Learning and Re-learning from Year to Year

Sue Bergeson Health Guide
  • One of my habits at the end of every year is to try and list of the things I've learned or relearned during the year. It's one of the ways I try to find the gift in everything that has happened in my life. Let's face it, life isn't always easy, so reframing my struggles and failures into learning experiences and gifts is a discipline that I work on - often not very successfully.

    Here are a few things I have learned or relearned this year:

    • I need my doctors, but it's my peers and my recovery disciplines that ultimately keep me alive.

    • Sometimes trying to be as kind and supportive as possible can weaken, not strengthen, another person. I need to speak the truth as I see it when it's painful for both of us.

    • I can still be kind when speaking the truth. It may be that kindness consists of holding onto the respect I have for that other person and letting that respect show through my words or actions.

    • I really should not dance in public.

    • It's up to me to let people know what I need or what is bothering me. It's up to them how they respond. I cannot control their response but I can control my communication.

    • Watchful waiting is both a recovery tool and a good management tool. Time does clarify things if I am patient enough to allow it to go by in a watchful, thoughtful way.

    • There are good reasons not to feed beans to my dog. Never mind...

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    When you reflect on 2006, what are some of the things you have learned or relearned? We're starting a page on the DBSA Web site that allows us to share our collective wisdom. Send your thoughts to wisdom@dbsalliance.org. As soon as we get enough ideas, we'll begin posting them.

    As we begin the New Year, I have a few requests for all of us to consider:

    • Say thank you to your peers or others who have been there for you over the past year.

    • Consider making a small donation to DBSA in their honor to help us continue to offer help to all who call. Sometimes we get single dollars or even stamps in the mail. Every gift is honored and appreciated.

    • When you make your New Year's resolution, consider adding one more recovery tool to your life to help you move your recovery forward. Drink more water...start a mood-tracking calendar...join a free online support group. I hope that you can find a way to do one thing.

    Based on my learning from last year, the one recovery tool I won't be adding to my life this year is dancing - at least not in public anyway.

    Thanks for being part of the DBSA commmunity and keeping up with my blog, and here's to a wonderful 2007!
Published On: January 08, 2007