Addiction and Boundaries

Don't Lose Hope

“You can be a good person with a kind heart, and still say ‘no’.”

There are many, many addicts who break free of their addiction. They do the work required, and turn their back upon their past.

Other addicts try and fail; perhaps they feel ambivalent. Perhaps they aren’t sure they really want to make that change.

This is so distressing and for the partner or spouse.

So, what should you do? How do you help yourself – and them – when you don’t know if your partner is committed to real change?

All that you can do – and it’s the healthy thing to do – is to work hard on establishing some healthy boundaries.

But what do we mean by “having healthy boundaries”?

1. This is more about controlling our own life and own world. It’s not about controlling our partner’s life and world. This is…

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Quote of the Day

Don't Lose Hope

“Strong women aren’t born. They’re forged in the fires they’ve had to walk through. And they’ve shown the world they are warriors.”

This is you.

A strong courageous woman who has been forced to deal with stuff she never wanted to deal with,

and never should have had to deal with.

And you’ve discovered in the fire a strength of will, and inner strength, you never knew you had until you had to stand and fight.

And what a revelation that has been!

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On Grief

Don't Lose Hope

“Grief, I’ve learned, is really just love. It’s all the love you want to give, but cannot. All that unspent love gathers up in the corners of your eyes, the lump in your throat, and in that hollow part of your chest. Grief is just love with no place to go.” ― Jamie Anderson

Grief is just love with no place to go.

Because that individual’s not around anymore.

They can’t hear your words.

They can’t respond to your words.

You can’t express your love in any way that’s meaningful.

All that love that is inside you, in its pure intensity …

All the feelings that you have, and want to open up and share …

None of that is possible

There’s only silence now.

There’s no-one there to listen.

There’s only emptiness.

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Understanding Betrayal Trauma

Don't Lose Hope

Jennifer Freyd was one of the first people to formally identify betrayal trauma. She defined it in the following way:

“Betrayal trauma occurs when the people or institutions on which a person depends for survival significantly violate that person’ s trust or well-being: Childhood physical, emotional, or sexual abuse perpetrated by a caregiver are examples of betrayal trauma.”

The effects of this are severe and long-lasting. In fact, the associated symptoms are similar to those associated with PTSD. They include:

– Repeatedly experiencing intrusive thoughts and memories related to the traumatic event. These memories and thoughts can occur spontaneously, as well being triggered by environmental cues.

– Experiencing intense and prolonged distress when the person is exposed to any stimulus that reminds them of the traumatic event (or which resembles the traumatic experience).

– Being unable to fall, or to stay, asleep. Having recurring dreams where content or feelings…

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Quote of the Day

Don't Lose Hope

More long walks. More good books. More music. More sunsets. More holding hands. More cuddles. More road trips. More honouring your heart. More being nice to yourself. More laughter. More fun in the moment. More beach. More forest. More memories. More of what brings peace to your life. More of what brings inspiration. More of what makes you feel loved and not alone. Focus on that today.”   

– butterfliesandpebbles

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The Characteristics of Good Mental Health

Don't Lose Hope

What does it mean to function well in life? What does it mean to have good mental health? It means we exhibit the following traits:

  1. Feeling good about ourselves; accepting that we have both strengths and weaknesses. Understanding that change takes time, and being patient with ourselves.
  2. Being able to effectively manage our emotions so we’re not controlled or overwhelmed by them (Feelings of anxiety, fear, anger, rage, bitterness, hatred, jealousy, and so on).
  3. Being able to form and enjoy stable, healthy, boundaried and meaningful relationships.
  4. Feeling at ease in the company of others.
  5. Not taking life too seriously; being able to laugh at ourselves.
  6. Respecting ourself, our values, beliefs, attitudes, choices and decisions. Also, respecting others and their right to think, choose, decide and act for themselves.
  7. Being able to accept, and to cope with, disappointment. This includes being able to adapt and compromise when this is healthy and…

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Finding the Right Kind of Counsellor to Help you Cope with Betrayal Trauma

Don't Lose Hope

“A partner affected by intimate betrayal experiences a level of pain that is indescribable. The hurt is so profound and complex, partners often wonder if it will ever get better.” –  Shira Olsen

You’re likely in crisis if you’ve learned that your spouse is addicted to sex or pornography. It’s not the kind of news you expect to hear!

