Friday, June 26, 2009


How can we get through dark times? Coping is part of my job's focusses, as being a drug and alcohol counselor, its important to be hyper aware of how we as humans develop coping strategies and skills. These are ingrained from the time we are too small to think about it abstractly.
For me, hard times must have reprieve. I have done great during my darkest hours, and not so great as well. I learn from these moments of rawness. One thing I know is unhealthy for me is to holeup completely and not connect with others. On the opposite end of the spectrum of coping, I have known to keep to busy to be a sign of unhealthy coping too! Never reflecting for me is a way of not processing what has happened, and i need quiet reflective time for that, and relatioinships to help perspective.
I think my strength in who God made me to be includes the intense desire to create. Creating better, more celebratory memories helps me to feel that the weight of hard times can be lifted, shifted and perhaps appreciated. I take pictures for this reason. I also make people laugh intentionally for this reason! Being 'funny' is a coping mechanism unique to me and my family of origin. Without humor, I don't think we could have made it. Humor is a gift like no other. Just ask my wonderful wife, who is constantly calling on me to repeat what happened to me, whether dignified or not, just so she can join in on the laugh, one of her coping mechanisms. It helps to release endorphins, which lift our mood. It relaxes us, rewards us and sedates us. It also for me, helps to put things into perspective in a way. Mocking the 'hard time' seems biblical. Like thumbing your nose at grief, pain and loss. Where 'o' death is your STING?
Running has become a new mechanism for me as well. I can celebrate my health and the strength God has blessed me with through it. Again, endorphins are released causing very helpful side effects during times of duress.
Music is another major component. Infact, combine any of these elements and you get a triple threat. For example, at one point in my life, I was going through some transition and felt 'stuck' in life. What could I do to get out of it? I auditioned for my very first role in any production at the age of 30. New memory, it was a musical, and I could be creatively funny! BINGO! This catapaulted my understanding of my 'stuckness' into a completely different mindset.
Oh, and I do like a hunt for a good deal...some call it shopping, I call it the HUNT. This gets my mind in different places.
I wonder what you might know that you do to 'unstick' yourself.

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