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vulnerable /ˈvʌlnərəbəl/ adjective.

Capable of being physically or emotionally wounded or hurt

One of the hardest or difficult things in life for any human being is showing yourself vulnerable to the world. We are all taught from a young age to be strong and not let others see you are hurt, scared, or God forbid not strong. I haven’t seen a mom in any playground say to her toddler when he or she falls on the ground: “Come baby, cry all you want.”

Au contraire my friends, all moms pick up the kids and say something in the lines of: “There, there, nothing happened, don’t cry, get up and keep playing.” Even though the child might have a scratch or a bump on the head, even though kids might feel stinging or throbbing pains, they believe mommy’s words, tell their brains to put the pain on hold, they get up and play. They hide their weak feelings and keep going. And they keep doing this all throughout life.

I have to some extent kept my personal life away from the blog because this is not a personal blog, but a place to collect my random thoughts when I have time to share them to the world. But sometimes it’s hard to share your thoughts without showing the background of all so, hence this post.

If you follow my blog, you guys know I’m always keeping it on the positive side. I’m in constant need of my Wednesday Fuel, and I like sharing it with all of you. Unfortunately in my family there have been many illnesses and I have been the family’s official care giver ever since I came out of college, one illness after the other. For years, while everyone is busy living their lives, I have been the one to put mine aside, taking care of others. I haven’t been obliged to, I’ve sacrificed myself voluntarily and because being the good girl I’ve always been, doing this is what is expected of me.

The last couple years were really tough on me. My 16-year-old canine best friend was paralyzed and after a year and a half of being his four legs and taking care of him day and night, he died; I wasn’t even halfway through my mourning process when my mother almost died of a cryptogenic pancreatitis and 3 weeks after helping her during her miraculous recovery we had to move, leaving me in charge of the process of downsizing from a 7 bedroom house to a 4 bedroom one, I also got bitten on both legs by a dog and to top all the insanity, chaos and madness around me, I got into an argument with an ungrateful family member, who even though my family had lent her money to practically save her life, made sure to make me look like the bad person and alienated me from everyone I share a last name with. Yeah, life happens.

This is where the vulnerable part comes out. I am not super woman. I kept the strong mask for so long that the time came for it to fall off. I had been shaking it off for too long but there comes a time when you just get tired of doing it every single day. Dear readers, I had a nervous breakdown. Yes, I the positive thinker, the one who felt that could do anything, reached her limit and got to her breaking point.

Nervous breakdowns are not fun my friends. It was sort of a weird outer body experience. I could see myself going through it and felt so helpless not being able to help myself. Did I go mad? Of course not. Everyone has their breaking point. There’s just so much you can carry on your shoulders. I’ve been running on stressed out mode for so long and I reached my breaking point.

Apart from not having wi-fi after the move, I’ve been absent from the blog because I’ve been coping with the fact that I am burned out, completely stressed out and at the end of my tether.

It takes time to recover from a nervous breakdown. Unfortunately I don’t have a good support group behind me or a support group at all. That’s another thing I have to deal with. So I know it will take a little longer than expected to get up and recover on my own. But I know it’s possible and it will be. See? The positive thinker is still behind my exhausted, stressed out soul.

Anyway, like I said, nervous breakdowns are no fun. I was living but I ceased to exist. I was lost and stuck in the deep violently turbulent sea of my thoughts, trying to make some sense of them to see the light. I got tired of thinking so much, I had no energy left in me, until one magical day when I decided to pick up a book.

I don’t know what it was. Maybe a little Dr. Seuss voice inside me called. I was lying in bed and of all things to do I decided to read.

Oh the places I’ve gone ever since. It hasn’t been too long but books have taken my thoughts away. Scary or meaningful or meaningless, my thoughts are not tantalizing me. I regained my appetite. I needed to wake up everyday to see what happened next in the stories. I’ve lived the books’ characters lives while reading. I’ve compared them to mine. I have gained positive insight on my thoughts. Books have lifted my spirits. Books have opened doors in my mind I didn’t know existed. Books have saved my life.

I know that escaping into new worlds is not the answer for ever but it has given me new perspective. I now know that behind my positive teal loving persona is someone who is exhausted and scared. And that is OK. Does that make me less of a person? No. It makes me normal. It makes me human. After all:

I know I’m still on the road to recovery. All the family drama will have to be sorted out, and will be sorted out eventually. Like I said in my last Wednesday Fuel post: This too shall pass. But now that the veil has come off, that the world has seen how vulnerable I am, I can keep going and live…with a pile of books near me, always.