And you know that you need help … but you don’t know where to turn. You want to find a counsellor … but who will understand?

When you’re in a state of shock you need a crisis counsellor who knows what it is like to be completely traumatized; not someone who will offer you generic counselling.

The Kind of Counsellor to Avoid at this Time

In the initial weeks and months, you should avoid a counsellor:

– Who wants to look at how you might have contributed to, or played a…

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It’s the Little Things that Matter

Don't Lose Hope

Remember, today, that it’s the little things that matter.

It’s saying thank you to the sales assistant.

It’s taking the time to listen to your child.

It’s paying an unexpected compliment.

It’s checking in on a hurting friend.

It’s making the decision to do the right thing, even when you’re tired and you really can’t be bothered.

It’s choosing to be thankful when you’re feeling negative.

It’s doing one small thing which shows you’re going to love yourself.

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Understanding Relapse

Don't Lose Hope

Relapse is commonplace when someone’s fighting an addiction; it’s something many deal with on their journey to success. Yet, Psychology Today[1] records that more give up addictions than those who stay addicted, or who constantly relapse. This should give us hope, and help stave off discouragement.

Also, relapsing is a process that’s predictable and patterned; and recognizing this can help us read the warning signs. That is, we often make decisions which can seem inconsequential … and yet they slowly move us towards a full relapse

Think of the relapse chain as a chain of decisions – made over a period of days, weeks, months, or even years- that together add up to a backsliding in one’s recovery. This makes it hard to say exactly where any one relapse begins.[2]

What are the Steps that Lead to Relapse?

The following links make up the relapse chain:

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How to Tap into Your Inner Strength in the Aftermath of Trauma

Don't Lose Hope

Below are some common definitions of trauma.

Trauma is any experience of threat, disconnection, isolation, or immobilization that results in physical/ emotional injuries that dysregulate the optimal functioning of one’s body, emotions, brain, spirit or health.” – Mastin Kipp

“Trauma by definition is unbearable and intolerable. (Traumatized people) become so upset when they think about what they have experienced that they try to puh it out of their minds, trying to act as if nothing happened, and move on. It takes tremendous energy to keep functioning while carrying the memory of terror, and the shame of utter weakness and vulnerability.” – Bessel Van Der Kolk

“Being traumatized means continuing to organize your life as if the trauma was still going on – unchanged and immutable – as every new encounter or past event is contaminated by the past.” – Bessel Van Der Kolk

This is a difficult way…

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Why We don’t Talk about our Trauma

Don't Lose Hope

“Own everything that has happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.” – Anne Lamont

There are so many reasons why we keep it to ourselves. Why we choose not to talk about the things that we’ve been through. These include self-protection, feeling it is pointless, and because of messages we’ve picked up from our family.

Let’s break this down further ….

1. Self-Protection

Because it isn’t a safe thing to do.

Because we’re afraid of being judged, shamed, or attacked further.

Because we haven’t got the emotional reserves to deal with being judged, shamed, or attacked further.

Because we haven’t got the energy, or mental head space, to carefully explain our side of the story (and, if necessary, ‘argue our case’).

Because we don’t think people will believe us (or even want to believe us)


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What? You too?

Don't Lose Hope

“It’s important that we share our experiences with other people. Your story will heal you, and your story will heal somebody else. When you tell your story you free yourself, and you give other people permission to acknowledge their story as well.” – Iyanla Vanzant

We need to be able to talk about what happened. We need to have our story witnessed and held by someone who empathises with our shock and pain.

Who gets just awful and life-changing it has been.

But we also feel supported, encouraged and helped by hearing someone else share their story with us. The story of their trauma, and how they have survived.

But why does that make such a difference to us?

It matters because trauma is so isolating. It can feel too big – too awful – to talk about and share.

We feel contaminated, and overwhelmed with shame. So, we…

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Quote of the Day

Don't Lose Hope

“Triggers can happen when you least expect them. When you think all the emotional wounds are healed something can happen that reminds you there is still a scar.” – Alexandra May

You can do a lot of work to recover from a trauma. You can make a lot of progress on your journey to be free.

And yet there will be times when, suddenly, you’ll find you’re triggered. And that can be upsetting, and so discouraging.

