STRENGTH in Recovery – Part 3
Updated: Mar 25, 2018
We’ve already identified why being strong and tenacious on the path towards recovery is so important, so now we’ll look at why being RESILIENT is also a huge help to us.
I don’t know what springs into your mind when you hear the word RESILIENT, but for me I see one of those BoBo dolls; you know the ones that you can punch and kick but they just keep bouncing back?
Or sometimes I recall the Weeble toys that I used to play with as child; the slogan “Weebles Wobble But They Don’t Fall Down” seems quite a simple way to describe resilience. Why? Because basically that's what being RESILIENT is about. . . being able to straighten ourselves up and carry on after a wobble.
According to the Oxford Dictionary resilience is
“The capacity to recover quickly from difficulties” or “The ability to spring back into shape”
However, when we look at it as a character trait that can help us to recover it means so much more. In my previous posts I talked about the long journey that those of us on the path of recovery take and the tenacity we need to keep moving forward on that path, but it is our ability to remain RESILIENT that helps us to do that.
Being RESILIENT means we wobble but we still keep going.
Being RESILIENT means we trip and stumble but still carry on.
Being RESILIENT means we sometimes fall but still manage to get back up.
Being RESILIENT means feeling fragile but never actually breaking.
Being RESILIENT means we keep fighting our battles over and over, we take our knocks and use them as lessons from which to learn. We take our blows and use them to make us stronger. We accept our scars and wear them with pride, they are not something to be ashamed off because deep down we know they make us who we are; strong, wonderful people who do what they have to in order to survive.
“My scars remind me that I did indeed survive my deepest wounds. That in itself is an accomplishment. And they bring to mind something else, too. They remind me that the damage life has inflicted on me has, in many places, left me stronger and more resilient. What hurt me in the past has actually made me better equipped to face the present.”
Gever Tulleyonce once said that “Persistence and resilience only come from having been given the chance to work through difficult problems.” And that is what recovery is...a difficult problem. One that it may sometimes feel we have created for ourselves, depending on what we are recovering from, so part of being RESILIENT means reminding ourselves that recovering is what we do when we’ve been hurt or injured. It is not a task we have chosen to undertake for no reason nor it is something we deserve. Instead, it is a journey we have been brave enough to embark on to make our lives better.
There have been many times in my own recovery from anorexia that I have felt broken.
The feelings of despair and hopelessness have made me forget how much strength and tenacity I have already used to get me to this point.
The road ahead of me feels too long. All I can see are the obstacles in my path.
I have fallen too many times and felt too much pain to remember why I began my journey in the first place.
And yet, here I am – still fighting.
It’s not easy, but I am learning to appreciate that the constant wobbling, stumbling and falling down are part of my journey, a journey that is ultimately making me stronger every day. And the more accepting I’ve been off this journey and the lessons it is teaching me the more RESILIENT I become. And the more RESILIENT I become the more confident I am that I can survive my next fall. I may doubt it at times, as I’m sure many of you will, but we are stronger than we feel.
Whitney Houston sings a marvellous song which always reminds me of what it means to be RESILIENT. The words;
I didn't know my own strength And I crashed down, and I tumbled But I did not crumble
I got through all the pain
I didn't know my own strength Survived my darkest hour My faith kept me alive I picked myself back up
Hold my head up high I was not built to break I didn't know my own strength
Pretty much sum up what it means to be RESILIENT. So next time you start to doubt yourself or wonder why you decided to take a journey that seems so incredibly hard, perhaps it might be useful to listen to “I Didn’t Know My Own Strength” just to remind yourself how far you have come already...