My daily self-reminder is to always be vulnerable, however I am learning that the word vulnerability can have very different meanings for each person. It’s a long spectrum of emotions with all these different variables; what makes one feel vulnerable and to what extent, will be very different dependant on the situation and the person.

Today, I took a positive step in my journey of healing. It was far beyond my comfort zone, addressing a past experience in my life that unlike my mental health, fills me with shame and fear. This morning, I felt this intense emotion of vulnerability and it terrified me. It was quite similar to the feelings I experienced when I first considered seeking support, looking outside myself for mental health support.

I find myself being self-critical, frustrated that I was able to overcome fear and shame in my own mental health journey, yet I am unable to translate them into other struggles and hardships in my life. I know it is normal, but it’s hard to remember that vulnerability is so unique and each process of healing is different, even if it involves the same person.

A close friend recently told me how sitting in shame and sadness is important. It’s a powerful thing to just sit there and feel, whatever it may be: the guilt, the shame, the sadness, the anger. Allowing yourself the time and space to reflect without judgment. There is something very raw and human in giving yourself that time, making sure you don’t cut it too short and building yourself a stable platform for when you are ready to take the next step.

Today, I was reminded that with vulnerability comes growth and addressing those initial feelings is a facet of vulnerability. For instance, if we reflect upon this feeling of shame, our own personal shame, then we are able to grow. Because like my friend said;

“If a day comes where someone can feel at peace, talking with confidence about something that was painful or humiliating, isn’t that an amazing example of growth?”

This ability to be peaceful and non-judgmental of our self.

I guess today serves as a reminder of just how much I have grown in terms of my own mental health, that today I am able to openly talk about my illness without being self-critical or judgemental. I need to hold onto this thought as I embark on other areas of healing in my own life. To remember that it wasn’t a quick fix to get to this place, that it took time and reflection in order to overcome an incredible amount of pain.