A-Z of Blogging: V is for Vulnerability #AtoZChallenge
26 posts. 26 days. 26 letters of the alphabet, one blog post beginning with each letter.
V is for Vulnerability
I noticed I forgot to publish my V post a few days ago.. so here it is today.
Sally Brampton was a journalist who wrote candidly about her life-long struggle with depression. She left a profound and lasting impression on me and I return to her writing often.
Read what she has to say on being open about her depression:
The way that I deal with my depression these days is to talk about the way I truly feel, and not the way I think other people would like me to feel. I am rarely right about that anyway. And I have discovered that when I break the treaty of silence, I am amazed to find how many people will join me.
I’m really struck by that phrase “treaty of silence” – it’s a powerful statement, isn’t it?
I know that some people find such notions of honesty and vulnerability impossible, if not abhorrent. Most of us have never learned the vocabulary of intimacy. We simply don’t know how to express our feelings. Perhaps some of us don’t need to but it’s more, I think, that most of us are frightened so we hide behind a carefully constructed social self. Much of that self is unhelpful; it is a brick wall behind which we find ourselves trapped, frightened of not being, as the therapeutic phrase goes, “good enough.”
I’ve written before about the mask I have worn to hide my true self because I have feared being exposed for someone that is “less than.” Over time however, maintaining this façade became a burden.
I’ve learned that the best antidote to the not good enough culture is to say it out loud. We live in an imperfect world. We are imperfect beings. The more we share that, the better we will feel.
You become freer to be yourself, not because you finally found a place where you are protected from feeling what you don’t want to feel, but because you welcomed those unwanted feelings and lived to tell the tale. Maybe your idealized image of yourself didn’t survive, but you did. – Kim Rosen
I learned to be vulnerable, to shed my mask here on this blog. It was by writing that I learned to come home to my true self. Knowing that there is a place where I can write from my heart is empowering for me. In the wonderful words of Pat Schneider, “When we write, we create, and when we offer our creation to one another, we close the wound of loneliness, and may participate in healing the broken world.”
We get so conditioned not to show our natural frailty that we forget that vulnerability is a precious thing. It’s what makes us human. It is what heals us because it is connection and not separation that makes us whole.