V is for vulnerable…

So I had my assessment at the Docs last Friday. Apparently I’ve definitely done something to my left leg.  Aces.  To make matters worse I got sat down by my Doctor and categorically told that I am NOT allowed to do any exercise for at least another SIX weeks.

Fuck fuck fuckity fuck fuck.  (Sorry. There are no other words…)

In light of this extended exercise embargo it dawned on me over the weekend that I was going to have to abandon my Three Peaks plan.  Bugger.  I’ve not run since February 19th, I’ve missed Reading half marathon, and over the last few weeks my frustration has gradually reached cataclysmic levels. (That’s bad btw).  This was yet another thing to strike off the ‘to-do’ list.

In light of this I’ve had to do something that pains me.  Greatly.  I’ve had to stick my hand up and profess my inability to cope with this situation. I’ve done my damnedest solo thus far, but my funk reached a state of funkiness that I couldn’t seem to shake, therefore I had to ask for help.

Minor note: This isn’t something that sits comfortably with me. I don’t do asking for help. I dislike showing the chinks in my armour. Truth be told I detest anything that makes me feel vulnerable. And lets not even go there with uncertainty.

Yesterday I came across something that made me think differently about being vulnerable. It’s a talk on TED by Brene Brown. She’s a qualitative researcher on this topic, and she sure knows her onions.

Me and vulnerability aren’t such a good match, therefore I’ve learnt over time to be damn good at pretending it’s not happening. AKA I mentally stick my fingers in my ears and go tra-la-la. Some people numb their vulnerability with food. Some with booze. My weapon of choice is the scotch eggs from my local in Peckham. Yes I know I’m weird. Regardless of what you use the feelings are simply masked, they are not dealt with.

Most days I think to myself, “Today I will mostly be wearing my *in charge* face.”  I’m no different to many others in this respect. At work I manage people, agencies, my boss and a myriad of other relationships, I act the consumate professional in meetings, and generally work every hour under the sun.  The common theme here is that we – the *vulnerability averse* – all perform, perfect and prove ourselves all day long. Up until now I’ve always believed that as long as we look, live, act and work as though we’re perfect, that we’ll be protected from criticism and blame.

I was really rather wrong.

What I’ve learnt is that vulnerability is not a weakness. Additionally the uncertainty we face every day is not optional. Regardless of whether it’s with our loved ones, families or careers. The only choice I need to make is how much I want to engage. Our willingness to own and engage with our vulnerability determines the depth of our courage. Even if opening ourselves up to criticism, judgement or disappointment feels terrifying, the alternative is far worse.

So from now on I think I’ll be sucking it up and learning to live with a little vulnerability. I may cut down on the scotch eggs too…

5 thoughts on “V is for vulnerable…

  1. I really love catching up with you by reading this blog; it does make me very aware of how poorly I am doing at blogging myself these days, however 😉

    I just wanted to say that I’m really glad that you are getting seem answers / help re your leg, and I hope it all gets fixed in a timely fashion as I can just about imagine how frustrated you are at the moment.

    Also, without meaning to sound even one millionth as patronising as it sounds, well done for realising that we (those that know and are fond of you) will not judge you for showing a bit of vulnerability now and then *HUG*

    Let’s meet up soon, yeah? In the meantime have an awesome Easter weekend! Xx

    • Oliver – I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating – you know me better than most having seen me when I’m at my best and also when I’m at my worst (we wont mention *that* website refresh…) But still you dont judge me for the imperfect me that you saw. Proof if it were needed that I’m on the right track… Much love xx

  2. Dude, I’m sorry to hear about your diagnoses – especially the enforced exercise embargo – but I guess at least finding something means there is a better chance of doing the right thing to fix it?! I love your writing Mel – though I am afraid that I can’t reply in such wonderful prose 🙂

    You’ll be fine dude, all the best with your recovery missus!!

    • Thanks dude! The no exercise thing is killing me but I’m sure that I’ll find an alternative. Hand gliding was suggested. Although I have just googled hand gliding and accidents and there was over 5 million results. Not good. Plan C me thinks. And be aware that I am relying on you to keep up the sterling work on the 2012 in 2012. No pressure 🙂

      • I think you need some extreme ironing in your life 🙂

        I’m trying my best, and going well so far – just gotta keep on it post marathon. Got some things in the pipeline though so I should be OK I think!

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