One of the strongest emotional keys to recovery is the courage to identify and acknowledge the source of emotional pain in your life. Many times, the source of this pain is rooted in childhood and may have solidiﬁed over the years. It takes courage to look at your pain from a fresh approach. It takes courage to understand the need for change. It takes courage to step out in faith and act. It takes courage to recover.
Write in your journal, or a reminder somewhere, a statement such as the following: I am brave enough to understand my pain. I am strong enough to go beyond it.
You can use this one or write one of your own. It needs to be a positive, personal affirmation that articulates bravery and courage for you. Highlight this statement in your journal. Memorize it. Put it where you’ll see it each day. Use it whenever your courage falters. This will be your “moving-forward phrase.” You will have one of these phrases for each chapter. As you work on these positive moving-forward statements, you will be reprogramming your mind to focus on the positive. This exercise is not a gimmick or an optional activity. Actively, intentionally use these statements you have written for yourself to reintroduce hope and a sense of what is possible in your life.
Circumstances that fuel depression, anxiety, self-destruction, and self-doubt are often short-lived, but sometimes they must be endured for longer than we’d like. However, the negative feelings and patterns can remain, even after the circumstances have subsided.
No matter how long you’ve been struggling, you can be eased by intentionally recognizing, promoting and sustaining optimism, hope, and joy. It is up to us to create these positive responses—they are available to us every day, no matter what our circumstances.
This last statement is not a trite saying, but rather an observation made in the depths of one of the crudest, most horriﬁc situations ever experienced—the Holocaust of Nazi Germany. In his book Man’s Search for Meaning, Viktor Frankl set about to answer the question of why some people lived through the concentration camps and some did not. He found that it rarely had anything to do with their physical state. Some who were extremely debilitated or ill continued to live, while others, who were in much better physical shape, died. The difference, he found, was in their attitude toward life.
Frankl discovered that in the ﬁnal analysis, strength for living is found in the ability to choose your attitude, your response, to any given situation. The situations he dealt with on a daily basis were deprivation, starvation, physical disease, and beatings. Yet, in the midst of the hell of the concentration camp, he intentionally chose to respond with optimism and hope.
If Viktor Frankl could be positive in the midst of a Nazi concentration camp, each of us has the opportunity to do the same in our own situations. It is our responsibility to recognize these attitudes, promote them, and sustain them. This is the challenge for the person who is suffering.
Often, however, we need to lean on the support and resources around ourselves to find and achieve lasting recovery. At The Center • A Place of HOPE, we are committed to assisting you on this journey. For each person that comes to our facility, we look at their emotional, environmental, relational, physical, and spiritual history and health. From there, we craft an individualized recovery plan, pulling in the various people and resources needed. If you or a loved one is suffering from depression, anxiety, PTSD, an eating disorder, or another issue, we are here to help. Fill out this form or call 1-888-747-5592 to speak confidentially with a specialist today.