I have bad allergies …

I’m not exactly sure all I’m allergic to, but I hate taking medication as a general rule and would rather suffer a few days (or weeks) here and there than deal with a “Benadryl hangover.” Maybe you know what I’m talking about – that feeling of mental fog when you can’t completely wake up, but yet the medication isn’t taking away the allergy symptoms either?


Have you ever shared something personal with a friend (or family member) and the next day regretted how much you shared? Felt guilty you shared too much? Wondered if that person, next time you see them, will look at you weird?


I was reading a great book the other day, Becoming Us by Robin Jones Gunn, and they referred to that feeling as a “vulnerability hangover.” When I read those words, I thought, “what a perfect description.”


I find, for me, it’s all about who I choose to be vulnerable with. I keep thinking back to the example of Jesus and His disciples. He handpicked a group of 12 to do life with. However, if you read the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John), you will see there was a bigger group of people who traveled around with Jesus or at least spent time with Him on a regular basis.

And, within His group of 12 disciples, there were a few who He felt especially close to.


When I’m careful about the people I choose to be vulnerable with, the lingering feelings of guilt, regret, or second-guessing myself are almost nonexistent.


I think it all boils down to choosing well the group of friends you can be vulnerable with and share your deepest feelings. When that choice is made well, the risk of a vulnerability hangover is almost nonexistent.


What about you? Do you have that select group of 1-3 people whom you can be vulnerable with? Do they offer encouragement, prayer, or just a listening ear when needed? If not, have you thought about asking God to send them to you? I started asking about 5 years ago, and He has blessed me abundantly with a small group of women to whom I can share without the risk of a hangover the next day.


I know He’ll do the same for you if you want to ask Him yourself.


© Cheri Swalwell 2019



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