Life is full of occasions that test our resiliency. How quickly do we bounce back from a crisis or stressful experience? Resiliency is a key indicator of the state of our mental health. People with EDs often lack it, which increases the likelihood of engaging in unhealthy coping behaviors.
The strength of Lauren’s resiliency was tested last week when we put our 14-year old lab to sleep. We all knew this was imminent but that didn't prevent the news from being devastating. I literally felt my heart constrict and had to move the phone away from my ear when I broke the news to her. This was not an overreaction – but merely an expression of her inconsolable grief. Over the next few days, I just observed, from a distance.
The first thing to go out the door was self-care. What an opportunity for ED to slip in and ruin everything! Fortunately, she has a good support system. Soon, things were back to normal. If anything, this painful loss represented a glitch in her recovery, but nothing catastrophic. I hope her resilience continues to increase in the face of adversity. This is critical – recovery goes hand-in-hand with increased resiliency. It takes time and practice, and there are many contributing factors. However, first and foremost, it is dependent on self-care, which helps maintain a healthy body and mind that affords us the strength to cope with the unavoidable stresses of life.
“Happiness is not the absence of problems but the ability to deal with them.”
- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.