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From Toxic Shame to Authenticity

By Tammy Theisen


When I showed up to get help I was full of shame and self-loathing.  The life I was living was not the life I wanted to live.

I was continually judging and criticizing myself and this kept me on the Crazy Train. In recovery, one of the first things I learned was to be kind to myself.  Practicing kindness and compassion towards myself gave me the feet to stand up against all of the negative thoughts I had, all of the negative experiences I recalled.  Because I learned it’s okay to care for and value myself, I am able to remember that my past and regret over my past do not define who I am today.

Part of that process was not letting some of the negative thoughts about myself that were in my head come out of my mouth   It seemed like when I said those damning thoughts out loud and turned them into spoken words – they become a reality.   On the flip side, I learned that if they didn’t come out of my mouth, they were no longer real.  It was here that I grew strength knowing I could stand up and know that I am enough, I am kind, I am courageous and I can live up to my word.  The more I accepted my faults without judgement, the stronger circle of support I created.

Looking within to find love, acceptance, tolerance, and patience for myself allows me to grow in my relationships with others.  I have more to give.

Having compassion for myself does not mean what I did was okay.  It just means I still love myself no matter what and that I do have the strength to pull myself over whatever mountain shows up. It was when I was able to see myself a human and not as a person making mistakes all the time I was able to gain some ground and purpose to move forward.

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