Bouncing Back

My friend Jana once gave a lesson at church about resilience. What is it, we discussed, that makes some people able to overcome really difficult, even deeply traumatic challenges?

I thought of that discussion today as I mulled the past six weeks of our lives when everything spun out. And kept spinning.

Things are markedly calmer now, but are not yet where I would like them to be. Though Jack is more stable than he was, I now seem to be the one vacillating between relief, laughter, eye rolling, frustration, and major anxiety about what may yet come.

We have made it through this awful winter (mostly), and now that Jack is doing better on his new med regimen with some hopeful new behavior plan changes, I need to pull myself out of the muddy ditch around which I am still awkwardly sliding.

It’s time to revisit not just the survival strategies, but the self-care concepts that will leave me some measure of sanity.

I hate the term “self-care,” honestly. It sounds geriatric and possibly related to basic hygiene, which isn’t at all what I mean.

I’m trying to drive off the wolf lurking at the edge of the woods, and I need more tricks up my sleeve to scare him soundly away.

Here is what I plan to do in the name of my own mental health:

1. Buy more books (duh).

2. Go swimming, alone. It’s not therapeutic if people are hanging on you and splashing water in your face. And I miss being in water. And being alone.

3. Drop a van load of stuff at DI to donate. Feel weightless for awhile.

4. Take more walks.

5. That’s all I’ve got, so far.

This list is not definitive. Chocolate isn’t going anywhere, nor Coca-Cola. Date night remains a sanity staple. Ditto with scriptures and praying.

I feel like my recent prayers go a lot like this:

Me: “Heavenly Father, I feel so angry.”

Him: “No kidding.”

Or this:

Me: “Heavenly Father, help me make it through today.”

Him: *text/letter/email/package arrives with kind words from a friend.*

Or this:

Me: “Heavenly Father, help me know how to help Jack.”

Him: “Okay.”

Resilience in the thick of it seems elusive.

I suppose when you realize you’re still here, still trying, and still basically lucid, you figure out that resilience looks mostly like laughing, eye rolling, weeping, and breathing.

Resilience is the cold spring bubbling from the rocks. I want to drink it.


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