Recovery is a long and winding journey that without resilience, it could be so easy to go back to your bad habits. 

But how do we build resilience in recovery?

As defined by the American Psychological Association, resilience is the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats, or significant sources of stress. Resilience means choosing to heal. 

Ultimately, we have two choices –  to continue on this road of looking at some unhealthy coping mechanisms or to take some healthy action through positive coping skills. 

To build resilience, we can use certain safe coping mechanisms such as mindfulness, breathing, exercises, movement, sleep, and diet, which are really ways that we can choose to take care of ourselves. 

Agency, Not Self-Empowerment

Resilience is not about self-empowerment, but more about agency and having the ability to make that strategic choice in our lives. 

Some of our unhealthy patterns in recovery are closely linked with some of the trauma that we experienced early on in our life but there are so many ways we can choose healing in our lives. 

Once those start adding up, and we start building some of those new pathways in our brain, slowly over time, our bodies and minds no longer go to those heightened dysregulated places in the event those stressors come.

The Power of Storytelling in Recovery

Inspired by her passion to help people in recovery, Caroline Beidler created Bright Story Shine, a storytelling platform created to share and celebrate stories of recovery and resilience without judgment and shame. 

Research shows that storytelling or telling our recovery and mental health stories promotes healing in the brain. 

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. 

We all have the ability to shift our stories. Once we embrace trauma healing and building resilience, we then move on to the next level of recovery and move forward into new levels of freedom.

If you want to learn more about building resilience in recovery, check out Episode 175: Building Resiliency in Recovery with Caroline Beidler.