Long Term Resilience

The bluebells in the woods right now are so beautiful.

Well. It’s been one of those full on weeks. We did all our usual stuff, ticking over here in Rutland, plus we ran our Resilience workshops in London.

We met some more amazing people. Nurses and healthcare assistants who work under pressure in under resourced situations, delivering expert medical care to vulnerable patients. Their quiet dignity and kindnesses impressed us deeply.

It’s sometimes hard to talk about the past. What we’ve been through, how we felt and reacted at the time and how we slowly recovered from trauma over two difficult decades. How we kept it all together, where we failed, where we had some small success.

This week though was so good because in our workshops we get such great participation, and we hear all kinds of stories and real experiences from people who are going through stressful situations at work. It’s amazing to hear how they cope with unexpected setbacks, emergencies, or just the daily grind. This week we talked about how we can manage feelings of trauma over extended periods of time.

I’ve needed to be organised in my head, and disciplined, to do that. Over twenty years, I’ve developed coping mechanisms and ways of thinking that help me absorb the shock of my situation. 

A quick summary of how I manage this:

  • I give myself permission to take time off from thinking about what happened
  • I think in detail and regularly about other people’s tricky situations
  • I make a rule that no-one will become a focus for negative thoughts as a result of my situation & disability
  • I meet every commitment I make and I never miss an appointment
  • I keep watching and listening to comedy
  • I value & encourage all the personal connections I make with people I meet: social media is great for this
  • I never allow conflict with the key people around me: they are my allies and I will make practically any compromise to preserve & strengthen our relationships

Maintaining balance and personal equilibrium over time can be hard. But I’m constantly working on it and improving my resilience in all these ways.

Off to watch Leicester City v Chelsea now. Wish us luck!