For those who fight for it,
Life has a flavour the sheltered will never know.
You’re not a statistic.
Never let someone make you feel like you can’t recover. Or that you should modify or trim your goals for recovery.
Go all the way and never look back.
**This is the third post in an ongoing blog series, featuring some practical tools and activities. Fill up your arsenal, build your team, and collect your weapons for recovery.
When we find ourselves slipping into a spiral, even simple tasks seem overwhelming and impossible. The moment can become so loaded that we feel helpless to stop from spinning out of control. In these times of powerlessness, it is difficult to not be rendered immobile. We perceive the feelings as insurmountable and permanent, but we mustn’t let this fool us.
In the toughest moments, when it seems your true voice has been lost in a whirlwind, you can ground yourself. Although you may not be able to completely eliminate your struggle, you can claim the power of this current moment.
Once you prove to yourself that you can regain a sense of control today, you will be stronger and more prepared for battle tomorrow. Here are some tools you will need to ground yourself:
1. Lucky charms
No, not the delicious breakfast food,
although those are a great idea too. Choose a familiar object to keep with you at all times. Just holding this token can bring you back to earth and provide you with comfort – like a hug, embodied and actualized. Maybe it’s a smooth rock, a cross, special necklace, or a penny.
Where are you? Remind yourself that you are safe in this moment. This is normal, although it may not make perfect sense right now. Firmly plant your feet flat on the ground. Hold your lucky charm in your hands and feel its texture, the weight of it. Notice your surroundings, what you see, smell and hear.
Visualize yourself literally in control. Draw up an image of a box, put your fears and thoughts inside of it, and cast it aside. You do not need to get rid of it right now, but see yourself locking up the box and putting it into a drawer, out of sight.
**This is the second post in an ongoing blog series, featuring some practical tools and activities. Fill up your arsenal, build your team, and collect your weapons for recovery.
Negative thoughts and behaviours live in and breed isolation. It is a silent struggle, fueled by stigma and secrecy. Undeserving. Shameful, Futile… With conviction, the list of reasons for solitude will condemn you to a corner. Here, you will find yourself without the tools you need to battle.
Let’s switch paradigms. Let’s reclaim some control and hope.
Backed into a corner alone is exactly where it wants you. This is a slimy and manipulative enemy that targets you when you are weak. Blitzkrieg style. Exposing yourself takes away some of it’s power. It writhes and cringes and stings in the broad daylight, surrounded by support and positivity.
Be prepared to feel vulnerable – this is a trick it will play. The oldest trick in the book. But remember, shame and blame cannot be tackled without awareness, understanding and support.
Your army is already waiting to be recruited. You’re not alone. Grab a pen. Write down some names and phone numbers:
…the one who is a good listener
…the one who doesn’t listen, doesn’t ask questions, and is an entertaining talker
…the one who doesn’t know any of my other friends
…the one who doesn’t tell me what I want to hear, but tells me what I need to hear
…the one who is up for anything and doesn’t need two-weeks notice to grab a latte
…the one who is awake at unreasonably late hours of the night
…the one who can make me laugh
…the one who lives nearby
…the one who will support me no matter what, possibly because they are genetically obliged
…the one who can relate
…the one who will make me go out and do something fun
…the one who is actually not a human, but is either a pet or imaginary and thus, has no phone number
…the one who gives amazing advice
We will struggle. We will be confronted with obstacles that seem impossible to overcome. Ignoring this never makes it disappear – it traps us instead. Avoiding these battles, your body and mind floats in a sense of safety and control. You become frozen, comfortable in your shackles of security, and immune to mediocrity. You sink.
What motivates us to battle? Motivation isn’t automatic or constant, but neither is showering and we do that.
What separates the fighters from the non-fighters is the belief that the battle is worth the outcome. This sometimes requires blind faith, unfortunately. Our bodies and minds try telling us to give up, and we will be tempted. We face uncertainty and are never guaranteed success. It can seem scarier to acknowledge that we have no control than to stay frozen where we feel comfortable, where we can understand our parameters.
Of course, the battle is worth the outcome. Each will provide us more momentum for the next. More self-esteem and knowledge. More weapons. Our battle no longer appears as a struggle, but a triumph. It is the common ground to all great success stories.
The only thing we can control is our state of mind. We have the power to keep ourselves calm, conjure a plan, make a decision and stick with it.