On today’s episode, Duane speaks with Caroline Beidler who shares her story and talks specifically about building resiliency and recovery, the importance of resiliency, especially when it relates to overcoming trauma, and how she discovered that process in her own life. Caroline also shares a few things that you can do in your life immediately to help build resilience.

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Caroline’s mental health recovery and addiction recovery were intertwined. She knew that if she wanted to thrive in her recovery, she had to heal her trauma and build resilience. Then a couple of years later, she decided to go back to school to become a social worker and help others who also seek recovery.

Caroline lived with undiagnosed post-traumatic stress disorder for over 20 years. Caroline recalls experiencing panic attacks, anxiety, and depression triggered by her experiences of being in a room full of men. She struggled more with disordered eating and was in very unhealthy and emotionally abusive relationships. After finally seeking a mental health therapist, Caroline realized that so much of what was happening in her life was because of untreated trauma symptoms.

As she discovered more practical tools to help her mental health and trauma resilience, her life and her world changed. With her healing transformed, she reached the next level in recovery and founded Bright Story Shine, a storytelling platform created to share and celebrate stories of recovery and resilience without judgment and shame. 

By bringing these stories out into the open, our pain can be witnessed and we can also witness other people’s pain. There is something in that process that allows us to move forward and shift that story.

In this episode, you will hear:

  • Caroline’s story of recovery
  • What resilience means
  • Developing safe coping skills to promote resilience
  • The role of storytelling in healing
  • Skills that you can build in recovery
  • Some characteristics of resilient people

Key Quotes:

[03:26] – “It’s so much more recovery and healing than just putting the substances down.”

[07:28] – “We can choose healing. We can make a decision to turn another way, take another path, and go another route.”

[09:29] – “Resilience is the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats, or significant sources of stress.”

[13:04] – “Research that shows storytelling, or telling our recovery and mental health stories actually promote healing in the brain.”

[14:27] – “Over 80% of women in addiction recovery have experienced some type of trauma, most often sexual violence.”

[15:09] – “We have the ability to shift our stories… in the next level of recovery, if we embrace our trauma healing and building resilience, we can really move forward into new levels of freedom.”

[16:57] – “Some of our unhealthy patterns in recovery are really closely linked with some of the trauma that we experienced early on in our life.”

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Supporting Resources:

Bright Story Shine

Seeking Safety