There are many ways a person can be vulnerable, but what does it mean to show vulnerability? I had an experience today with a coworker who shared the story of their challenges over the weekend. It was the sort of story that would normally make me want to offer advice and support, but the conversation was cut short because I got a phone call I had to take. Instead of returning to the conversation later, I got a text from my coworker apologizing for “over-sharing.”
People avoid situations that make them feel emotionally vulnerable because they are uncomfortable showing their vulnerability. The feeling of being emotionally vulnerable is similar to the feeling of being physically exposed. There is a protective layer between us and everybody else. And yes, exposing yourself to a stranger would not be advisable because trust does not exist in that relationship. Typically, we can only show our vulnerability to someone we trust. Spokane Falls Recovery Center can help you take a self-assessment to perform a vulnerability inventory. Reach out to us at 844.962.2775 to perform a self-vulnerability assessment.
The Power Of Vulnerability
The power of vulnerability is an increasingly important concept in helping people with addictions. Allowing themselves to admit and share their weaknesses can be the first step toward effective recovery. Research has proven that allowing themselves to connect with others on a deeper level increases:
- Understanding of feelings
- Creativity and problem-solving skills
- Ability to establish healthy relationships
Admitting and being honest about one’s addictions takes courage, yet it also creates new connections which serve as positive support systems to advance recovery. Vulnerability helps promote responsibility and encourages people to take ownership of their decisions. To those suffering from addictions, recognizing the power of vulnerability can be the foundation for positive behavior change and sobriety in life.
Building Trust with Others
As a person with alcohol addiction, I have learned certain things about how I “protect” myself now versus how I used to do it, which is not unique to me. Those with alcohol addiction or any other type of addiction tend to front a lot. I had heard it said many times that when in active addiction, the person was an “egomaniac with an inferiority complex’,” and they “felt all alone in a crowded room.” This was because the person lived a fundamentally superficial life, ruled by immediate gratification, and driven by imbalanced levels of dopamine released in the brain. A life that ultimately leads individuals with addictions to a substantially lower standard over time and, in so doing, all but eliminates the possibility of meaningful relationships in their lives.
People with addictions tend to hide a lot. Once they are far down the rabbit hole of addiction, the game changes from being about the next high to just getting well enough to function. Every observable part of their lives becomes a tricky facade requiring significant effort to maintain. Because it is so draining to keep up appearances, the person naturally gravitates towards isolation. In this space, they forget how to derive strength from being vulnerable. Like any skill without practice, vulnerability must be exercised regularly to feel comfortable.
For a person with an addiction, showing up to a meeting or situation which requires additional vulnerability takes painstaking effort. It is often described as “running a marathon with a 100-pound backpack.” This is why so many people opt not to seek treatment, though they know they need help. However, some people muster the courage and walk through the doors of treatment of their own volition. I was recently stunned by a woman I spoke with before her first partial hospitalization program group. Before entering the group room, I told her I was proud of her. Her response was simply, “Thank you. I’m scared.”
Her example makes me believe that there is no excuse for why our everyday interactions cannot be filled with meaning. There is also no reason we should feel unworthy of that connection. To all of you who have felt unsure about an interaction because it left you feeling exposed, I thank you for your courage. To all of you who have decided to dig your way out of addiction, I thank you for inspiring me every day to keep growing as a person, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Lastly, to anyone who has yet to take these steps, many are awaiting your arrival with open arms. All it takes is a little vulnerability to put that first foot forward. You can do it. You, too, are worthy of love and belonging.
Accepting your vulnerability can profoundly affect your life, including helping you perform a self-vulnerability assessment. Doing this allows you to identify areas in which you may feel particularly uncomfortable or anxious and can be an effective tool for cultivating self-awareness and connection.
Perform a Self-Vulnerability Assessment with Spokane Falls Recovery Center
It is crucial to learn the power of vulnerability. This can help us better understand our emotions and build trust with others. Vulnerability opens up pathways for meaningful relationships and gives us the courage to take the steps toward recovery from addiction or any other issue that may be holding us back. It takes strength to admit that we need help, and at Spokane Falls Recovery Center, our team is here to show you the way.
Contact us today to learn more about the power of vulnerability and perform a self-vulnerability assessment. We offer compassionate care in a safe and supportive environment so you can take control of your life and reach your goals. Call us today at 844.962.2775 to learn more about the power of vulnerability.