But don’t let this derail you for the truth is: it is normal.

It happens to us all – for progress isn’t a straight line.

It means the wound is deep, and this has changed your life completely.

But, still, there has been healing.

Keep on going; you are strong.

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Quote of the Day

Don't Lose Hope

“When a flower doesn’t bloom, you fix the environment in which it grows, not the flower.” – Alexander Den Heijer

How do feel about your ability to grow, and bloom, in your current environment?

What would enable you to find your best self?

What would enable you to be your best self?

How would you be living – how would your life be different – if you had the freedom to be that individual?

Is there anything specific you need to change?

What one small change could you make in the next month – to get you moving in the right direction?

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What Will You Do with Your One Precious Life?

Don't Lose Hope

“At the end of the day, your feet should be dirty, your hair should be messy, and your eyes sparkling.” -Shanti

We never know how much time we have left. That’s why it’s important to live everyday. And to fill everyday with something meaningful.

To create a life that is kind and beautiful. To invest in people … and to follow our dreams …

And to make sure we have captivating dreams!

For too often we wake up – and we’re stuck in a deep rut. We do “the same old, same old” and we shrivel up inside. We give up on adventure and we let our world grow small. We find we’re just existing. There’s no passion anymore.

But to really feel alive we must get out there and explore. We need to build new memories, and to live with open eyes. We need to find that courage to…

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Prompts for Trauma Recovery Journaling

Don't Lose Hope

“Trauma creates change you didn’t choose. Healing is about actively creating change you consciously choose.”

Trauma survivors often find it helps to keep a journal as a recovery tool. This is a safe place where they can start to work through their memories, feelings, thoughts, hopes and fears.

The important thing with journals is to simply write. Don’t revise the content or censor anything.

Below are some prompts you can use for this.

1. Briefly summarize your day.

2. Zoom in on the positive things. The things that you are grateful for. Areas of growth, and encouragement. The things that went well (and which, perhaps, took you by surprise).

3. What were some of the key challenges? Challenges you handled well; and challenges that were difficult to handle and cope with. How did you respond and react in each of these situations?

4. What is one thing…

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Quote of the Day

Don't Lose Hope

“So do it. Decide. Is this the life you want to live? Is this the person you want to love? Is this the best you can be? Can you be stronger? Kinder? More compassionate? Decide. Breathe in. Breathe out. And decide.” – Meredith Grey

A lot of life comes down to decisions.

Decisions we make actively and consciously; or decisions we make passively. By default. By leaving things as they are.

Either because we are too afraid to make a change, or because it costs us too much to make a change.

But not making that decision costs us as well. Maybe not today, but in the long run.

So how do you really want to live your life? What kind of person do you really want to be?

Perhaps it is time to take the bull by the horns and make that decision which could change everything.

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Is it Worth Rebuilding the Relationship?

Don't Lose Hope

“Ultimately, the worst kind of pain does not come from your enemies, but from those you trust and love.”  

When you have learned that your partner has betrayed you, you are at a crossroads in the relationship. You will need to decide if you want to walk away, or if you want rebuild the relationship.

This is a choice that only you can make.

Questions to consider include the following:

1. How much do you trust your partner or spouse? Discovering your partner as led a double life is going to undermine your relationship with them. And if you don’t think you’ll be able to trust them not to lie, or to deceive you in the future, then you’ll always be afraid. You’ll be anxious all the time – and that’s not a way to live.

Ask yourself: Are they remorseful? Do you think it’s genuine?

2. Do…

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Quote of the Day

Don't Lose Hope

“She had this way of always finding the good, despite all she had seen. And that is what I loved the most – the pure magic of her undying hope.” – Becca Lee

It’s easy to be cynical when life has knocked you down.

To board up your heart to protect yourself from harm.

But don’t let life people do this to you.  

Stay gentle, kind and soft.

And never lose your sense of hope.

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Be You

Don't Lose Hope

“When others asked the truth of me, I was convinced it was not the truth they wanted, but an illusion they could bear to live with.” – Anais Nin

Don’t live like this. Always be real. Always be yourself.

Who you are is beautiful.

And the world needs the real, authentic you.

Don’t change and alter to fit into a mould. Don’t change and alter to suit other people.

You will die inside if you can’t be who you are.

