Vulnerability Hangover

Brené Brown, my own personal goddess, has said many things that just really resonate with me. Today’s topic is the idea of a vulnerability hangover.

Being open and honest is really hard work. Especially for someone like me who puts a wall up whenever actual scary emotions of love or pain come into play.

I’m a chronic oversharer. I could write a whole post on that alone. For now I’ll just say that I have an insane need to tell everyone everything and to get approval for every decision I ever make. Sound familiar, anyone? However, I’ve learned that oversharing isn’t synonymous with being vulnerable, in fact for me, it’s far from it.

I’m an open book, I’ll tell you anything and everything about myself. Anyone that writes a blog about their own life experiences in this way has to be some form of crazy. So I’m an open book, I’ll tell you anything, but you’ll absolutely never see me cry.

Want to hear about the anxiety attack I had last week? Let me tell you about it. Want to discuss heartbreak? Sure, I’d love to. Want to hear about my biggest fears and insecurities? I’ll serve them up to you on a silver platter.

But you’ll never be in the room during an anxiety attack. You’ll sure as hell have no idea when I’m lying in bed and can’t sleep when my heart is broken. And if I’m really feeling insecure, that’s the most confident I’ll ever appear.

Being open and available is scary. It’s really hard to open your heart, especially when there isn’t a net underneath you. Show and tell is tricky when it’s easy to tell, but not at all easy to show.

How many of you have had an honest moment of openness and vulnerability lately? Did you open your heart to someone new? Maybe ask your boss for a promotion? Take a leap of faith, move to a new city, and finally tell a new friend how desperate you are for their company?

Do you feel a little hungover and vulnerable afterwards? Yea. Me too.

Recently I’ve been trying to genuinely open up more to people. And not just in the way where I share my stories, but where I actually share myself. I’m trying to go beyond just telling people I love you, but proving it. Going beyond saying I rely on someone when I’m having a hard time and actually calling someone when I’m feeling anxious. Going beyond the feeling of strength of doing it all by myself, and admitting that I need people to lift me up on the hard days.

It’s terrifying and exhausting. And it’s giving me a vulnerability hangover. But rather than curing this one with raw eggs or a couple of Advil, this hangover can be cured with practice. The more you open up to others and the more you truly trust them with your heart and your happiness, the easier it becomes. I’ve sure got a long way to go, but I’m excited about the doors this journey will open for me. So go out and be bravely vulnerable today. And see where it takes you after the hangover subsides.


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