When you’re sick or something monumental happens to you, and it doesn’t seem as though there’s any direct way through what we’re experiencing, something inside us shuts down.
We’re unable to cope with something using the same skills and resources we used in the past, so we freak out and feel the need to pull ourselves away.
Whether out of shame, inferiority, regret, embarrassment, guilt, self-loathing or a combination of all of them(!), we automatically think that we’ll just be able to think away out of it and ‘see how it goes’. It becomes a hell of a lot easier to keep our insecurities to ourselves, because we can’t be 100% sure how others are going to react to what we’re going through. We’re terrified that we’ll be seen as totally messed up, fucked up and pathetic. Ironically this is how we feel inside at the time, but we’re so insecure about others knowing this that we slide into the need and want to hide from the world.
Image by Drew Hays adapted from Unsplash
What does hiding look like?
Not picking up the phone when there’s a random number on the screen (done it, and still do it all the time. My husband thinks it’s hilarious!)
Not wanting to go out without a full face of make-up on. I want to hide my flaws and imperfections.
Not telling people how bad something really is. You think you’re protecting them, but really just hiding the truth from yourself (hip injuries anyone?!)
Hiding away from flatmates/neighbours (i.e. running the other way when they’re coming towards you, or hearing them arrive home and running into your room- I’ve done both of these.)
Avoiding difficult conversations.
Not admitting to someone how you really feel, so when you really do express it, you spit it out at them and it comes out as anger.
Why are you hiding?
I hid during my illness out of shame.
Shame for the fact that I wasn’t at work, as a ‘normal’ person should be.
Shame that maybe I was having too much down-time while everyone else was grafting away at work.
Shame at being off (again), because I’m still not fully understanding the lesson behind my hip injury.
Every time I hear my neighbour come out of their house and hear the gate go at the moment, I know that there’s no way in hell I’m stepping outside any time soon. I was about to head out for my daily walk the other day, but I hid behind the door for 5 minutes until I heard them drive away.
Because I’m ashamed that I’m having to take time off again, and truly, if anyone asks me when I’m going back to work anytime soon, I think I’ll burst into tears.
Clearly, all of this is coming up now for a reason.
I haven’t been stepping into my power recently. I need to dive into some big, big chakra two stuff and all I want to do at the moment is meditate my little self senseless. I’ve been feeling this sense power a lot recently in kundalini yoga sessions, and it’s pulling me with everything it has.
Do not be afraid of your power my love. This is your life-force, your energy, your birthright. This is pure creation and what the world revolves and spins on. Stepping into it is terrifying, especially if we’ve spent our whole life running from it, but taking small steps and sitting in stillness is sometimes all we need.
We can’t keep hiding behind doors forever.
Your light deserves to be seen.
Sending you so much love and strength,
(P.S. If you’d love to reach out to someone who really understands what you’re going through, I’d love to encourage you to dive into the CFS Collective, launching next week. Understanding, compassion and love cannot stand in the face of secrecy and fear).
Great article!! Thank you very much
Thank you lovely Tamara! xx
I’m a caterpillar in the process of becoming a butterfly, so I need my solitude. And I need to learn how to un-stress in crowded areas. And I don’t have the energy for cold calls (I assume that’s what you mean about the phone). Um … and I can’t access the whole page, there’s a block down the right side that your article partly hides behind, and I don’t know how to get rid of it – hysterical laughter! xxxx
Ha! Not sure what’s going on with the page my love, but maybe you can read it again when you’re a butterfly! I think this is the stage I’m in too- moving from a caterpillar to a butterfly. Thanks for this my love- xx
Yes, totally identified… shame of not being at work, or having a lot of time-off, or…. I’m trying to go through it, and people seem more empathetic than I’d imagine… Your article is as great as always, it makes me reflect… thanks, darling
It’s a pleasure, my love- I remember this feeling so well from when I was really sick, too. There were so many well-meaning people out there, but I think shame got the better of me! xxx