message, it wants to delete the original message, it wants to find a framework, advice or will that person into replying to let me know that it was helpful, thanking me for the (unsolicited) advice, allaying all my fears. In short, I am trying to soothe myself.

For one of the first times ever, I’ve resisted the lure of my brain and written it all down, no holes bared into a journal (digital mind you). So much of the time – I stay stuck in my head but this time, I’ve poured all of these complicated feelings out through my fingers and on to a white page (not this page – this page is an analysis of my initial analysis – how meta 😂)

I won’t say that I feel released from the feelings but I feel a little calmer. Even so, when I think of the message, the waves rise (waves… pah – more like a stab of shame in the heart). I am learning to let them pass by breathing deeply and then sending huge love to myself and to the person I sent the message to. It is helping… I am feeling a little more steady, a little more able to deal with the possible consequences – what ever they could be.

This post, my first in over a year, could compound my fears of rejection but it feels important for me to start writing and publishing again. Re-learning how to pour my incessant swirl of formless thoughts out through my hands, giving them structure with all of the vulnerability and inherent risk that visibility brings. This feels so alien to me after a long, difficult period of my life and a self imposed silence.

So hey there my lovely friends – how has life been and how do you cope with runaway feelings?

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