Addiction Rehab, and Making Room for Vulnerability

For many, vulnerability holds a negative connotation. The idea of vulnerability evokes feelings of opening yourself to someone emotionally, only to be shut down, and to feel rejected. Yet, only by allowing vulnerability can we invite the opportunity to be loved, and in the case of addiction rehab, the opportunity to recognize our faults, strengths, and to set realistic goals for the future.

Brené Brown, a professor of social work at the University of Houston, Texas in the U.S., said in a TED talk she gave last year, “Lean into the discomfort.” After six years of research into what makes people feel connected and loved in the world, the social researcher found that vulnerability, or opening oneself to potential hurt and pain, is the key to accessing ideas of self-worth and feelings of belonging.

Drug addiction rehab is, from the very beginning, defined by vulnerability. Making the decision to enter addiction rehab consists of admitting that there is a problem, and opening yourself to the pain of exploring the cause of the addiction. But, because vulnerability is a commitment to being honest with oneself, working from vulnerable feelings can allow for unparalleled growth.

Below are some ways to welcome vulnerability into your addiction rehab:

Be kind to yourself

Before you can feel compassion for and feel connected with others, you must be able to feel compassion for yourself. Make a list of five of your imperfections, and then record how these ‘faults’ make you unlike the next person.

Allow yourself to be seen by others

Authenticity is the mark of complete vulnerability. By allowing others to see you as you truly are, you accept yourself as you truly are, and begin to feel at ease with the imperfections.

Embrace the fact that there are no guarantees

Drug addiction treatment is not a guarantee, and may feel like a big risk. But deciding to enter addiction rehab is a life commitment to working towards a healthier way of living, and commitments are depend on those who make them, and not on exterior forces. There may not be a guarantee, but you can make a promise to yourself.

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