Saturday, January 18, 2014

Hello, my name is Taylor, and I have a Vulnerability Hangover

Usually fear comes in a blinding white flash before you do something wildly brave: its the "I don't think I can I do this" as your feet leave the blocks. Just showing up and taking the leap are enough.  Facing the fear takes your breath away and gives it right back.  You empty yourself out, and the payback is immediate: you brim over, happy, sparkly, "I did it!"

But sometimes the fear comes later, after the leap, when the rush of adrenaline has left you weak and wobbly. Numb at first, and then the feelings return in painful prickles. This fear is darker, slipping over you in oily whispers: "What did I just do? Why did I say that?"  You are empty, like a water bottle sucked dry, crunching and crushing.

Brene Brown calls this a "vulnerability hangover".   I have had two opportunities to teach and share my story lately. In both cases, the folks were kind and supportive, and I imperfectly delivered what I'd prepared to share.  And yet, one time I jumped and caught the wind; the other time was a nose-dive. I'm left feeling over-exposed and desperate for the Bloody Mary of vulnerability benders.  Honestly, I don't know if I flopped, and that accounts for the sting, or if this is just the way of things. That sometimes stepping out (and speaking out) results in a tumble, and you just find ways to tuck-and-roll.

For now I'm just feeling all the feelings, talking to people who love me, and trying not to eat too many sleeves of cookies. (Because I've ALREADY eaten too many cookies. Obviously.  I'm about setting realistic goals here.)

What's your go-to treatment for a vulnerability hangover?

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