I used to relish my clean, starched white coat – the one all speech therapists were mandated to wear in the hospital environment. It was evidence of the fact that I was not a patient anymore. Such was my own vulnerability as a person with a disability working in a rehabilitation hospital. I struggled for many years with the pull toward and away from that history and inadvertently, from connection with the very people who needed to connect. People with aphasia, struggling to communicate in an unforgiving world, have few allies.
I just found this video on another professional struggle to embrace vulnerability as a means to connection. Brene Brown is spot on. She is also honest, and funny. I am very far away from that white coat these days. Brown’s journey codifies my own, and I offer this to you as a thank you to her.