We’re all human beings and we all want love and connection. So, how do we find it?
Vulnerability takes courage. And in recovery, it’s vital. In order to feel connected, we need to be vulnerable. Today, vulnerability is discussed widely. What’s more, this is largely thanks to one of our favorite researcher-storytellers, Brené Brown who famously charted the course into once uncomfortable topics in the viral TED talk she gave in 2010. If you have not watched this talk in full, we highly recommend it. It’s a game-changer. Specifically, it tackles shame and vulnerability and how important it is that we connect with others.
Sobriety can be challenging. It can be rocky, uncomfortable, and frustrating at times as we unearth our behaviors and thought patterns. But it can also be a relief. No more hiding, cheating, lying, stealing. Sincere honesty can flow into your life like a cooling ocean wave. When we practice vulnerability and truthfulness in our communications, we deepen our interconnectedness with others. But how do we apply this in our lives?
Vulnerability in Sobriety
Many, upon hearing the word vulnerable, clench up. Fear can surround this word. But, many of us with consistent sobriety have found significant freedom in this word. Sitting in a room with others sharing vulnerable moments and struggles can be a great relief. It allows us to truly be seen, maybe for the first time in our lives, by people who know the experiences and feel what we are feeling. The best part about sobriety and vulnerability is that you are not the first person to experience it. Sharing from the heart connects us with those who have gone before.
Redpoint’s namesake is a climbing term for successfully free climbing a route that we have not been able to complete. Lucky for us, there is a worldwide community of folks in recovery that successfully navigate these routes of living sober. Tapping into this community and feeling the relief of being vulnerable can be life-saving and a testament of the human spirit.
Mental Health and Being Vulnerable
The relief of vulnerability extends beyond the shared experience of addictive patterns and recovery. We, as humans, need each other. We need connection. Many of us have learned not to admit this for fear of seeming desperate or ‘uncool’. In addition, we may have endured trauma that causes us to distrust people, vowing never to be vulnerable again. This pattern can drive us back into addictive behavior because biologically, we NEED connection, touch, and love. The pain of isolation can run so deep, we use it as a punishment: solitary confinement. The whole world has been feeling the gravity of our need for human connection with lockdowns and quarantine. We are at the pace we are comfortable with and when we allow ourselves to physically connect with others and be in their presence, we can also motionally connect. Hence, we let this vulnerability flow forth. This is when true healing can occur.
If you or someone you know is struggling, don’t be afraid to seek professional support, ever. You are not alone. We all experience difficult times and we all need help every once in a while.