How to Recover from a Vulnerability Hangover
After 11 years of failed books and ideas, I hit send on a book proposal I’m truly excited about.
More than excited: committed.
The plan was to send the book proposal to my agent during a live Facebook event because I wanted support and a dose of confidence from my community (thanks for being there if you were, you can watch here ADD LINK if you missed it).
But lo and behold, when it was time to push send, I burst into sobs. I, who have a really hard time crying in front of other people, sobs. (That happens 10 minutes in.)
I was taken aback.
Later, I wondered: why did I cry?
Because I was proud.
Because I chose an idea and I am making it work.
Because I’m proud of who I have become, which is what I am writing about.
So these were tears of becoming and tears of choosing.
It’s big inner work, being a creative.
And the next morning?
Oh my god the vulnerability hangover I woke up with.
I felt so exposed.
I was suddenly sure the book proposal was no good, and my agent was composing the “What were you thinking?” email right that very moment.
I spent the morning scattered and grumpy. By 10 am it dawned on me: I needed some inner self-care.
I reminded myself that feeling stretched and exposed is a good thing! It means I wrote something true.
It is not a sign I did something wrong – that’s just old childhood shame about “being too much.”
It took me all day to settle down and feel grounded and calm again. That’s okay. As my friend Hiro said when we chatted that afternoon, “You needed time to catch up to who you are now.” So wise.
A vulnerability hangover is not a sign that you did something wrong. It is a sign you put yourself out there.
Call on your tools for inner self-care. Go easy on yourself.
Ask friends for witnessing but not fixing.
Welcome the waves of feeling without fusing with them.
Ground yourself in nature or take a bath or let your body show you how to release tension.
Take a nap.
Do whatever you need except try to avoid believing the voice in your head that wants to use this feeling as a reason to not keep putting your creative voice out there.
That voice is just trying to keep you safe but it really has no idea what it’s saying.
Do your inner work regularly so you develop the resiliency to keep creating.
Your success is not about talent or connections or even having lots of time to create; it’s about how you take care of yourself so you can keep creating.