Resilience- "Ride Life to Perfect Laughter"




As we continue our Word of the Week series here at South Orange County Detox & Treatment, we are going to be highlighting “resilience” as we discuss why the ability to enact this particular attitude is integral to long, and even more importantly, short-term sobriety. One is hard-pressed to imagine a scenario where someone would need to personify the necessary characteristics of resilience more so than during the process of recovery. As anyone who has embarked on the journey of sobriety knows, there are points in time where the pressure becomes seemingly unbearable due to the cacophony of dark forces that echo like desperate screams inside our heads. These are the moments in time where we define our future by choosing to persevere rather than acquiescing to the torturous nihilism that breeds depression and desperation. We can think of resilience as variety of skills that, when brought together, will allow us to face life on life’s terms with the understanding that doing so will lead us down the road less traveled; as Frost stated, “I chose the one less traveled, and that has made all the difference.” Let’s examine exactly what it means to forge a course that is off the beaten path. “Life show up” is an adage I’ve heard before in 12 step meetings and I believe this simple statement is actually trying to indicate to us that we have limited control over a finite amount of facets in the context of life’s entire process. When we face difficulties of all imaginable sorts, physical, emotional, psychological, existential, interpersonal, etc., we collide with a fork in the road where we can try and regain or retain control, or we can, to use another 12 adage, “Let go and Let God.”

To illustrate this further, let’s think of surfing as a metaphor. Anyone who has surfed or even witnessed surfing understands that we are not controlling the waves. Waves are formed independently of any human influence and do not submit to the wishes of those who are lucky enough to enjoy experiencing the power, grace, and sometimes ruthlessness that manifest through their magnificent force. If we can conceptualize the approach to surfing and apply it to how we engage with life we will be able to find much wisdom from this perspective. Wipeouts are inevitable in the water and also outside of it but the one’s resiliency is truly put to the test the moment after we breach the surface of the water back into the clarity of life. Our success in recovery is directly correlated to how quickly and powerfully we rebound from our “wipeouts”. We cannot change, alter, or modify the suffering and adversity that life inevitably brings, but we all have the spiritual weapons within us that allows us to battle and defeat the demons whose only purpose is to destroy our will and contaminate our divinity with despair. If we can maintain faith that our very essence is divinely inspired and protected, we will implement all the traits that constitute our resilience and ultimately, “we will ride life to perfect laughter as it is the only good fight there is.”