I have recently been listening to a series of talks about vulnerability by an American Researcher named Brené Brown. Now this word vulnerability has really struck a chord with me.
What does it really mean to be vulnerable? Why are we so scared of being vulnerable? What is the gain from vulnerability?
Now, when I am talking about vulnerability, I must make it clear that I’m talking about emotional vulnerability. As far as I can see there is no advantage to making yourself vulnerable by putting yourself in unnecessary danger.
As I continue on my quest for wisdom I am uncovering more and more ugly truths about my personality, repressed emotions, core beliefs and roots for toxic behaviour. As I dig deeper, deeper and deeper I inevitably end at a string of negative fears or core beliefs.
Fear of failure
Fear of rejection
Fear of not being loved
Fear of not being accepted
Fear of being ridiculed
Fear of not being attractive, funny or clever enough
All of these toxic beliefs that cause us to retract from the world and seek pleasure from external sources. We medicate, self-sabotage, escape, anything to avoid the feeling of being vulnerable, of having lost control.
To be vulnerable is to step out of your comfort zone, to experience new things. To try to fail, to scream and to wail. Being vulnerable is taking that leap of faith and opening up your heart despite the risk of potential pain and heartbreak. Opening your mind to the beauty of the world as well as the horrors.
You see without darkness there is no light, without sadness no happiness and without hate no love. A lot of us try and mitigate the pain from the darker side of life and opt to cruise through the middle feeling a numbingly average mixture of emotions.
We choose apathy, we choose to live an apathetic life. A pathetic life
We deny ourselves of true love, joy, compassion, ecstasy (the natural kind!), and empathy because truly experiencing these emotions requires a level of vulnerability that scares people.
Vulnerability is picking apart your brain and analysing every part, trying to improve in any way possible. Laying your flaws on the floor and painfully scrubbing each one until it is clean. Vulnerability is removing your mask and trying to live an authentic life. Saying yes when you mean yes and no when you mean no. Being open and honest regardless of the consequences.
Vulnerability is empathically sharing anothers pain, not just giving a sym-pathetic smile. Vulnerability is letting go of control of your environment and trusting that everything will be alright.
Putting your faith in a power greater than you is vulnerability.
Most people have been hurt at some stage in their life and it can be very hard to bounce back. Arguably the two most important things in life – love and creativity – are the two things that make us most vulnerable. Creation and innovation of things that have never been seen or heard before is vulnerability. The word vulnerability gives the negative connotation of weakness. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Vulnerability requires bravery and the more vulnerable we make ourselves, the more we open ourselves up to the possibility of love, creativity, and authenticity.
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I’m sure you have heard this cliché saying but have you ever stopped to consider that this may actually be true.
Losing your job, breaking up with a partner, even getting hit by a car – what if this is all supposed to happen to us?
Every single thing that happens to us from the worst imaginable thing to the best moment of our life happens for reason. Life is one big lesson and every day we are learning.
I’m going to throw in another cliché saying that “every cloud has a silver lining”.
I’m going to throw in another cliché saying that “every cloud has a silver lining”.
Every loss, period of depression, heartbreak, and pain that we feel makes us a better person. Everybody experiences suffering and low points in their life and no two peoples suffering are comparable.
We have the tendency to compare our suffering to others.
We see people dying, we see war, we see people without shelter or food.
It makes us think that our own suffering, our own internal struggle is worthless – is pathetic. People can live in what’s considered to be perfect surroundings – in total safety and comfort yet have internal struggles that are so bad that they prefer to end their life.
Paradoxically, there are people who live in horrific environments, suffer abuse, have their lives endangered on a daily basis yet they are happy and free.
This just goes to show that we are the Masters of our own destiny.
We can choose to suffer, or we can choose to be happy and free.
Now, by no means am I saying this is easy it is not. Freeing yourself mentally and emotionally is a long arduous process and the road to happiness has many traps on the way.
We spend our lives searching for happiness, and yearning for an inner peace that we may have momentarily experienced, but I truly believe that to experience inner peace we must not only experience but embrace the dark side of inner torture.
