“Shame is when you start attacking yourself. You're abusing yourself all the time.”
-Darlene Lancer, from the Adult Chair podcast
Many adults who have ADHD feel deep shame. This is often a result of having grown up with adults and peers whom they cared about telling them that they ought to be able to do better. They've absorbed a story about themselves that they cannot, or that they are unworthy.
I came across Lancer's description of shame while listening to a podcast and thought that the idea of one abusing oneself when feeling shame was an insightful way to think about how you are hurting yourself when engaging with shame. When you have feelings of shame, you have a robust inner critic sitting on your shoulder saying “you cannot do this! ” or “ you are not worthy!” but those ideas are just ideas. This is a story that you have learned to tell yourself. It is not reflective of reality.
CBT therapy is one way to address the story of shame. Another is to journal and ask yourself is this story true? Or is it just a story?
I encourage all with ADHD to question their feelings of shame and push back. You are more worthy than you think.
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