Don’t hide your truth. Don’t do this to yourself.

If you feel you need to change to be accepted, to belong, then you need to move on. It is time to change your tribe.

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Strategies for When you can’t Face the Day

Don't Lose Hope

No matter how many people surround you, depression is a lonely, solitary place filled with funhouse mirrors. Your world is twisted and distorted, pain reflected back from every direction.” – Unknown

There are times when life feels unbearable, and it’s hard to find the will to go on. The door has slammed shut, and the key’s been thrown away. You’re in a prison cell and there’s no way of escape.

At least, that is how it feels right now.

So what can you do when you feel like this?

1. First, acknowledge how you feel. Be aware of your emotions and your state of mind. Don’t try to ignore, bury or repress the pain. You need to respect it. You need to honour it. Denial doesn’t help. In fact, it only makes things worse.

2. Don’t try to rid your mind of negative and painful thoughts. Being mindful

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You Beautiful Thing!

Don't Lose Hope

“She is a beautiful piece of broken pottery put back together by her own hands. A critical world judges her cracks while missing the beauty of how she made herself whole again.”

-J.M. Storm

It’s easy to judge when we don’t know the full story, or when putting others down meets a need in our own life. The need to be feel better than, to feel superior to.

Beware of these kinds of underlying motives. Beware of allowing the crass judgments of others to affect how you see, and feel about, yourself.

Remember how you’ve suffered, and how hard it has been. Remember the long nightmare of hopelessness and grief.

Then remember how you faced it, and worked through all the and the pain.

You worked hard day and night as you rebuilt your broken life.

Because you wouldn’t let this be the end of the road.


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Quote of the Day: For all the Silent Sufferers …

Don't Lose Hope

“There are wounds that never show on the body that are deeper and more hurtful than anything that bleeds.” – Laurell K. Hamilton

This is a difficult burden to bear.

To carry wounds that no-one sees or knows about.

To walk through life as a silent sufferer.

To feel you are one step removed from life.

It is so isolating. It’s a heavy load to bear.

And if this describes you, then I really feel for you.

For there are wounds that are too sacred to risk sharing with others

And the loneliness compounds all the sadness and the pain.

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Finding Hope – Some Practical Steps

Don't Lose Hope

“Hope is being able to see that there is light, despite all the darkness.”

It can be hard to find hope when we’re battling despair. But there are some strategies that can help with hopelessness, and the feeling that “it’s pointless – because nothing’s going to change.” They include:

1. Try joining the dots: Think of how you would like your life to look like (This should be something you can actually picture. Something that’s different from how things are today – but which you believe is achievable). Chances are you will need to break that picture down into smaller goals, things you can work on one by one. Now put these steps and goals in order. Which would it make sense to work on first? What would you work on after that? Try to picture how you will feel after reaching the first goal, and the next…

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How to Heal from Trauma

Don't Lose Hope

Trauma shatters our most basic assumptions about ourselves, other people and the world: ‘Life is good; I can trust other people; my partner cares about me; I do not need to fear.’ These are replaced by thoughts and feelings like: ‘There is no-one who is safe; it is stupid to trust others; I need to take care of myself for the world is dangerous.”

Healing from trauma is a long, laborious process. It takes much longer than we want it to take. And if you’re on this journey, then I hope the points below will be a help and comfort as you navigate your way.

1. Accept all your emotions. Emotions simply are. Do not judge them as being right or wrong.

2. Expect to experience intense emotions. Expect to experience turbulent emotions. Expect to experience unwanted emotions.

3. Expect everything in life to feel chaotic. And even…

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Believe it. Live it.

Don't Lose Hope

“I’m learning to love myself. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done.”

How do we get to the place in life where we have to work on loving ourselves? This was never the way it was meant to be.

And whatever has happened, whatever has been said, it doesn’t detract from your value and worth.

It will never detract from your value and worth.

If you had a different family … if you had some different friends … Can you picture how differently you’d feel about yourself?

You are worthy of being loved. You are beautiful inside.

Don’t listen to the lies. Don’t let them rule your life.

It is time to start afresh. Make a new pact with yourself.

Make that choice to respect you. See yourself through healthy eyes.

See the good that’s in your heart. The potential that is there.