Everything Happens For A Reason
Whenever you’re feeling low must always remember that everything happens for a reason, every cloud has a silver lining and the harder you fall the harder you will bounce back. Once you learn to accept that pain and suffering are temporary you can start to find happiness in sadness.
You can be happy and proud knowing that you are sad because you are facing your problems head-on. You’re working through an internal struggle instead of running, hiding, or masking the problem.
Every minute you spend in a dark place fighting through your problems you are chiselling away at your soft protective outer layer and shaping yourself into the true person that you really are.
Once you learn to accept that everything happens for a reason you will start to see the positives outshining the negatives in all situations and you will be able to live your life in peace.
This past week since my journey to Berlin has been yet again the most revolutionary, difficult, and inspiring week of my life. Crazy I know, that things have just continued to spiral – first downwards to rock bottom – and then they bounced right back with some serious vigour.
I began to address the toxic relationships in my life and focus on all the things that were holding me back, in order to begin to heal and move forward.
However, I was in a very manic state of mind and I did this in the most impulsive, irrational and insensitive way possible. I was completely blind to how my actions would affect people and I was selfish and unfair. The things that I said to people, I all still believe to be true, but my delivery of this information – in every case – was terrible.
I think this post is very relatable to a lot of people and we all need to learn for ourselves, or teach someone how not to be a terrible friend.
I am writing this post in a quirky Airbnb in Berlin after a few days of partying and much deliberation. I would say my state of mind is sad but rational.
A friendship to me means everything. It means 100% loyalty and 100% honesty. Recently I have come to notice that what I offer to people is very rarely reciprocated and it makes me sad. I find myself constantly giving giving giving, offering support, motivating and giving help and showing positivty to anyone that needs it, but I have noticed that very few people do this in return. I don’t know if this if because they don’t want to, or if they don’t know how to.
Words cannot describe the journey I have been on this weekend. I went from a state of complete and utter turmoil and chaos to flipping everything into the most positive experience of my entire life. What I have learned from the incredibly successful, intelligent and driven people that I spent time with is that literally the only motivation in life should be from happiness and searching for those natural highs.
Since my last post life has been absolute chaos, danger, destruction, and impulsivity due to my medication having not yet taken full effect again. I have had to ride this rollercoaster and just deal with each day becoming easier and easier. I have never felt so bad and so overwhelmed in my life.
This article will go more into depth about the process of starting treatment for ADHD with Strattera (Atomoxetine) which I mentioned in my article about seeking help for Alcohol Addiction. and will explain how Strattera changed my life.
It explains the whole process of getting treated and what I experienced along the way, in a way which I hope is easy understand.
I am happy to say that this article concludes the introductory “autobiographical” story and brings everything up to the current date with where I am now, both physically and mentally.
From now on I will be able to focus more on what I am learning from my travels and experiences and writing about different things that I pick up along the way and hopefully starting a video log and potentially making a mini documentary in the Amazon.
I spent a large proportion of my childhood in Irish pubs in the UK and Ireland, and so spent a lot of time speaking to drunk, but sometimes very wise, adults. As a curious young child I would sit there quizzing them about their lives – where they´d been, what they had done, why they had done it. Always “why” , “why” “why”. It was through discussions with these people that I realised how to live life with no regrets.
For some reason people have a perception that to ask, “why”, is rude, intrusive, or annoying – when in reality, if the curiosity is genuine, and people are probed, they often love to open up and explain things.The “worst” reaction you can get from asking, “why?”, is that someone says they would rather not talk about that topic.
Live Life With No Regrets
One thing that has always stood out to me from my chats with friendly drunk, (mainly Irish), adults was the sense of regret about things that they had missed out on or not taken the chance to do.
The overwhelming feedback I got from my conversations was that it is SO important that we take the opportunity to do as much as we possibly can whilst we have no commitments or responsibilities, otherwise we will live our lives regretting not taking the opportunities.
Our years before we choose to settle down and have a family are the years to experiment, explore, take risks and do the crazier things in life that become less accessible and realistic once you have a family.
Live life with no regrets whatsoever. If there is something you want to do find a way to do it without worrying about the consequences. Do not ever life thinking that you cannot do something because of obstacles.
