September 10, 2018 was World Suicide Prevention Day. #KOTS founder @officialdonwestjr sat down with Tracey Williams, a fellow DBSA Certified Peer Specialist and talked a bit about her finding her voice, and her journey of #hope, and #recovery. Enjoy the conversation and pick up some great tools below from Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services and find more resources on there website HERE.
Knock Out the Stigma, Inc. is pleased to announce a neighborhood collaboration of diverse service organizations to bring you STIGMA-CON 2018 an installment in the new Healthy Neighborhoods Well-Being Campaign Series being spearheaded by Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health’s West Central Mental Health Center located on Stocker Street in Los Angeles, California serving neighborhoods that include parts of South Central LA.
We all have traveled a unique path to get us here to this point in time. When you are looking back on your journey are you doing it with a harsh and critical point of view or are you looking back at the circumstances of your journey with compassion?
What is self-compassion? Below is the definition according to author and self-compassion guru Dr. Kristin Neff.
Definition of Self-Compassion: Having compassion for oneself is really no different than having compassion for others. Think about what the experience of compassion feels like. First, to have compassion for others you must notice that they are suffering. If you ignore that homeless person on the street, you can’t feel compassion for how difficult his or her experience is. Second, compassion involves feeling moved by others’ suffering so that your heart responds to their pain (the word compassion literally means to “suffer with”). When this occurs, you feel warmth, caring, and the desire to help the suffering person in some way. Having compassion also means that you offer understanding and kindness to others when they fail or make mistakes, rather than judging them harshly. Finally, when you feel compassion for another (rather than mere pity), it means that you realize that suffering, failure, and imperfection is part of the shared human experience. “There but for fortune go I.”
Self-compassion involves acting the same way towards yourself when you are having a difficult time, fail, or notice something you don’t like about yourself. Instead of just ignoring your pain with a “stiff upper lip” mentality, you stop to tell yourself “this is really difficult right now,” how can I comfort and care for myself in this moment?
The ancient trade of stone masonery is one that demands precision and mastery of one’s craft in order to achieve an acceptable finished product. In many ways this is similar to the formula for success in our daily lives, the more we master our tools and apply them with precision to the circumstances that arise, the more acceptable we find our finished product. Here we have a stone arch which happens to be one of my favorite architectural elements. Stones are cut and fitted in such a way that they can be stacked to hold and support one another. In the design of this archway there is one stone that is absolutely critical to the strength and integrity of the entire structure, this special stone is called the keystone.
Without the keystone in place the arch will not hold its shape. All the other stones will tumble and fall to the ground. In our personal life journies we each have lots of stones that make up our personal archway. One stone may represent our income from our job or business. Another stone may be your intimate relationship. All the elements that make up our life represent one of our stones. However, each one of us has a keystone, that one thing that is critically essential to all the other stones staying in place and performing their proper functions.
If we look at a person who has recovered from an addiction as an example, that person’s keystone would likely be their sobriety. As long as their sobriety is in place all the other areas of their life are able to function. But, if that sobriety is removed it will likely impact a number of stones and perhaps cause the entire arch to crumble. It thus becomes of vital importance that someone with sobriety as their keystone acquire and master the tools necessary to maintain their sobriety in order to maintain all the other stones in their life. The same principle will apply no matter what you ultimately determine your keystone to be.
1) What is your keystone?
2) How many tools have you mastered to help support your keystone?
3) Do you know what you need from your partner, family, and friends to assist with maintaining your keystone?