This is who you really are

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Owning Your Story so it Doesn’t Own You

Don't Lose Hope

“Owning our story, and loving ourselves through the process, is the bravest thing that we will ever do.” – Brene Brown

Aliesha fell in love with an amazing guy she met one summer on holiday. Everything about him seemed phenomenal. He (Gavin) had graduated with a PhD from one of the top universities. He had his own business – and a very profitable business at that. He was also a diver, a ski instructor, and loved to cook her fabulous meals.

Aliesha and Gavin dated for 6 months then Aliesha moved from Ohio to California to live with Gavin. For the first couple of months, everything was fine. But after that, things started to change. Gavin’s jealousy reared its ugly head. He was moody, controlling, and had angry outbursts. When he became abusive, Aliesha knew she had to leave.

It took a lot of work to process what had happened…

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Why is it so hard to forgive?

Don't Lose Hope

“Everyone says forgiveness is a good idea until they have something to forgive.” – C.S. Lewis

Forgiveness is a difficult, and somewhat touchy, topic. It’s something we are told that we ought to offer others. But ask anyone, and you’re likely to hear that forgiveness is a struggle if you’ve been hurt and betrayed. And perhaps its not surprising that this should be the case.

Here are a few of my thoughts on the matter.

1. Feeling that it’s hard to forgive and start again (even if, in your mind, you really want to forgive) is a primal, instinctive, self-protective response. The reason’s not surprising: if we let the barriers down and open up our heart, then our trust could be betrayed. So our brain seeks to protect us from further injury.

2. We fear that forgiveness – or too quick, or forced, forgiveness – could have the effect of…

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It’s Good to Talk? Maybe; Maybe Not

Don't Lose Hope

“Do not tell everyone your story. You will only end up feeling more rejected.” – Henri Nouwen

When something really awful or traumatic happens to us, there’s a need to talk, and to share it with another. There are a number of reasons why this is the case.

1. Partly it’s because when we talk things through, it helps us come to terms with how awful it all is.

It is true: “It really happened. And it happened to me. And I can’t believe that this happened to me.”

So, it’s part of working through all the horror and the shock, and coming to terms with this new reality. An awful and unwanted reality.

2. It can also help us to feel much less alone.

Living with a truth which is hard to integrate is extremely distressing; it can feel unbearable. Hence, we want another…

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How can we Makes our Lives more Meaningful?

Don't Lose Hope

How can we make our lives more meaningful?

In the paper, Pursue Meaning Instead of Happiness[1], authors Smith and Aaker say a meaningful life contains 3 crucial ingredients. These are purpose, comprehension and mattering (significance). In summary:

PURPOSE is choosing, and then working to attain, the kinds of life goals which are significant to you.

COMPREHENSION is making sense of what’s happened to you. It is weaving together all the good and the bad to form a coherent narrative.

MATTERING (SIGNIFICANCE) is knowing that you matter, that others value you, and believing that your life has significance.

But how do we go about achieving these? What kinds of things should we focus on? Below are some suggestions that might help with this.

1. It’s important to find some kind ofpurpose in your life. And our purpose can alter across the lifespan. For example, perhaps you…

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Just Let It Go?

Don't Lose Hope

I think the advice to “just let go” is some of the most useless advice out there.

For if it was that easy, we would all “just let it go”.

But “just let it go” is an impossibility.

For pain that goes down deep cannot simply be erased.

The wounds don’t heal themselves. It’s going to take a lot of work.

So we stay with the process.

And we let ourselves feel.

We let the waves build, and then crash on the shore.

We go through this cycle again and again … until all the poison has been cleansed and washed away

For that is the only way to finally be free

Letting go will take time.

It doesn’t happen easily.

The beautiful journey of today can only begin when we learn to let go of yesterday.” – Steve Maraboli

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You Know You Are Starting To Heal From Trauma When ….

Don't Lose Hope

You know you are starting to heal from trauma when ….

1.You recognize that you’ve gone through something really difficult, and experienced something that is truly awful.

2. You can talk about your trauma. You see it for what it is. You more fully recognize what it has done to you.

3. You feel less ashamed of being traumatized. You can separate “yourself” from what another did to you, or from what happened to you.

