“Building Resilience” is a popular term in the self help world. 

I didn’t have a full understanding of what resiliency meant until COVID-19 happened, and social distancing was put in place. 

You see, I’ve spent the past 2+ years building my resilience, by getting sober. 

I basically trained for this. 

I replaced drinking with new coping skills. 

I put routines in place that strengthened my mental health. 

I learned to care for my body by what I eat and how I move. 

I listen to myself to tell me what I need, especially, in times of stress.

Building my resiliency looked like this:

Anxiety = walk with dog around the block/yoga 

Angry = journal/ loud music in headphones/fast run. 

Sad = cry/read

Irritable = alone time at gym/clean kitchen/donate stuff

Bored = coffee with friend/puzzle

Lonely = tell someone/letters to Grandma/volunteer

I pay attention to myself when things feel wonky, triggery, or a little off. 

I put extra self care measures in place in times of tension and stress.

Sometimes self care is a manicure, and sometimes it’s telling someone I won’t accept being talked to that way. 

I don’t fear a relapse.

I know pre-lapse comes first so I use my inner signals as a  warning.

I turn to extra support when I need it. 

Quitting alcohol means I have been through the fire and I live to tell. 

I’ve already burned through.

I am a phoenix now. 

I can survive discomfort. 

I don’t have to rush to fix it. 

I can sit in discomfort and survive.

Being comfortable isn’t my goal. 

Being strong is. 

I don’t stuff my feelings anymore.

I express them out loud. 

I am here for the whole spectrum of human feelings.

Not just the good, easy ones. 

Feeling the whole, reminds me that I am alive.

Living is what I am here to do. 

In just two years, I have transformed from a person that would fall over if someone blew in my direction, to someone that can stay standing by simply bending with the wind in a storm. 

I can be a helper in this uncertain pandemic storm right now. 

I am capable of driving a volunteer love train for my community. 

I can bring peace and calm to my family. 

I can prepare without panic. 

I can offer my resources to others. 

I have something to give. 

I am not the center of anyone’s worry.

I do not drown in a bottle of wine and fear the world is ending. 

What good would that do? 

I hunker down with my tool kit, already created, by getting sober. 

Getting sober prepared me for this pandemic. 

When people joke about drinking alcohol to stay safe from COVID-19, because “it kills everything.” I can’t help but agree, it does kill everything.

I am so glad to be done with it. 

I am so glad it didn’t kill me.