THE REAR WINDOW: A SPACE FOR MINDFUL REFLECTION
A message from Dr. Rita Anita Linger, PhD, CPC, CMBP, RCNC Executive Director
I have always believed that 'self-care is health-care', particularly within our line of work.
Compassion fatigue and feelings of being overwhelmed and overworked are common experiences for those of us who care deeply about helping others and offering support to our recovery community members. As we work, we often criticize ourselves. When we ridicule ourselves and say things like, “I didn’t do enough" or “why couldn’t I have helped him/her more?” or “I’m not good at what I do. I could have done better”, we become locked in a prison of our own negative self-talk and self-image. I would wager all of us have done this at one time in our lives.
As we serve our clients and peers, it's important to remember self-love and self-care, especially in the face of self-loathing and a negative self-image. We are often convinced that what we think we know about ourselves is accurate. We tend to automatically believe our thoughts and opinions without even questioning them. The reality is that these stories are often relative, limited and most definitely flawed...
Learning to stop believing in negative stories and illusions is part of becoming “free” and critical to our personal healing and growth. This is not an easy task, but with time it is possible, and the results are worthwhile. First, we must learn to sit in discomfort and feel the negative illusions and stories we tell ourselves, including our feelings of unworthiness and powerlessness. Being honest about how we feel and what we’re thinking can help us to find our personal power and authenticity in new ways. Our stories, self-beliefs and identities create our sense of purpose. If they are negative and self-deprecating, we feel anxious, depressed, lonely, and worthless. If we reach this point, our mental, emotional and physical health becomes compromised. As we sit in the discomfort, we become more comfortable in our own skin and we can more clearly process where we are at and what changes we need to make in order to thrive.
The time has come to be kind to ourselves and to laugh more at our imperfections and failings. Truly, they are not as big a deal as we make them out to be! If we are kind to ourselves, we can begin to care more deeply for others.
Taking some time out to be with just yourself in a peaceful place - through meditation practice - is a great way to start. There are a variety of meditation practices you can engage in and many are free and available on YouTube. There you can find what type of meditation works best for you. For meditation beginners, you will only need five or ten minutes a day to experience a change in how you see yourself, your life, your potential, your purpose, and those around you. I would like to recommend a free app, which teaches you how to breathe fully (most of us do not breathe to capacity), how to meditate simply and how to watch for changes in your physiology as you begin to relax, and to accept all that you are. The app (which you can get from the Apple Store) is called, Breathe2Relax.
Finally, remember, there is no one special way to be…you are special and perfect just as you are.
Thank you Governor Roy Cooper for proclaiming September as Recovery Month in North Carolina. The proclamation arrived today at our office and we at RCNC are honored to be a part of this action.Recovery Works...it REALLY does! Happy 2018 National Recovery Month!
The Capital Area Rally for Recovery is an annual event to celebrate recovery and offer hope to anyone seeking or in need of recovery from Substance Use Disorder. We welcome everyone in the community to join us in our efforts to recognize and promote the wellness recovery brings. People in recovery from substance use disorder, their families, friends and allies will be coming together from across the Greater Triangle Area on Saturday, September 8, 2018 at Mordicai Historical Park in Raleigh, NC to celebrate recovery as part of National Recovery Month.
International Overdose Awareness Day is a global event held on 31 August each year and aims to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of a drug-related death. It also acknowledges the grief felt by families and friends remembering those who have died or had a permanent injury as a result of drug overdose.
Recovery Communities of North Carolina provides recovery education, advocacy, and support to individuals and families. Its state-wide work supports a lifetime of recovery for individuals out in the community. With our scholarships, they can add self-advocacy skills to their array of holistic services.
Social stigma has kept recovery voices silent for decades. Research has shown that messaging shifts can open attitudes toward addiction as a disease and recovery as a real thing. This course, developed by Faces & Voices of Recovery, will provide techniques on how to discuss addiction and recovery with family, employers, friends, service providers, the general public and the media. Don't miss this great learning opportunity to learn!