I don’t think I was very resilient when I first got sober. My emotional coping mechanisms weren’t well formed AT ALL and I would be quite knocked by tricky phases in my life. Every time I had a rough week where I felt overly sad or angry or stressed or some such I would be quite badly affected by it. I’d think that somehow the tricky week was a ‘failure’ and that to ‘succeed’ was to not have the rough phases.

I’m not like that now. I still get the rough phases (obviously, because life’s like that).. but now I bounce back quicker from them. I don’t view them as ‘failures’.. I just view them as normal.

I think that means I’m more resilient? Isn’t resilience an ability to cope with tough stuff? To be able to bounce back quickly after shit goes down?

Ok I just looked it up and the definition of resilience (here) is “an individual’s ability to properly adapt to stress and adversity.”

I read this great article the other day called ‘4 ways to make yourself emotionally tougher” and it is all about this exact thing; “The new big buzzword among self-improvement circles is resilience – the mental muscle that makes you emotionally tough enough to bounce back.”

According to this article “stress inoculation” builds psychological strength; “That is, rather than shy away from stressful situations, take any opportunity to push yourself out of your comfort zone. Doing so will develop both the confidence and toolbox of tricks you need to tackle life’s slings and arrows.”

Confidence and a toolbox of tricks. Sounds bloody fabulous. That’s what sobriety is giving me. Confidence and a toolbox of tricks.

I definitely cope better with stress and adversity now that I’m almost 1400 days sober than I did when I was 14 days sober (and certainly much much better than when I was boozing). Hopefully my resilience will continue to grow the longer I stay off the sauce.

Sometimes I look into the future and imagine myself dealing with some really big shit (parents dying, serious illnesses etc etc) and I wonder how I will be. I like to think I’ll do ok. Am sure it will be messy (lots of tears and angst) but that is normal and to be expected. And I have a burgeoning resilience which will help me get through.

And of course there will be no booze of course. That fact alone should see me right.

Love, Mrs D xxx

  1. Gilbert 9 years ago

    Emotional maturity and resilience.I’m actually starting to feel like a proper grown up.I went to a funeral last week and some folk couldn’t wait to get to the bar.Tears & booze. That would have been me a year ago.Now I had a cuppa and good old chat without wondering if I could get a second wine in.

  2. SueK 9 years ago

    I feel more resilient too now that I’m sober. Instead of running to the wine bottle like a big crybaby every time life deals me something even slightly uncomfortable, I now face it. At first, I faced it shaking in my boots, bottom lip quivering. Early sobriety was quite emotionally shakey for me. But now I know that even the tough times are just tough times. We get through them. They’re uncomfortable, but they’re probably not going to kill us.

  3. elhall 9 years ago

    Sobriety is definitely all about resilience and endurance. At almost four months I’m realizing that I do need to get myself out of my comfort zone at times, but to also recognize when I need to go easy. It’s like starting a new exercise routine. Push your limits but don’t over do it. I think learning more about yourself and listening to your own needs is the best way to achieve this balance and probably one of the most difficult things to do in early sobriety. I’ve shed so many tears in the last four months but sometimes they are tears of pure joy and pride. Building this new resilient sober life can be overwhelming and beautiful.

  4. Rosieoutlook 9 years ago

    Hi Lotta,
    Great post to read on a Sunday afternoon. As I was reading this, I also thought what a wonderful gift we are also teaching our children by coming off the juice, they can see that their Mum’s are able to cope with whatever life throws at them with real emotions intact. What a gift to give, teaching our children about resilience through a journey we took to take better care of ourselves. I love it! Xxx

    • anchourme 9 years ago

      I call it emotional maturity instead of resilience .
      My mother did die in my arms at 12 months sober . I know I couldn’t have coped with that well if I was drinking . I would have been a mess .
      Learning to speak and grow with AA helped me , My siblings asked me to speak for us at the funeral , some thing that would have never happened prior . I feel so blessed to have honored her and they so proud of me .

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