That word, that FEELING, is probably the cause of more addictive behavior than just about any other word or feeling there is.
I remember my childhood filled with shame. I was ashamed about the drunkeness in my family. I was ashamed that I often had to stand in front of my drunken grandmother on the sidewalk to shield her from public view while she relieved herself... her urine stream running out to the curb between my little legs.
I was ashamed the first time I saw my 1st grade school bus driver. His name was Frank and I knew, the moment I laid eyes on him, that wanted to be alone with him. And I felt shame about that and KNEW I could never share that shameful thing with anyone else. Ever. I remember the feeling of shame that arose from desiring boys, instead of girls.
I remember the shame I felt at being a late bloomer, puberty-wise. I remember the feelings of inadequacy that I’m quite sure, now, that every boy must feel in the showers after gym class.
I remember the shame of not being able to perfectly, and intuitively, understand Algebra. Because of that, I felt inadequte, inferior, “less than.” I cut school for nearly a month because of that shame. Until I got caught. And I felt shame over that, too.
I remember the feelings of guilt and shame that I was going to be consigned to the eternal fires of hell.
I drank over all that shame. I drank over my shameful feelings.
And yet, I had absolutely *nothing* to be ashamed of. I was absolutely perfect, just the way I was.
Religion, however, had another idea.
Which is why, today, I believe in God, but I don’t believe in religion. Not any of them. And I’m not ashamed of that.