TW: abuse, depression, shame.
Just a short post today as I wanted to share one of 8374595 Ted Talks I love. You will come to find that I am a TedTalk fiend – I really really LURVEEEE THE TED TALK. I watch all of them. I listen to podcast. I scan the website frequently. You can stumble across something and then you are of on a researching experience for weeks and learning all about that one TedTalk and just discovering stuff. Learning stuff is cool and fun.
I stumbled across this first talk a couple of month ago and I really fell in love with the message. I then went on a Dr Brene Brown discovery watching her other talks, life back ground, snippets of her books etc and I just think she is incredibly interesting. Interesting may seem like a neutral and not such a great compliment but interesting for me is a hugeee compliment. If I am interested by you or that or this thing in front of me, I also have a hugeee appreciation.
The first talk really hit me in showing me what I knew that I knew, but didn’t know that I knew, you know?
There are some powerful umphhhhs that hit me. I hope you understand umphhhhh. The talk looks at vulnerability and how Brown had begun her research in attempting to measure vulnerability and fell upon a whole host others she then went on to explore. Her key ummmphhsa look at the link between worthiness, shame and fear, vulnerability.
All of which may sound like broken records to anyone who experiences poor mental health. They are all so intrinsically linked that from an outsider looking in, it is so easy to advise on how you can work to reduce/increase the levels of each. When you are in it. In bed with all of those combined, it is easy to be swallowed up in the perceived darkness of all three.
Vulnerability = an essential component of every aspect of our lives. When you watch the talk you will understand.
Vulnerability is NOT weakness.
Shame..even saying the word shame makes me feel a bit tingly, it genuinely holds so much over me. My previous post was on coping with guilt, it is important to highlight that whilst some may believe they are similar feelings, to me they are not. Shame is something I have struggled to have control over, to this day it is my biggest competitor. Internal-conflict-initiator. Self doubter triggerer. I have been made to feel ashamed for so many of my experiences and it took so long to be able to seperate shame from everyday ‘natural’ feelings – I’m not sure I every really understood what shame was but in my opinion, it is the most powerful of all; love, anger, jealousy included.
Shame, in nearly all circumstances of those who are survivors of any kind of abuse; is a manipulated and externally conditioned experience with the purpose of exacerbating the ‘damage’ (increased control, loss of friends, self -isolation). I feel vulnerable writing this and honestly, that is ok, because I want you to be able to confront the shame you have experienced, or may currently be experiencing. Irrational shame is not self-inflicted and when we are made to feel unworthy of anything; happiness, success, love, fulfillment – it imposes additional feelings of shame.This is a good point to drop in Brown’s talk on ‘listening to shame’.
The message Brown tries to share with us, is that vulnerability is a tool to be utilised in our everyday lives. This may sound far fetched, I don’t believe it is. As humans, we have all emotions and we can not ‘block out’ the ones we do not like. As much as we would like to (I will pay you 10 mill to take away shame) we can’t. The attempt to block out those emotions can be extremely damaging to our well-being. We may start looking to those quick fixes we love so much, the blocker-outerers (wine for me pls), the denials..whilst we may dabble in those from time to time, it will only mask our underlying difficulties with processing these emotions.
- You are the person you listen to the most (sounds obvious but actually it is not)
- You don’t have to make the uncertain, certain
I wish I had a couple more ‘yay tips’ to share with you, but if I am honest, I don’t have many on this as it is something I am still devoting a lot of time to working on. I wouldn’t ever want to pretend or to give false idealisms to recovery because…well, would be a bit pointless right? I will end it on reminding yourself that you are worthy of rewarding yourself for the progress you have made, the person you are becoming and the determination it has taken you to get this far.