Tuesday, 19 May 2015

A Relationship with Resilience - and the benefits of hardiness, resistance and non-conformity

'A Relationship with Resilience' by Grant King on TaysideHealth blog, 19 May 2015, and my comment on the post: 

"Speaking as a resilient grandmother and a woman who identifies as a psychiatric survivor I disagree with this statement:

“What differentiates resilience for me is the positive adaption following adversity whereas hardiness seems to focus on the concept of adversity survival.”

I believe that resilience and hardiness go hand in hand, are equally important for any person who finds themselves in a state of emotional crisis or mental distress and having to access psychiatric treatment. Where they may be subject to forced medication and be judged as being “without capacity”. I speak from experience. And from the position of caring for many other family members in the same situation. Over 40 years of caring.

I would add resistance and non-conformity to the mix in terms of retaining and regaining positive mental health. It has worked for me and for many others. Resisting negative prognoses and self blame, not complying with rules and behaviours which are detrimental to human beings or disregard their rights. Standing up for human rights and standing with the oppressed, whatever the situation. Regardless of the cost. That is a demonstration of strength and resilience, in my opinion.

As a child I was resilient and hardy, recovering after arm and leg breaks when out playing rigorously and adventurously in the school holidays, aged 6 and 7 respectively. Like my granddaughter I ran before I could walk. Nothing much has changed now I’m 62 years young. Being a survivor means I can bounce back, pick myself up again after adversity and ill-health, physical or mental. It also means I can empathise with others who are struggling and get alongside side them, mutually, until they are back on their feet again. Doing it under their own steam.

As a community education and development worker since 1980 it was always about empowerment and lifelong learning. Level playing fields and making straight paths. Being tough, resilient and hardy does not automatically translate into a lack of compassion and a disregard for the pain of “others”. I wanted to give voice to my thoughts and hope they are of use."

walking up a close in Kirkcaldy, Fife

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