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Feeling Shame When Excited

Thread starter #1
I've got a great opportunity to move somewhere with a new friend (who is just awesome, and I have a little crush on), and I'm traveling to see them soon. I am more excited than I've been in years, about anything. But when I get excited, I feel like I also start thinking in the future, about how I want things to happen. And I feel shame about this, but I also fetel ashamed of being excited. The thoughts that accompany this shame are "you don't deserve these nice things" and "you'll never be good enough for what you desire".

This leads to me thinking mean things about people in order to protect myself from the fact I like someone, even if I'm trying to not have expectations. It builds up in my chest and sternum, this like gucky shame feeling, and I wish I could stop hoping for anything. Then I get really down. I make myself feel guilty for getting excited and thinking maybe good things could happen. I've worked so hard just to get to here, where I can fight back those thoughts and recognize it doesn't have to be like this.

Has anyone else had a similar reaction to being excited/hopeful and what do you do with it?
 
#2
Asking for almost anything brings up feelings of not deserving it, fears of being hit for asking for something that is not allowed, and shame. Those feelings lead to a deep mistrust and fear of people, and I would avoid doing things that I wanted to avoid those feelings.

What do I do about it? I think first recognize that what I feel is a cognitive distortion. I have built up very slowly in asking for what I want. It's simple things, like buying things for my model railroad, or speaking up about where I would like to go on vacation. Whenever I ask for what I want, I listen for the old voices and do a reality check that I won't be hit, that I do deserve it. Last year, we spent a bunch of money to renovate our yard. The bulk of the work was really necessary (we had a mud pit in the back yard), but some was what I wanted. We pulled out some huge rhododendrons that were too close to the house and a pain to trim. More importantly, I've always wanted pink and red blooms in the spring, and these were all white. When I saw the red and pink blooms this spring, I really enjoyed them and am glad I asked for that.

Down the road, the big one coming is deciding when to retire, and what to do (second career?) when I retire. I need to be honest, really honest about what I want and not do something just out of obligation.
 
Thread starter #3
Asking for almost anything brings up feelings of not deserving it, fears of being hit for asking for something that is not allowed, and shame. Those feelings lead to a deep mistrust and fear of people, and I would avoid doing things that I wanted to avoid those feelings.
Thank you for your response @Wendell_R and I'm glad you were able to start asking for things! I also have this issue, a deep mistrust and fear of people. I've been avoiding reaching out to people for about two years before I finally let more people in this past December, and since then I've been more open but the feelings come up. I was never really hit (other than my ex bf) but was definitely emotionally abused when asking for things. I think maybe because I am doing these things for me and not out of obligation it brings it up, too. I feel like I don't deserve it.
 
#4
Thank you for your response @Wendell_R and I'm glad you were able to start asking for things! I also have this issue, a deep mistrust and fear of people. I've been avoiding reaching out to people for about two years before I finally let more people in this past December, and since then I've been more open but the feelings come up. I was never really hit (other than my ex bf) but was definitely emotionally abused when asking for things. I think maybe because I am doing these things for me and not out of obligation it brings it up, too. I feel like I don't deserve it.
hi @Strangelongtrip I think your suffering from cognitive distortions. You deserve to be happy and I'm so glad that you found a friend. Try to keep a positive thought pattern.
 
#7
I also fall down the same rabbit hole of not deserving and being punished for needs/asks.
Still learning bit by bit, but something that may be helpful is reframing the self-talk that you don’t deserve good things or people you like in your life. What about your friend? There is something about you that they may feel they deserve. You may enrich their life, which is why sometimes these opportunities present to us.

It could be a challenging exercise, but try to think of the things you bring to your friendship and why your friend may feel deserving of having you close....

I had to do this with regards to asking for ‘help’....just because I can do something on my own doesn’t mean I can’t ask for help with it. Sometimes it gives a greater reward, sense of inclusion, accomplishment, etc to the person you’re asking to help with something. My distortion is that asking for help has to be life or death....otherwise I’m a failure. Sorry, went off on a tangent there!

In summary.....maybe flip the thoughts about deserving around to a different angle....from your friends position.

YOU deserve good things.
 
Thread starter #8
Thank you @Warrior Chicken ! I’m going to write some of them down here.
I’m a wonderful caring, thoughtful friend.
I’m socially conscious and try to uplift marginalized communities.
I’m creative and we like doing similar art things and can collaborate (like we’re planning on when I’m there)
I will help someone who needs it anytime.
I guess I’m kinda cute too!!
I can discuss a lot of different topics and have interesting world experience from many different careers.
They have all of these traits as well, which is why I think they’re so awesome.

I still feel pretty rotten, to be honest. I’ve done some DBT work in my workbook but my emotions are just so so overwhelming. I’ve sat and just named them and listened, meditated, everything and it won’t lessen or subside. Luckily I’m not having urges to self harm but some to numb myself. I’ve taken some time off of social media so I don’t do something I would regret. I’ve made art about how I’m feeling. I just want it to go away now.
 
#9
I don’t understand the “deserve” thing... so I can’t even begin to touch it... but as to the rest?
But when I get excited, I feel like I also start thinking in the future, about how I want things to happen. And I feel shame about this, but I also fetel ashamed of being excited. The thoughts that accompany this shame are "you don't deserve these nice things" and "you'll never be good enough for what you desire".
How important is being right, to you?

