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Vulnerability Hangover is a great term I learned from Katherine Torrini today after our interview for the Fear-Less Writing Telesummit. “Are you feeling it?” she asked. I was. It’s that spent feeling, that mental fog that rolls in and you feel lost and sleepy. Or at least for. Some of you might be a lot stronger.

Vulnerability is a challenge for me. I’m a recovering perfectionist. I’m also a rock–I’m who people rely on. I’m who people confide it. I’m the strong one who keeps it together and keeps other people together. To be vulnerable is to be weak. Weak spots are where people can get to you and hurt you. Weak spots are where armies break into the fortress. Vulnerable areas are where you kill something with a shell. Can’t count on a rock who has cracked.

It’s a fear of being judged. I know how some people talk about things I’ve gone through or things I feel. They are not receptive so why would I share with them? You don’t. And when you release something into the world you can’t control people’s reactions. To paraphrase, you don’t know what journey they’re on or where they are on it.

I’ve recently realized it’s also a fear of love and acceptance. I haven’t told my best friend some things because I know she wouldn’t judge me. She would only love and hug me. And for some reason that scares me. As I said, I’m a recovering perfectionist. Still being okay with not being perfect.

Katherine is a Jedi at repurposing Inner Critics, those delightful voices in your head that tell you you’re not good enough and compare you to others. I’ve worked with her before so she asking if I could be the demo during the interview–we bring out one of my Inner Critics and talk to them, see what’s going on. It’s a really powerful process. It helped me tremendously when I did it before with her. This process is going to help so many others so of course I”m going to be the demo. I knew it was going to be scary, but the whole summit is about facing fears.

So I struggle to be in the moment because as I’m talking about one Inner Critic another one circles around to remind me this is going out to thousands of people. They’re going to see your inner thoughts, how naive you are. You’re going to lose their trust. But I breathed through it so I could hear and feel my intuition to answer her questions.

The Vulnerability Hangover is swift. Soon as we ended the recording, it hit me like a Mack Truck. She’s asking me questions and my brain is like, “I just want to curl up in a ball and go to sleep.” Words are failing me. What’s a sentence? I think she felt it because she said I could follow-up through email.

I had another interview in an hour so I had to “sober up” pretty quick. Did a lot of breathing. Free wrote. I thanked the audience for their patience and understanding and had some Wasabi almonds.

The risk was worth it. The Inner Critic is on my side and very happy. Some times when rocks crack they reveal the gems that are inside.

Have you ever had a Vulnerability Hangover? Tell me about it in the comments.