Resilience is a hallmark of good mental health. It is particularly important for recovering addicts who have learned how to survive but in negative ways – for example, by dissociating from childhood trauma or using drugs and alcohol to escape emotional pain.
An essential part of recovery is learning new tools that build resilience, which guards against the return of old, automatic behaviors that so often leads to relapse.
What Is Resilience?
Resilience is our ability to adapt to or bounce back from stress and adversity. Can you describe what you’re feeling, and can you respond to emotions in ways that alleviate your suffering without adding to it? People who score low on resilience typically do things that keep them stuck like dwelling on negative thoughts, avoiding other people, or using drugs, alcohol, shopping, gambling or other substances or behaviors to escape.
People who are resilient, by contrast, have the coping skills to manage life’s ups and downs with flexibility and a positive outlook.