Hello shame, old friend

Photograph of someone sitting at a bus stop at night. The background is very dark, but the person and the industrial blue bench are starkly lit. The person is wearing all black, they have long brown hair and high heeled boots. They are leaning forward with their hair forming a curtain around their face. The light casts a semi-circle of brightness on the grey pavement under them.
Photo by Edwin Andrade

Seven years ago, group therapy saved my soul.

What do you do when the harder you try, the more excruciating everything becomes?

Not alone

Nine people stand, silhouetted, on the ridge of a dark hill. The sky is mostly dim and grey, with large, dark clouds, but rays of bright orange and pink sunlight stream up from the horizon, making a small chunk of sky impossibly bright.
Photo by Hudson Hintze

And then I would cry because I, too, didn’t believe I deserved to be treated well, and I, too, didn’t believe I was good enough.

Shame, and hope, and what comes next

A window is pictured from inside a decaying building. The interior is very dark, but we can make out ivy growing up the indoor wall on the left. It is bright outside, and the vague and cloudy shapes of green things can be seen through the window. The window itself is broken and cracked as well as cloudy.
Photo by Kieron Mannix

We need others to witness the things we are ashamed of, and to respond with kindness or neutrality, instead of the disgust we expect.

A photo of a wooded area with many out-of-focus trees in the background. The sun sits on the horizon and shines golden through the dark trees and bushes. In focus in the foreground is one thin green bush, lit up gold.
Photo by Oliver Hihn




T.J. Yarrow is an author, scientist, and healer (mostly of hirself). Ze often writes about trauma and oppression.

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

8 Ways to Deal with Anxiety by changing our perspective

Privilege, Oppression & Mental Health: Acknowledging the History in Our Stories

Happy Pills

Learning to Walk Again

Mental Health Professionals: Have You Ever Felt Guilty For Getting Angry With Your Patients?

My mood is just brutal today, probably due to the awful sleep deprivation and schedule.

Tuesday’s Promise

6 ways you can arm yourself to disarm a Panic Attack

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
T.J. Yarrow

T.J. Yarrow

T.J. Yarrow is an author, scientist, and healer (mostly of hirself). Ze often writes about trauma and oppression.

More from Medium

I lost my sparkle.

I’m Running on Empty

Erase the Sigma about Mental Health Awareness!