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Resilience

Ashley Z

I at first didn't even know how to spell the word, let alone understand the proper definition of it. But today, well today I made huge strides into my recovery. You see, the past two days have been rather rocky. No real particular reason why, perhaps too much caffeine as I've had a monster each day and perhaps the fact I missed medications last night. But I think the main reason is life is rocky. There is no right answer and no right way to live life. Everyone has their off days and so these past 2 days I've experienced off days. Normally when things get rocky I erupt, take out all my frustrations on friends and family and start abusing substances. Today felt like it could have been one of those days. Nothing seemed to be going right in my head. I couldn't logically piece two conclusions together and this frustrated me. During both my lectures, I envisioned throwing a massive fit where I no longer had control over my body. I then proceeded to drive home. Music wasn't even calming me down. I kept picture going home and just losing it. Losing absolute control and smashing through the glass door. I pictured Rachel crying and I pictured the police coming. So I turned to mindfulness. I thought to myself, Ashley where is your happy place. So I spoke to myself inside my head. Picture a large meadow filled with puppies. You're lying down and they're jumping around and playing. You have the best song in your headphones. The sun is at large. You haven't a worry in the world. The sky is bright blue. You are as happy as ever. And I kept talking to myself envisioning situations I would much rather be in. This exercise got me home safely.

Upon arriving home I felt just exhausted. My thoughts had been so negative and pesky all day long that I was just drained. But I checked my gym's schedule and they were holding a Zumba class at 8pm. I thought, well my legs messed. But then I remembered I got the okay to do activity and I was going to have to fight through the pain. Then I remembered I have a hot tub and sauna at my gym. So I reluctantly went. I think most of my friends and family know that I'm not much of a graceful person. In fact I'm an awful dancer. And normally when I go to a dance class I get all flustered and red in the face embarrassed because I can't perform the moves like everybody else. But tonight I had a different mindset. I thought oh what the heck who cares what you look like for once, you are here to make a fool of yourself just enjoy it. So I did just that. I was offbeat all of the time and did the weirdest moves but the 2 ladies beside me got a kick out of it and I had a blast. I am so glad that I went. I then had a half hour hot tub followed by a 15 minute sauna. And now I'm all like well what worries? What bad mood? What freak out? I cannot tell you how important it is to be resilient in your life. Never, ever, give up. Even when you feel like you want nothing more than to be dead, remember that at one time you didn't feel this way and therefore you can feel that happy feeling again. I am so glad I didn't just give up and go to the hospital today. I am so glad that I fought with every positive thought in my mind to end up with a goodnight. I have come so far and it is nights like these that I get to sit back and think wow you made a huge step in your recovery.

My therapist is always telling me, it's not about how good you can do when things are on track, it's how good you can do when things go off track. I always brag that I am getting so good at manipulating my thoughts and changing my cognitive behaviour. But truth be told, each time the dark storm comes rolling in I start off as the novelists of rookies. Then I remember all the coping strategies I have developed over the past 3 years. It's about finding what works for you. And that is often a daunting and tedious task. But boy can I not reiterate enough how important that is. Remember to always be resilient, you'll thank yourself in the end.

Comments

Just the message I needed to read! I too have a meadow of puppies.

Ashley thanks so much for sharing your learning. I too work hard to get myself through the tough times so appreciate how far you have come. Well done you!

i've just start trying to do the same... I fail and try very often on finishing my tasks... but i still going on... thanks for sharing your experiences.

I've been trying out various coping strategies. Somehow brushing my teeth makes me feel a tiny bit better also being around kids and my dog helps. I can't really explain why but it does.

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