A friend recently sent this wonderful TED talk about vulnerability and it got me thinking about the last time I felt truly vulnerable.
Some years ago I was working for a large corporate as a sales agent selling data networks or ‘fluffy clouds’ as we called them. I had been feeling unwell for quite a while and had put it down to stress.
Despite a holiday and practising stress busting yoga I continued to get worse, until I felt that I was constantly suffering from flu, a hangover and jet lag all at the same time.
After several months and a series of tests the doctor suggested that I had Chronic fatigue syndrome and so began 7 years of life changing exhaustion.
I couldn’t concentrate, think rationally and sometimes even had difficulty in forming sentences. It affected my work, friendships, social life and my self esteem. I felt diminished, less valuable and out of control.
I took voluntary redundancy from my job with a view to ‘pull myself together’ but I got worse.
The lowest point for me was one afternoon when I decided to go to bed. With effort I made it from the sofa to the stairs but did not have the energy or the co-ordination to take even the first step. I couldn’t make it back to the sofa, so I slept where I was – curled up on the laminate floor in the hallway, at the bottom of the stairs.
Why am I sharing this? Because I felt I couldn’t at the time. Only a couple of people I worked with knew I had been feeling unwell. I didn’t want to burden my family or friends so instead I kept them at arm’s length. I didn’t want to be that belittled person, that ghost of the real me that I didn’t recognise.
This video made me question that decision. I can appreciate now how sharing my vulnerability could have been a positive thing. How it could of brought me closer to the people I chose to share it with and how if I had been more honest about my abilities at the time how life at work could have been easier for me. I wonder now if it would have changed my experience of being ill and of who I was at that time.
So I hope you enjoying watching it and find it as thought provoking as I did.