This is part four of a series of posts dedicated to breaking down components of resilience. The series is an elaboration on a post I made in 2015, continued now as part of the June 2016 Carnival of Aces on Resiliency. In part one of this series, I covered tenacity. In part [...]
Support networks are a crucial part of resilience, and may even perhaps be the most important factor. It's not hard to find evidence of the health impacts of isolation or the protective effects of having supportive community. Those with strong support networks are less likely to develop PTSD and among those who still do, good support is likely to significantly reduce symptom severity. In order to have a healthy support network, you need to be able to recognize what healthy relationships look like. If you can't recognize when a relationship is becoming unhealthy, you can't take steps to keep yourself safe. Discernment is the skill of perceiving, understanding, and exercising good judgment. A person with "discerning tastes" is someone who has strong preferences about aesthetic quality, like a gourmand. The psychological use of the term is much broader—it is more related to perception and decision-making in general.
Have you ever gone through a time where things just keep coming? Where you keep getting knocked down, over and over and over again, every time you try to stand back up and start over? That's me this past year. I don't really feel tenacious. I feel more like I'm under-leveled. And the only way to level up is just by grinding. Boring, frustrating grinding. Here's the thing that I think people are apt to misunderstand about tenacity: It's not about never falling, or about how long you stay on the ground after you fall. That doesn't matter. It's just about getting back up, and trying again.
This post is for the June 2016 Carnival of Aces, which is on the topic of “Resiliency.” Content warnings: discussion of trauma and violence (sexual and not), mentions of substance abuse and suicidality and self-harm, all in the context of talking about a work of fiction Between 2008 and 2011 I [...]
People seem to think that therapeutic art is always about expressing your pain and negative feelings. While drawing out images of exactly what the pain and terror of abuse feels like can be cathartic and hugely helpful, art that is about joy, comfort, beauty and color can act as a sort of refuge.
Resilience is the ability to recover from really tough, painful situations. But there's so much more depth to it than that. There are several components that are thought to contribute to overall resilience. Each of these is a skill that can be developed, or a practice that's built up based on skills that can be developed. This isn't the kind of thing that you either have or you don't. Everyone has some degree of resilience. And it's something you can always improve.