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