When Anxiety Hitches a Ride with Shame

Just about everyone has experienced shame over a mistake or a wound that causes us grief or shapes our sense of self. Sometimes, however, the shame is persistent and comes with an unwelcome companion that’s just as unhealthy and difficult to deal with: anxiety.

First, I should state that I don’t think shame and anxiety are entirely bad—shame, or guilt, can offer us motivation to correct our behavior when we’ve erred—like when we’re in a bad mood and we’ve spoken harshly to a spouse—and anxiety gives us “fight or flight” hormones to get us out of bad situations—like meeting up with a bear in the woods. Those types of shame and anxiety are productive.

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It’s Not the Ring I Wanted … But It Still Fits

I knew it was coming.

He’d called me up, told me we were going out on a specific night, at a specific time and to a specific place. It didn’t take a genius to figure out he was up to something.

I had to work that night; he panicked until I got my schedule changed.
I suggested going at an earlier time; he pushed until I relented.
I told him I wanted to go someplace different; he reasoned with me until I accepted there would be no altering his plans, whatsoever.

Come hell or high water, we would be at that place, at that time, on that night.

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Living With Chronic Illness

By Andi Tubbs
Thirty years ago, I began having sensations that I didn’t recognize. At the time, I was pregnant with my first child, and my doctor thought it was hormones. My stomach would feel sick, I’d get a dirt smell in my nose, and sometimes I couldn’t focus, but then it would disappear. After I gave birth to my third daughter, the sensations became more intense and happened more frequently.

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The Shame of the Working Mom

by Jaime Jo Wright
“Don’t you miss your kids when you have to leave for work?”
“How do you maintain balance in your life and give your family the time it needs – you know – since you work?”
“Do your kids feel like they suffer since you work?”

These are questions I’ve received in one form or another since I had my daughter in 2009 and went back to work full time, six weeks later. First of all, let’s get one thing straight: ALL moms work. Leaving my house by 7:30 AM every morning doesn’t put me in a different class of higher achievement, nor does it categorize me as a woman who’s independence soars above the nurturing heart of a woman who stays home—to work.

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The Battlefield of Comparison

By Jennifer Bleakley
You are such a loser.
You sound so stupid.
Who do you think you are? You don’t belong here.
The words taunt and belittle, hitting their mark, leaving my heart battered and bruised. The words rapid fire against my mind, continuing their siege until I lower my head in defeat.
The words spoken, not from another, but from within, are evidence of a fierce internal battle.
A battle I have fought for many years—the battle of comparison.
Single or married, with children or without, stay home mom or working mom, size 2 or size 20, organic or processed, introvert or extrovert….so many comparisons. So much time wasted. So many wounded hearts.
Can you imagine the contentment—the freedom—we could experience if we let go of comparison?

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What Happened After My Husband Kissed the Babysitter

By Shanty Espinosa
I knew something was different that day, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, other than to notice that Al seemed a little nervous when he left for work. He’s a pharmacist which is not necessarily a boring job, but not one that would normally give an employee the jitters, so I was caught off guard when I found out he had kissed the babysitter the night before.

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Three Things I Learned From A Disastrous First Date

By Deena Peterson

I was 17, in my junior year of high school, and I hadn’t had a boyfriend yet. No dates either. Very self-conscious of my weight and body issues, and the thought of having a guy interested in me was mind-blowing.
My father’s best friend and co-worker had a son I’ll call Jim. Jim was much older than I was—college age, and he had a lot more life experience as well. And for some strange reason, he liked me.

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“You’re Always So Happy!” – Why These Four Words Make Me Sad

By Amy Matayo

These four words. I’ve heard them my entire life. They’ve followed me around everywhere. From grade school, where I often got in trouble for talking too much (a funny thing now since I could very easily go several hours and days without talking to anyone but myself, especially when I’m writing), to high school to college to today. And I am. Happy by circumstance. Happy by nature. Happy because that seems to be the way God made me.
But not always.

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