Have you ever sent an email, talked to a friend or shared something with someone and then instantly regretted it? Or woken up the next day (or even a few hours later) and thought, "What the hell was I thinking?" and felt insanely vulnerable and uncomfortable, really wishing that you had kept your mouth shut and could take it back? Just throw in a big JK and laugh it off.
With the advice and help of people who care about me and a lot of soul searching, I had some pretty big realizations yesterday. After a few hours of sitting with the emotions, trying to make sense of it all, form coherent thoughts and figure out my stance, I decided to share my realizations with someone. I wrote out an email that shared some of my deepest fears and darkest secrets, along with a lot of things that I have felt and believed but wasn't consciously aware of or really able to put into words or realize the impact they have on me.
This morning when I woke up I was ready to go crawl in a dark hole some where. It reminded me of a time during my freshmen year of college, my first ever experience with alcohol. (Yes I was underage, we all make mistakes) Those who know me remember this night by my shouting of "I want to see the people". Given the fact that I had never had anything to drink before, wasn't exactly eating properly, had no idea of my limits and wanted to fit in and impress my new sorority sisters, I drank way too much and completely blacked out. Along with a horrible hang over, the next morning I had to attempt to piece together the night. Thankfully (because my friends were/are AMAZING) I woke up in my dorm room in my own bed safe and sound. But the shame of having no clue what had happened left me feeling insanely embarrassed and vulnerable. Although I was decently entertaining and didn't do anything too embarrassing, having friends replay the night for me and having no recollection of it was truly awful.
Yesterday was different, in the sense that I knew what I was doing, but the vulnerability hangover was the same. I was 100% sober when I sent the email and shared what I did. I was fully aware of my actions, however I hadn't really thought about the consequences or what I was really doing. After a day of a lot of thinking and trying to make sense of things, I was just glad to be able to come to a conclusion and felt that it was beneficial for me to share it with someone. It was honest, raw and authentic.
Although I have been in therapy for almost a year and have a blog that shares some of the hardest, darkest parts of my life, putting myself out there still isn't easy for me or natural. Most of the time, even with my treatment team and closest friends, I still error on the side of caution; sharing a little, but not too much while desperately trying to shield and protect myself in the process. I worry about judgement every single day and although I am getting better at being honest and open, especially with those that are trying to help me, I still cringe at people knowing my insecurities. I worry what others think and believe that if they know some of my thoughts/struggles they will run quickly in the other direction.
This isn't a post where I say that I had some big epiphany, feel better and am embracing vulnerability like all of the cool kids. I still have my shield up, along with a wall that stretches pretty far out and a "don't mess with me" attitude. The regret is still there and I still feel uncomfortable. But I want to share a video with you that I watched this morning (and have watched many other times) that is amazing and has given me some perspective. It's Brene Brown's TED talk on listening to shame. I would encourage you to watch and if intersted check our her website and blog http://www.ordinarycourage.com/.