I've been a long-time practitioner of my craft for about 6 years now, and let me just say that it is a HARD journey in terms of self-image. Almost every time I really got involved with my craft, I would meet people who I'd love to develop a bond with, and then I would notice how they would brand the things I am into as "Creepy," "Weird," or even "just a decorative phase." And, I would always feel a sense of shame when they subject my interest to such things, to where I would shrug, and play it off as just "leftover Halloween decor that I am too lazy to put up." Thus, hiding in a lie that I am something that I am not in a spiritual sense, but something has changed within me. After my most recent relationship that had ended, I had a slight epiphany if you will, and realized that my partner at the time had been allowing me to live a life that was not what I wanted. Now I have my alter all set up, and IT IS NOT COMING DOWN AGAIN! I wear my pendants with a sense of pride, and I am my full witchey self again!
Moral of the story- I am no longer afraid of hiding who I am as a witchcraft practitioner, and I am way more confident in my craft than EVER before!
P.S. I have been waaay more open to my friends, new and old about my path, and they all are actually way more accepting, and understanding than I thought!