Friday, 28 November 2014

Day 55 - Vulnerability and the wholehearted

Hope you're well today? Well, I was at a local 'writing group' last night, free class, lots of aspiring writers and little old me. Lots of angst when I go to these as I don't really feel like I belong. I write, sure, but normally its non-fiction. So I'm always a little out of my comfort zone.  Its all 'premises and adjectives'. Fuck knows what they mean. Personally I just write 'stuff'. Its all stuff. I don't really care how it tumbles out, as long as it gets out of my brain. My reward for going use to be a big fat bottle of wine right after the class finished. Not last night.

I like going as these are people I'd normally have nothing in common with. Its a bit out of my comfort zone, so that's good for me I think. Its free, free is good. But, I feel quite vulnerable when I'm there. I'm dyslexic, diagnosed late, I struggle to read out loud and sentence structure is to me, something that tumbles out like a drunken spider. But, I do OK. Thus far, I've managed. So the idea of me at a writing group makes me somehow smile, its a bit ironic. I struggle so with words. It makes me feel very vulnerable. We agree though, we all like words. They  like their words to be well thought and meaningful. I'm just fucking grateful mine end up on a page. Its why I blog, no angst here about how the words/thoughts are, they just need out of my head. And, I'm so grateful that you'll let me write them. 

I've been on a bit of a vulnerable journey this week, therapy, addicts group session, sharing time with some folks I don't' know so well, sharing time with folks which I know well but are changing, talking more with my husband. Its been quite a vulnerable week, all in all.

Folks at my addict group session were talking beforehand, as I snuck in, car keys in hand, sober treats in the car in a recycled bag, just blown in from Sainsbury's.  I feel as if I get a few 'what are YOU doing here looks'. I'm sure I don't but I don't yet feel very connected in my group and for a rule I always feel like an outsider, so that's me not them. I guess that the 'connections' here, will come in time, I'm new to this and need to give it a chance. But I'm asked to read the opening statement. Now, I really don't read well out loud, like really, I always have. Don't get me wrong, I read ferociously, but that's half the issue my eyes are furlongs away from my mouth when I'm reading. I stumble, I retrace, I fall, I try again. Words dance about the pages and I stumble and falter but eventually sounding like a slow five year old standing in front of the teacher I get there. Eventually. Someone meets my eyes and smiles in a kind of well done kind of way. Well they know that secret now, they know that shame, how much worse can the rest of it be? I relax. Its a good meeting.

Today a friend sent me a link about a TED talk she'd heard recently by Brene Brown (link below). I think its worth a share here. It certainly made me think. She also recommended her book, (photo at top.)

She (Ms Brown) talks about worth v. worthiness, she talks about shame, of being loved and of fear and unconnection.

She studied the difference between those who feel connection and love and tried to understand what lead to their sense of worthiness. The key to this seems to be the sense that its OK to be vulnerable, in fact without vulnerability we may struggle to find true happiness/love/worthiness.

Self love, self worth, whole-heartedness. I'm not sure I have any of that. I'm not sure I want vulnerable, but it seems that without it real connections can't really be made. Compassion to ourselves before others, help, I'm scared.

Vulnerability = beautiful according to Brene. Scares the shit out of me being vulnerable. No siree no vulnerability for me.

But, she suggests we don't generally embrace vulnerability as a society, generally we numb it.

we numb vulnerability

The minute the word NUMB was mentioned alarm bells started in my head. Oh NUMB, I like NUMB, it makes me feel safer, I hide. No feelings please. Much safer, nothing to see here.

But the numbing agents (credit, addictions, food, medication) bite back. 

No feelings means no feelings, no joy, no happiness, no scardeycatpants, no pain, short term fixes leading largely to nothing except shame. And, shame keeps us isolated.

We all know how Wolfie likes shame and isolation.

So that's where I'm at today. Thinking that the very act of saying, I think I have an alcohol problem. Of reaching out, of speaking of connecting, I'm putting my vulnerability on a platter with a side of hope.

With small changes like that, there's always hope.

And with connections there's always friendship and experience.

A sense of belonging.

And gratitude.

And love.

The first steps I guess are showing vulnerability, asking for help, hearing a fellow voice, knowing we're not alone.

For that, I thank you all. And, if you're reading this, feeling alone. Please know that you're not. Reach out.

Words make me feel vulnerable, but without them, scattered over a page, reaching out, spidery sentences, shit grammar and no care for the structure, without them, no one would read. Better that they're out and published, than in and fraughtly stuck in eternal 'edit'. So forgive my tumbled words, like me they're clumsy, but they mean well.

I'll leave you with that TED talk. If you can watch, please try. Maybe its the researcher in her that I like. My inner pragmatist wants everything fixed, a bit like Ms Brown.

BrenĂ© Brown: The power of vulnerability (20 mins, make a cuppa and watch)

BrenĂ© Brown studies human connection — our ability to empathize, belong, love. In a poignant, funny talk, she shares a deep insight from her research, one that sent her on a personal quest to know herself as well as to understand humanity. A talk to share.

Sober views tomorrow, a week in pics, I'm quite excited about that. Have a great day.


  1. Daisy, this is so beautiful. You've had a big, busy week, well done! I, too, hate reading aloud, I hate talking in front of a group of more than two people, especially people I don't know...eek! You are right we are not alone and it's so comforting to know there are others who struggle too. Lori K. xx

    1. Nice to know I'm not alone LoriK - its scary, but we push ourselves, sometimes a bit too much! Hugs to you and thank you. x

  2. LOVE Brene Brown! The Gifts of Imperfection is also a great book by her :) Take care of you xx

    1. Must edit and put her right name there! Thanks for the recommendation will try and find it. x

  3. Daisy, I love the way you write. I can hear your voice and it has so much energy and spirit. Hugs from Bea x

    1. Bea why thank you in truth, I'm a chatterbox, with the right folks. :) thanks for being so kind! x

  4. I'm with Lucy.
    I carry around copies of the gifts of imperfection to give to others. It's that powerful. Better than daring greatly.
    Get it.myou nt regret it.


    1. I really must find it then! Thank you. x