Because, facts are, no matter how wonderful the relationship/job/time of your life? It will come to an end, sooner or later. So if your focus is always on the ending? Sure. You’re always right. It ended.

But... as you’ve found... that sucks all. the. joy. out of the middle part where the thing is actually happening.

And, if you’ve attached some judgement call on yourself over the thing ending? It not only sucks the joy out of any experience you might have, but also allows you to beat yourself up for the rest of forever, and to feel smugly secure (not on purpose, the disqualifying the positive thing) in being “right”.

Wouldn’t matter whether it was the loveliest relationship on the planet, married for 50 years, then they die. Yep. You were right. It ended. Things always end. You don’t blah blah blah. Nor, if you were promoted out of a dream job, into an I couldn’t even dream it job? Would the script need to change. Because, being focused on the ending, it misses out on the badass job & holy cow amazing job. No excitement allowed. No enjoyment allowed. No learning allowed. No judgement calls allowed. No decisions allowed. All. About. The. Ending. The recriminations.

And these were the rarest of birds, the best of the best things, just flushed down the toilet. Take an average mixed bag relationship/job/etc? Talk about a WEALTH of things to beat yourself up over!!! When all your focus is on how it’s going to end.

Alternatively? When you know EVERYTHING is going to end, you can reverse the process. Use that knowledge to enjoy to the hilt what you have. To learn from the mistakes, instead of see the mistakes as representative of your character. To make decisions rather than go wih the flow. To learn rather than punish. Shrug. Same side of the coin, being aware that things are all coming to an end -sooner or later- but it’s the one that lets you enjoy the moment. But it DOES mean letting go of being right. By knowing you already are right, it will end & often end in tears, so there’s no need to try and skip ahead to that part. Instead? Stretch out and explore the grey area, where you aren’t right or wrong, but living it.
 
Thread starter #10
How important is being right, to you?
I think I base a big part of my self worth on being right. I was raised where if you made a mistake, you were bad, so you had to know if you were "right" about something before it happened or you were a failure. This is the narrative of my grandfather though, who also never learned from his mistakes, and totally ties in to everything you're saying!!

Because, being focused on the ending, it misses out on the badass job & holy cow amazing job. No excitement allowed. No enjoyment allowed. No learning allowed. No judgement calls allowed. No decisions allowed. All. About. The. Ending. The recriminations.
This, yeah. I make myself miserable doing this. This is the first decision I'm making for myself, by myself, in a long time, that would actually have some repercussions/negative things. The last decision being pulling out of college at the time due to almost trying to kill myself. This is the first decision I'm actually excited about.

But it DOES mean letting go of being right. By knowing you already are right, it will end & often end in tears, so there’s no need to try and skip ahead to that part. Instead? Stretch out and explore the grey area, where you aren’t right or wrong, but living it.
I'm going to try this. Make a mantra, too. I'm so afraid of really living. The last time I really lived, without risk of consequence, was when my whole life when to crap because I didn't see the red flags. But I know what the red flags are now, so I think I can let go of this. Whatever life can throw at me I can make it through, I know this now.
 
#11
This is the first decision I'm actually excited about.
Cha... that’s the thing. Even if it fails from Day 1? I not only got to be excited about the upcoming thing, but now I’ve got loads of energy to turn towards the next thing. I can be excited about 1 thing? I can be excited about the next.

2 of my son’s coach’s have stolen a permenant place in my heart.

1 of them? (ER Doc) His tag line, pretty much no matter what the kids were doing, as long as they were doing it full steam... I LOVE IT! I LOVE IT! and then whatever the hell it was he was loving; pick yourself back up, drive the line, great awareness, stellar pass, good focus, great teamwork, good thinking, great choices I LOVE IT! I LOVE IT!

1 of them? (Lawyer) NEXT PLAY! C’mon! C’mon! What’s the NEXT PLAY? Didnt matter whether the last play was a success of failure or clusterf*ck, keep your eyes on the next play, put your energy to the next play. Whatcha doing, where’re you looking? Behind you, or in front?

It’s funny... because you can see how their professions played into their personalities (or vice versa, now their personalities led to their professions) but the COMBO of skills those 2 taught the kids? Joy & pride in whatever the hell it was they were doing in the moment, and not getting caught up in the past but thinking forward? Was absolutely invaluable. (This sort of thing is also why I was almost always at every practice. Not just for these 2 but all the others... the skills coaches drill into kids? Soooooo useful for ME :D).
 
Thread starter #12
Whatcha doing, where’re you looking? Behind you, or in front?
I rode horses for 10 years and this was a huge theme. Where you look you landed, so you had to keep looking where you were going, thinking about the next fence line or dressage move, and if you looked down you'd end up falling off. I'll keep that to inspire. Keep looking forward!!

Joy & pride in whatever the hell it was they were doing in the moment, and not getting caught up in the past but thinking forward?
Love this. One foot in front of the other (song lyric I was listening today moping around). I'm glad your son got good coaches too!! My niece has had some good ones and bad ones but I love going to the games now because the coach is awesome and they play hard.
 
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