Coping with Adversity – Helping Survivors Survive.

Posted: January 7, 2011 in Victim's Rights
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What Is Resilience?

Resilience is the power to cope with adversity and adapt to challenges or change. It is a process of drawing on beliefs, behaviors, skills, and attitudes to move beyond stress, trauma, or tragedy. Although naturally stronger in some personalities, it can also be learned. Resilient people have a range of strengths such as optimism, self-knowledge, personal meaning , and the ability to foster relationships and care for themselves and others. By mobilizing these powers, they confront life’s obstacles and emerge with greater wisdom, flexibility, and strength.

Here at MADD, we strive to support those impacted by drunk driving and our hearts are full of sorrow when any sudden loss takes place in the community. 

Why Resilience Matters 

Life doesn’t always go the way we wish or expect.  Problems arise in the family, the workplace, and the neighborhood.  Relationships end, children leave home, we lose our job, we get sick, or a loved one dies.  Things change, and there’s so much we can’t control, particularly after September 11, 2001.  We can no longer expect to feel secure.  But most of us do successfully adjust to changes in our lives.  How do we do it?  

The ability to adapt to challenges and change is known as resilience.  Think of resilience as elasticity or flexibility. Resilience is not rare.  It is more like “ordinary magic” because everyone is resilient in some ways.  And whenever you recover from a setback and get better at coping with life’s difficulties, you become even more resilient. 

Being resilient doesn’t mean that you stop having problems or are not affected by difficulties.  It doesn’t mean you are not sad when a relationship ends or that you are not worried about your family’s physical and financial well-being.  It doesn’t mean having answers to all of life’s problems.  Being resilient means finding ways to cope with problems that arise, taking care of yourself and those around you, and emerging stronger than before.  

  Tragic events are tough on our community life.  When you focus on resilience, you can see how strong you already are and can become even stronger-to successfully navigate whatever life brings your way.  Just as emergency instructions on airplanes tell you to put the oxygen mask on yourself first before assisting others, recognizing how to be resilient makes you better able to help your children, spouse, partner, coworkers, neighbors, and community lead fuller, more productive, and truly joyous lives. 


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