4. You are more adept at anticipating and recognizing your personal triggers.

5. You have a repertoire of strategies for dealing with triggers … proven strategies that work for you.

6. You are learning how to navigate and handle the emotions being traumatized evokes in you.

7. You feel more in control of yourself, and your emotional reactions.

8. You know the importance of setting boundaries … and you will enforce these boundaries when…

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Quote of the Day

Don't Lose Hope

To all the people who are kind to me, thank you for the sunshine you bring into my life.” – Briggite Nichole

Kindness changes us.

We all have struggles

We all have regrets

We all fight battles that are really hard to fight

But a word of kindness –

It can change everything.

It can pierce through the darkness

It can help us hope again.

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The Pain of Separation and Loss

Don't Lose Hope

“Your absence has gone through me

Like thread through a needle.

Everything I do is stitched with its colour.” – W. S. Merwin

This beautiful, brief poem captures perfectly how a major loss affects the whole of life.

Everything we do, and every place we go, triggers thoughts and feelings of

‘how things used to be’, of

‘how things are today’ and

‘how we wish they were’.

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Grief Journaling Prompts

Don't Lose Hope

There are losses that rearrange the world. Deaths that change the way you see everything. Grief that tears everything down. Pain that transports you to an entirely different universe, even while everyone else thinks nothing has really changed.” – Megan Devine

Grief and loss come in a multitude of forms. It may be the death of a person you have loved. The end of a meaningful relationship, for you. The loss of a job or the end of a career. A tragic accident or receiving shocking news.

Whatever kind of loss you are grieving for right now, it can help to be real and to process how you feel.

The questions below might help you with this:

1. What losses am I grieving? Who am I grieving for?

2. What is the most difficult time of day, for me?

3. Where in my body do I hold the…

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Understanding the Trauma Vortex

Don't Lose Hope

Does the term trauma vortex mean anything to you?

This metaphor describes the swirling whirlpool of emotions, reactions and thoughts that a trauma stirs in us. It’s where sensations, pictures, sounds or painful memories are triggered unexpectedly, and take us back in time[1]. This is summed up well in the following definition:

Trauma is like a magnet or a black hole sucking us in. Memories of trauma are not like normal memories of something that happened in another time and place, but instead we feel like we are currently in that other time and place. When triggered, our feelings are very powerful and pull us further and further into … a trauma vortex (a whirling mass that draws things towards its centre).[2]

And when an individual feels that they’re being sucked into this hole:

  1. They’re subjected to an onslaught of disturbing thoughts and pictures related…

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Signs that Life is Demanding your Attention

Don't Lose Hope

Signs that life is demanding your attention include:

1. The same themes and patterns (which are usually self-defeating) keep repeating themselves, or reappearing in your life. Notice these patterns, and then ask yourself: “What is this telling me about myself – my wants, my needs, my hurts, and my past?”

2. Hurt, unresolved issues, and problems from your past, are stopping you from living and enjoying your life now. Also, these are triggered more frequently than previously. This could include sleep problems, low self-esteem and relationship difficulties, fears, anxieties and PTSD symptoms.

These indicate repression isn’t working for you, and the past will not be silenced and ignored indefinitely.

3. You have trouble coping with powerful emotions – like overwhelming anger, or excessive crying. This frequently points to a deep and painful loss that hasn’t been mourned and given proper respect.

4. You feel restless, agitated, and feel something needs…

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Some Facts about Trauma

Don't Lose Hope

You can be healing and feel broken at the same time. Healing isn’t a destination we reach where we’re perfect and at peace all the time. Healing is a journey which involves accepting and embracing ourselves as we break, as we heal, and as we reconstruct.” Najwa Zebian

1. Everyone’s trauma is different; everyone’s reaction to trauma is unique. This means there is no “one size fits all” recovery treatment plan.

2. The effects of trauma are profound. They ripple into the future in unexpected and unpredictable ways. This makes it hard to address, work on, and heal from our trauma.

3. Understanding your own reactions to trauma is a long, pain-staking process. But they reveal themselves, and their patterns, over time; and as we gain more insight and understanding, we can try more strategies to help us heal. This is going to take patience, persistence, self-compassion and…

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How to Support a Depressed Friend or Partner

Don't Lose Hope

It can be hard to know how to help a partner or friend who is feeling depressed. The following suggestions might help with this:

1. Find out the kind of depression they are suffering from. Symptoms of clinical depression include sleep difficulties, loss of appetite, a desire to isolate themselves, feelings of hopelessness and helplessness, suicidal tendencies and an inability to determine the cause of their depression.