Obstacles are something which are challenges yes but every single possible obstacle has a solution. To live thinking of the past and something you wish you had done but were afraid is stupid. If you need help or guidance in order to achieve your goals then just ask for it.
There are always people that will be better equipped to give you the tools that you need to achieve greatness. Self doubt and fear of failure is something that we all have within us but “failure” is just a societal concept that is drilled into us from birth.
Whether you succeed or fail in your pursuit of a goal is irrelevant. If you have failed, but you have given your best then consider that a win. You have put your effort into something and found out that it may not be something that you are good at – or particularly interested in – but every experience has invaluable knowledge and wisdom that can be learned from to improve your future self and becoming the best version of yourself that you can be.
Curiosity Should Drive Us
Life is about success and failure but curiosity should be the thing that we use to leave no stone un-turned. Curiosity is thwarted by fear of the unknown but so long as we have people to guide us and make us feel comfortable then there is literally no barrier whatsoever.
Society teaches us to be narrow minded and think of just what is in front of us. From birth we are taught to follow mainstream education, go to university get a job and become society’s puppet. We are told we HAVE to get married, get a mortgage have kids and continue life in a bubble.
For a lot of people, a stable family and marriage is all that they want and this is fantastic but for a lot of people they feel the pressure from society or family etc and feel they are obligated to rush into this.
Once you make the decision to have children let it be because you are ready to devote yourself 100% to your children and give up your free time and money for 18 years. Do not do it for fear of leaving it too long.
I would like to start by introducing myself and my reasons for starting this blog about my struggles with Addiction, ADHD & Strattera, and the problems that myself and other young people face whilst growing up in this crazy world.
Throughout my life I have met countless people who have asked me to keep a record of my life and my experiences, and very recently I made the decision to start writing a journal and saving memories, so that I can write memoirs which may inspire/entertain or shock some people.
I was born as a “gifted and talented” child, and at age 5 I was diagnosed with ADHD, which was untreated and un-managed, due to the fear of medication, until September 2017. Because of this, my childhood was utter chaos and like roughly 75% of people with ADHD I was instantly addicted to everything I ever came across.
The first time I got drunk was in October of year 7, (age 11), when I drank a bottle of Sambuca until I was blackout drunk. From this moment I was addicted to alcohol. I was gifted academically, which meant that I had to expend no effort in order to breeze through school achieving everything I needed to achieve, without ever having to apply myself to anything.
This gave me time to use my curiosity to explore everything I could think of, and experiment with as many drugs as I could get hold of. I quickly became obsessed with weed and lost a couple of years to numbing and destroying my brain with skunk, until I realised I had to stop as it was ruining my personality and killing my motivation.
I also got heavily addicted to Mephedrone, the legal high that swamped the UK during 2009/2010. I used this powerful stimulant most days for about 5 solid months and lost most of my friends, abandoned my family and tried to emancipate, and also lost 25kg of body weight – which left me looking like a skeleton. I managed to kick this addiction due to a forced trip to Ireland where I could not get hold of the drug. Stopping Mephedrone caused me to leach back on to alcohol to try and calm my brain down.
This pattern of binge drinking and passing out continued as often as possible, and more and more frequently as I got older.
When I was 18 I was at a music festival I drank myself to death.
I drank all day every day for 3 or 4 days in a row and then on the final night I drank between one or two litres of Vodka in a short space of time. I remember feeling weaker and I remember my body shutting down. I remember collapsing to the floor.
My friends were used to seeing this and so they didn´t think anything of it at first but after a while they told me they thought something was different.
They went to get medical help and I was taken to a field hospital where they were told my heart was stopped. They tried three times to revive me and eventually they succeeded.
When I woke up I felt like I had lost my soul. I did not know where I was, who I was, or even my name. I was told I needed to be transported to hospital to have a more thorough examination. Upon hearing this I panicked and pulled all the needles out of my arms and ran out of the tent.
I was in a delusional state and the only thing I could think of was to get more alcohol in order to calm myself down. I found a bottle of vodka and necked this. This put me into a psychotic hallucinatory state and the 8 hour journey home I have no recollection of. The next 4 days I suffered from ego death, lost my purpose in life, lost what felt like part of my soul and it was horrible.
