“Building Resilience” is a popular term in the self help world.
I didn’t have a full understanding of what resiliency meant until COVID-19 happened, and social distancing was put in place.
You see, I’ve spent the past 2+ years building my resilience, by getting sober.
I basically trained for this.
I replaced drinking with new coping skills.
I put routines in place that strengthened my mental health.
I learned to care for my body by what I eat and how I move.
I listen to myself to tell me what I need, especially, in times of stress.
Building my resiliency looked like this:
Anxiety = walk with dog around the block/yoga
Angry = journal/ loud music in headphones/fast run.
Sad = cry/read
Irritable = alone time at gym/clean kitchen/donate stuff
Bored = coffee with friend/puzzle
Lonely = tell someone/letters to Grandma/volunteer
I pay attention to myself when things feel wonky, triggery, or a little off.
I put extra self care measures in place in times of tension and stress.
Sometimes self care is a manicure, and sometimes it’s telling someone I won’t accept being talked to that way.
I don’t fear a relapse.
I know pre-lapse comes first so I use my inner signals as a warning.
I turn to extra support when I need it.
Quitting alcohol means I have been through the fire and I live to tell.
I’ve already burned through.
I am a phoenix now.
I can survive discomfort.
I don’t have to rush to fix it.
I can sit in discomfort and survive.
Being comfortable isn’t my goal.
Being strong is.
I don’t stuff my feelings anymore.
I express them out loud.
I am here for the whole spectrum of human feelings.
Not just the good, easy ones.
Feeling the whole, reminds me that I am alive.
Living is what I am here to do.
In just two years, I have transformed from a person that would fall over if someone blew in my direction, to someone that can stay standing by simply bending with the wind in a storm.
I can be a helper in this uncertain pandemic storm right now.
I am capable of driving a volunteer love train for my community.
I can bring peace and calm to my family.
I can prepare without panic.
I can offer my resources to others.
I have something to give.
I am not the center of anyone’s worry.
I do not drown in a bottle of wine and fear the world is ending.
What good would that do?
I hunker down with my tool kit, already created, by getting sober.
Getting sober prepared me for this pandemic.
When people joke about drinking alcohol to stay safe from COVID-19, because “it kills everything.” I can’t help but agree, it does kill everything.
I am so glad to be done with it.
I am so glad it didn’t kill me.