I am so fortunate to be at the end of a very, very, long, difficult, humiliating, painful, destructive, shameful journey with my eating disorder and body distortion issues. Along the way, I’ve found out some things about myself that, in the beginning, didn’t seem to have any connections to my focus on food. Never thought of shame as being a culprit and barrier to my recovery.

Thanks to the new book, Craving, by Omar Manejwala, and my daily review of its chapters, I now see how debilitating it is – shame. ( I also interviewed Omar and you can find the podcast here.)

When you carry around shame you isolate yourself and you feel absolutely lonely despite being with friends, your family or anyone else, even if you are loved, cherished and respected by many. You can’t fully let go and enjoy yourself and feel genuine and authentic when you carry around secrets about yourself that make you feel bad or less-than; weak or stupid. I used to be ashamed at my out of control eating as a group fitness instructor since I was also a role model for a healthy lifestyle. Do as I say, not as I do. I felt like an imposter. A hypocrite.

Shame prevents full joy and complete happiness in your current state. Shame whittles away at your hope for peace and contentment; for success, perhaps. Shame prevents you from revealing parts of you that are beautiful and unique. Shame limits your intimacy with others and leaves you wanting more. Shame feeds your addiction in a vicious cycle.

So, what does one do? Find someone you can confide in with complete honesty and trustworthiness. Find someone who can listen for as long as you need to talk. Find a professional that can decipher the hidden meanings behind your confessions and turn them into revelations. Find someone who can help you “come clean” and lead you to recovery. Therapy, your best friend, spiritual guides, a pastor, or siblings, for example.

If you are still dealing with a craving, please explore today’s wisdom (and research), passed along via Dr. M. Stop walking in your dark shadows. Clean out your wounds instead of putting bandaids on them. Shine brighter and find new, intense connectedness. You’re not alone but you have to reach out to start your recovery. The end result is better than you can imagine and it can be your truth.  And, please share your journey so others can learn and be equally inspired.

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