4 days was all it took for me to return back to drinking and this then carried on for another 5 years. I reached a stage at the end of my relationship with my ex-partner “S”, where I was on a downward spiral towards death again. I was crying out for help in the only way I knew how which was by drinking to oblivion morning to night for days and weeks on end. One day I woke up face first on the floor in my old flat with no idea how I had arrived there.
Before even becoming conscious and aware I got up walked to the fridge and drank a bottle of wine and 3 beers within the space of about a minute. I then realised that I had done this without even thinking and was so angry and ashamed at myself that I broke down in tears. S saw me that morning and said the words that gave me the motivation I needed to seek help. “I will not watch you kill yourself, if you carry on like this I cannot be around you”, “I will not watch you die”.
Those words gave me the courage to go to the doctors and ask for help. I was instantly referred to a specialist where they quickly recognised that I needed to be treated for ADHD (with Strattera). I went cold turkey that day and decided I would stop drinking for the time being. The following few months of sobriety were scary but fantastic.
I started to spend some time alone – for the first time ever and started to occupy my brain with different challenges like learning to read Arabic. I also started to explore Barcelona, and although I had already lived in the city for over 2 years it felt like a new city entirely. I had spent every possible moment -when not working or recovering- drunk out of my brain and so I had never taken note of anything.
Along with therapy I started to take medication for ADHD (Strattera) which really was the turning point in my life. It was a slow process but I started to be able to sleep more than an hour or 2, I stopped hearing every single sound, every single conversation and through training I learned to be able to concentrate on a conversation and appear interested – even though my mind was usually elsewhere. I can honestly say that Strattera changed my life.
Throughout the next year I used my time to really explore myself intimately and get to know the reasons for why I am the way I am. I also started to get to know my friends beyond the surface and also re-connect with old friends who had been unable to properly connect with me due to me being wasted all the time.
I have very few memories of my life up until I stopped drinking and I find it incredibly difficult to pinpoint specific parts. I spend a lot of time trying to trace back through the years and re-discover memories. This is part of my reasons for starting a blog/journal as I think that I have done permanent damage to my memory, and I am keen to record it so that I will be able to follow it back once I am older.
My decision to go to Brasil was one I plucked out of thin air, and at the time I didnt know why I had decided to go. I now realise that it is a sort of pilgrimage of self discovery. I am obsessed with languages and so have been learning Portuguese for about 4 months. Apart from this I need time alone to explore my brain and gain new skills, without any distractions.
In my life I have a lot of people that rely on me for support, and so I spend all of my time trying to sort other peoples´ problems out instead of focusing on myself and what I want. In Brasil I want to study Capoeira, Brazillian Jiu Jitsu, Samba, Language classes and also spend some time in the Amazon – where I want to learn how to survive in the jungle. I will also be going on an Ayuhuasca trip.
I know this has been a long intro but really it is only scratching at the surface! If you have any questions I would love to answer them. Don´t be shy to ask anything – I will always answer honestly and I welcome any challenges! I want to be challenged. Challenged to do things, challenged on the points I make, challenged to find out more information about a topic that interests you.
I truly believe that as a society we need to challenge each other more and not just accept things at face value.We need to stop thinking that our dreams are unreachable and that “I” could not possibly do that. We are all capable of making an impact and leaving a legacy, and this is what I hope my blog will help people to realise. I would love it if you could share this page as much as possible and spread it via word of mouth so that I can reach as many people as possible.
If you would like to ask me anything the best way to do this is via message on the Facebook page or Instagram – or via message on my personal Facebook if you know me. You can also comment on the post or send me an email.
Obviously running this blog takes a lot of time and costs money to maintain it and fulfill projects. Any donations would be graciously received via my Patreon account. I have a lot of exciting projects coming up and I want to be able to just focus on good content.
Put an exact realistic day where you are going to do something. And dedicate that day or period of time into focusing every single part of your energy into doing that thing at 100% capacity. Through doing this you will gain the maximum amount of knowledge from said thing.