Those with situational depression may have some of the same symptoms but they generally know why they feel the way they do. Also, once the specific issue is resolved, they are able to function normally again.

2. Be available to listen, or to just be there for them. Sometimes you don’t need to say a word. Don’t offer opinions; don’t give them advice; don’t be judgmental. Be kind and understanding; be gentle empathic, patient, accepting and compassionate.

3. Take them out of…

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Quote of the Day

Don't Lose Hope

I promise you, little by little, the healing adds up.” – Ella Hicks

Maybe it doesn’t always feel like it’s true, but every investment in your healing counts. It all makes a difference, over time.

So hang on to that truth when it’s hard to believe. When you’re in the thick of battle and you don’t feel brave or strong.

You are starting to heal. You are different from before.

All that hard work: it is worth it.

Keep on going.

Don’t give up.

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Making Room

Don't Lose Hope

It’s not about simply forgetting and moving on; that’s never how it works.

That’s not how grief works. That’s not how sadness works. That’s not how disappointment works …

You’ve got to make a little home inside of you for those memories and feelings. Whether you want them there or not, those feelings are part of you now … so you have to make room.

You have to allow yourself to feel them all deeply, and accept that they are a piece of you. You will never be able to force out their intensity, their depth, their persistence.

So let them in instead.

Be vulnerable with yourself and allow yourself to feel every raw emotion entirely. Feel them and accept them, and know that even though they are a part of your yesterday, they do not get to define your tomorrow.” – Nikki Banas

Recovery requires that we…

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The Truth About Life …

Don't Lose Hope

1. Things never go according to plan.

2. You’ll always meet with unexpected obstacles.

3. Not everyone will like you, or want to be your friend.

4. We all lose motivation and want to ditch our dreams.

5. Success is transitory, and happiness will pass.

6. We all get disappointed and let down by our friends.

7. Attitude is everything; we choose how we react.

8. There’s always something good, if we will only look for it.

9. There are those who “play it forward”, and who’re helpful, warm and kind.

10. Life is full of chances, new beginnings and fresh starts.

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Quote of the Day: Remember the Fire Within

Don't Lose Hope

Remember who you were when you pulled through the darkest night of the soul.

Remember how you rallied, how you remained functional, even if barely.

Remember how you kept on going.

Remember how you held it all together, as everything fell apart.

Remember all the times you were stronger than you felt and wiser than you thought.

Remember how you had a galaxy within you when you thought there was nothing left.

So that the next time you know you’re going to need a wild fire instead of a match to get through the darkness,

Remember the survivor within.”

– Tanya Markul

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A Pearl of Great Price

Don't Lose Hope

Pain is real; but so is hope.

Oysters are highly vulnerable. They need their tough shell in order to survive. But they also need to eat – so they open up their shell.

Yet this can pose a danger if a grain of sand gets in. For that becomes a source of ongoing pain for them.

So how does the oyster respond to this?

It responds by gently wrapping translucent layers around the grain sand, around the source of suffering. In this way it transforms suffering into something beautiful. Into something that’s exquisite, and that’s highly valuable.

How does this relate to us?

Suffering’s part of life for the oyster on the seabed; and suffering’s part of life for all human being too. We experience disappointment. We experience grief and loss. We experience deep betrayal. We are hurt and traumatized.

Some of this, we put behind us; then…

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The Power of the Invisible Hand

Don't Lose Hope

Never doubt that thousands of invisible hands are helping you at all times. Love is everywhere, even if you can’t see it. The tenderest care will arrive when you least expect it, and from someone whose name you will never know.” Elizabeth Gilbert.

Often, we feel completely alone. We feel rejected, and discarded, and abandoned.

We feel as if there’s no-one who really understands.

I know that I have been there, and I guess you’ve been there, too.

It’s extremely painful. It’s an awful place to be.

But I’ve also experienced the kindnesses of strangers. A community of people on the internet. People who have shared their own heartaches. Their own traumas. People who are tender and compassionate.

Hence, this resonates with me: I have learned I’m not alone.

There are invisible hands. There is tenderness and care from people I don’t know – and will likely…

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