As a child I unconsciously developed many coping strategies to survive the behaviours of the adults around me. I was lucky to have an exceptional grandmother, companion animals and a deep appreciation of the natural world and I often withdrew and hid with these. Sometimes I kept quiet too long and then exploded in a destructive rage. I was desperate to feel I could safely fit in somewhere, so I became a people pleaser, a liar and I trusted nobody. I carried these childhood coping strategies into adulthood and more rollercoaster relationships and projects followed.
Eventually, in desperation, I was guided to a peer support programme, a range of healthier coping strategies and self care tools. Gradually I got to know myself and I started to make more time for the things that are important to me. I’m a bit better at taking responsibility for the choices I make and understanding how these impact me and the world around me. Yet when I read the news and reports about biodiversity loss, animal abuse and climate change, I temporarily slip back into seeing society through the eyes of a helpless, powerless child again.
Taking time out to watch the birds and other animals who live in and visit my garden, I see that most other species on Earth have a daily struggle for physical survival and I’m in awe of their resilience and determination. I don’t expect my own life to be without pain, loss, conflict and disappointments and I’m grateful for the help I’ve received that’s led me to a more meaningful life with clearer responsibilities, principles and objectives.
Today I Will Remember
Fear and anger can fuel emotional rollercoasters that are as stressful as they are exhausting. Sometimes strong emotions are a signal I need to tackle something difficult and I can choose to take constructive action making best use of whatever skills, experience and capacity that are available to me.
“……principles above personalities.”
Tradition 12, Al-Anon Family Groups
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