Sorry, I’m Not Sorry.. (A Letter to Shame)

Dear Shame,

Honestly I hope this letter finds you, not well.

I am writing today to tell you I think it is best we part ways. I understand this may come as a shock because we have been together for many, many years. We created a comfortable relationship. It withstood the test of time and struggles. Together we endured anxiety attacks, anorexia, depressive episodes, a bipolar diagnosis, and even a hospital stint.  

Together we feared the future, doubted our capabilities, and defined ourselves by the past. Our greatest passions were finding solitude in meekness and criticizing our strengths rather than allowing ourselves to grow.

In addition to you having the worst personality, ever, I’m really sick of your friends. You seemed to always choose them over me and I felt our relationship had become very unhealthy because they started joining us in every activity.  Yes, I’m talking about Fear, Self doubt and Worthlessness. You seriously need to reevaluate the type of folks you hang with, Shame.

Maybe you have noticed the change in us, or rather, the change in me. There’s no denying our relationship doesn’t feel the same anymore. I know you thrive most when I listen to your every word, follow your lead, and let you determine our next move.

I’ve found a voice and I’m ready to use it.

I can’t stand you following me, casting a shadow and bringing way more harm than good to my life.  I can’t stand you telling me no when I’m ready to hear yes.

I’ve found that being healthy, happy, and whole feels wonderful. Never have I felt as alive as I do now.  As we drift apart, lose our connection, and spend less time together, I feel a weight lifting. I’m taking that as a sign.

I will not stoop to your level and make this a nasty break up letter. If roles were reversed you’d curse my name, insult my talents and remind me just how undeserving I am.

Thank god I’m not like you.

But I will confidently express that this is not ending amicably. Although I know we will see each other in passing, and life events will test my decision to leave you, I’ll stand sure of my choice. We won’t ever be the same, Shame.

But like most break ups, even the worst, I will look back and think, “At least I learned something.”

Thank you for teaching me what I want to conquer.

Thank you for showing me what doesn’t serve me any longer.

Thank you for helping me discover that I am so worth loving.

I’m sorry, but I have fallen in love with someone else, and that someone else is me.

-Kate Van Horn