Vulnerability Hangover

I just spent a few moments looking for quotes about vulnerability that might speak to what I am feeling and have been feeling as of late. No such luck. I knew I would bump into the positivity of some Brene Brown, but I also hoped that I might find something that described the utter fear, insecurity, and disconnect that I have been stewing in for the last four days. Nope. I found quotes about courage and love and intimacy and catharsis. I even found a page dedicated to inspirational quotes by my seemingly constant companion, the late drunkard and writer, Charles Bukowski. Really? Really? I call bull shit.

You see, on Saturday I told my story—my life story!—to a small group of women. In a very honest but abbreviated way, I started from the beginning and shed a brief light on the past thirty-eight years. I focused both on healing and on pain. And, I felt great. Well, thought I felt great. Until my neck, shoulders, and jaw started to ache. Until I started feeling all second-guessy and insecure. Until I got depressed.

Mapping out the particulars of my personal Lifetime movie might not have been the only catalyst for this trip to the ledge. I have also been doing some work that requires me to face ugly truths about myself, and I have been triggered by some situations and little loving criticisms that have brought those truths to light. I could go on and on about my inability to communicate my needs and about my selfishness and self-centeredness and my constant state of denial. But, it probably isn’t necessary. You get the point.

As a writer and a frequent flyer at the therapist’s office, I didn’t think vulnerability would get to me. I feel like I often lay it all out on the line. I generally think that I am open and honest and raw. But, for some reason, this time is different. Scary different. I want to weld shut the hinges on my clam shell and hide in the dark with my long black tongue. I want to keep my mouth forever closed.

This, my friends, is (as my therapist refers to it) a vulnerability hangover.

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