No one likes to feel vulnerable. It is a wide-open feeling that many mistake for weakness. People like to think they control their lives and when they feel vulnerable, they feel like someone or something else is making their choices for them. There is a stark difference between feeling vulnerable and being vulnerable.
In the US, we live in a culture of fear. On the news every day, we hear about tragedy after tragedy: mass shootings, people disappearing and being damaged, jobs vanishing, people suing each other over the slightest provocation. The entire US legal system is based on fear and retribution.
Feeling vulnerable is a survival instinct. It tells us that there is danger somewhere and that it’s time to find safety. By definition, vulnerability is an opening for attack. If we are alone at night in the woods, we feel vulnerable because we are social animals and we have become increasingly urbanized. This is a natural feeling because we are out of our element. However, because of a variety of factors, some of us develop severe anxiety when we have to do something new or meet people we have not met before or when we find ourselves in an unfamiliar part of town. We label people we perceive as different as a threat based on our prejudices and prejudgements.
Addiction is often a constant vulnerable feeling. We cover that feeling with drugs and alcohol. Because we cannot control our addiction, we are constantly aware of a weakness that leaves us open to attack and then we use more to deal with that awareness. A vicious cycle.
Anyone who has fallen in love or experienced a child being born can tell you that some of life’s greatest joys come from being vulnerable. This is a far cry from feeling like we are open to attack. There is inherent risk in any relationship, in any new experience, but when we show up without preconception or judgment we can find a bright experience that will change our lives. When we build the courage and lower our defenses we can find a strength and comfort of which we were completely unaware.
In active addiction, this kind of vulnerability is the first step toward a healthier and more fulfilling life. This is our opportunity to find something precious in ourselves and the world, our chance to rediscover a depth of connection with people that might have fallen victim to addiction’s isolation. Vulnerability is the doorway to recovery and joy.
Taking the Chance
Are you ready to feel like you’re in control again? Are you ready to move beyond feeling vulnerable to being vulnerable? If you are, there is a whole world waiting for you. Reach out today. At Fort Worth Recovery, we can help. Call us today at 844.332.1807.