Vulnerability Begets Vulnerability

One of the greatest blessings about how much I've struggled in the last month and how much I continue to struggle is the way that it has led me to be vulnerable out of necessity.  Things have never been so difficult or threatening before, so as a result, I have needed others more than ever before.  Being in a new place and surrounded by new people has presented an obvious obstacle to this need.  That is, unless I am willing to step far out of my comfort zone to open up and ask for help.  I have definitely grown in this ability in the last few years, but it has become incredibly harder recently knowing that no one here knows the real me yet, so exposing this broken version of myself without that foundation is frightening.  It makes me want to explain everything about my past and my story, but especially how this is not me.  I want to repeat that one truth all day, even though I know that getting to know someone simply takes time.

As I've been forced to be brave for the sake of my own life, I've seen something beautiful happen.  My vulnerability in opening up about my deep struggles has made way for others to feel comfortable sharing their deepest struggles as well.  And not only has this made me feel more comfortable sharing, because I've been reminded once again that everyone has some struggle and that depression is not something to be ashamed of, but it has also given me the feeling of such meaningful relationships, far beyond the surface level where most relationships begin.  I've felt an outpouring of love-- pure, unconditional love-- that has carried me through the darkest of nights recently, and I've felt support and companionship that has allowed me to know that I am not alone.

I'm not sure that it will ever get easier to be vulnerable, but the beauty of these most recent experiences has shown me that being vulnerable is definitely worth the few seconds of courage it takes to reach out for help, because the connection it creates lasts forever.

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