Thursday, September 23, 2010

Resilience Through Connection

"This moment for you really is resilient, because you are facing [the legacy of bipolar] it and letting it in.  Otherwise it would be fake resilience.  You can slide away from things and use quasi denial, and not want to face it, and that looks resilient to the world, but that starts to crack.  If you have been through this kind of shit, there’s stuff to face.  If you are reacting when you hear and read this stuff, that is good.  That means your inner self is waking up and saying, 'Me, me!  I know about that.'  Giving yourself a season to pay attention to that takes strength.  I think humility is very big.  Doing what looks strong on the outside isn’t always real strength.  In the end, everyone has to face real emotions."  - Dr. Ellen Luborsky, Psychotherapist

I interviewed Dr. Ellen Luborsky in connection with the book I am writing about the adult offspring of depressed parents.  Dr. Luborsky has written professionally about depression and has worked with many grown children of the depressed. 

I have taken a three month break from writing about resilience and depression.  I am finding that this work brings up a lot of emotions for me.  Coincidentally, my mother's struggle with bipolar disorder has taken a negative turn during this period.  Facing this topic forcefully and directly is often painful. 

My major obstacle in completing this work is affirming my own resilience.  Fortunately, interviewing psychology experts and working with my own therapist has reinforced my confidence.  The quote above illustrates the kind of encouragement I have received as a result of reaching out. 

The ability to reach out and connect is actually the major predictor for psychological resilience.  I am a big communicator and have thrived through connection all of my life.  I use social networking and blogging not so that I can live in a fish bowl, but so that I can consistently reach out to others in the midst of parenting two young children and self-motivating on my own project. 

I am decidedly resuming work on my book, and also on this blog.  I haven't stopped reaching out, and I don't plan to.  An integral part of this practice is my spritual column for  Patch is local news, and I love that, because it is a way to work on a smaller scale, and to do, as Mother Teresa said, "small things with great love."  For each column I connect with an individual or group in my community.  Global begins with local. 

In addition to the column, I am going to post regular entries here.  I am excited about coming out of a reflective and nurturing period and sharing the benefits I am gaining with anyone who is interested. 

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