This is a common statement that is used in recovery, but do you know what it actually means, or why we say it?
Secrets create the breading ground for shame. However, the more shame you hold, the more secrets you’ll keep the worse you feel about yourself. Eventually this becomes a perpetual cycle, a trap that you can’t get out of. The only relief from the shame is to engage in some sort of distraction, unfortunately sometimes in the form of substances. This is ironic because the distraction then in itself becomes shameful. In reality, you are in your own loop of shame and no matter what you do, the shame just gets bigger and bigger and eventually you are completely lost and alone. This is what we call an “emotional rock bottom”.
The feeling of shame is thus the boulder that stands in the road, blocking the path to actual recovery and serenity. Our goal is thus solely to push the boulder out of the way so that healing can take place. The tool that helps us shift the boulder out the way is honesty. This comes in the form of sharing secrets in the beginning.
As long as we can be honest and share our shame out in the open it keeps us out of the cycle of self-loathing. We begin to understand that we can make mistakes and that these mistakes do not define us or who we are at the core. We also realize that others have made similar mistakes and thus we can relate to one another and truly connect.
When we connect to others and learn from our mistakes, we are the capable of navigating life free from the desire to “escape”.