A lot can be said about an individual with the ability to keep going after having their world come crashing down, being dealt a bad hand in life over and over again. Resilience is the story of the Phoenix, dying inside and yet gaining the hope to start over. While some might think of that as preposterous, I see it as having the chance to do something you couldn’t do before – rise up. Suffering means wearing your scars and showing the world how hope is born. Unfortunately, more and more sufferers have an extremely hard time doing this, because the nature of their pain comes from abuse. Maltreatment should never be a condition any child should have to endure, most troubling of all is when the abuse is being perpetrated by a loved one such as a parent. However, suffering can become fuel for something new, if you let it, you can learn from it. Anything can be rebuilt, you can grow and learn to live through the destruction. If you get to this point (and you can) you will be reborn with a renewed sense of freedom. Just as the Phoenix rises from the ashes of the past, so shall you. Sharing your story, telling your truth, is a powerful healing agent. One way to do this is by first expressing yourself through writing – tell your story to yourself. After that you’ll see what’s possible and believe in yourself, even when it seems like there’s nothing left at all. Keeping a journal is the best way to see how much you’ve grown and accomplished. If you can recognize journaling is not just about writing your feelings and thoughts you give yourself more chances to succeed. Though this does not have to precede the journey to finding your place in the sun – this is what I like to call Phoenixology; it’s our link to peace. Abuse will change you and create psychological disturbances, but this is about your rebirth not what you think will destroy you. Phoenixology may not be in the dictionary or something that is taught in an academic aspect, but it’s my way of using the mythology of the mysterious and majestic Phoenix bird to relate and explore the transformation and strength gaining that happens when finding yourself in the midst of darkness, becoming your own source of light, standing tall in the fire, and letting the cage-like walls fall down. When you emerge you won’t be the same, you’ll be clothed in nothing but strength and wisdom – proving that the end is only the beginning. When the smoke clears and the ashes are all that remain, you will rise, shaking off the grey ash of your old self as you awaken to a new world that looks much like the old, except this one glistens with a new view and perspective of your past and the knowledge you have gained on your way here – knowledge is power.
Awareness of our infirmities drives us out of ourselves, making us stronger, aiding in our pursuit for power over an incurable malady. Our deepest pain, embedded in our darkest memories and flowing through every cell in our body – entitles the Phoenix in us all – equipping our soul with the confidence and empowerment to grow, taking flight to find your highest self. Ferocious flames in your blood emerge as the phoenix burns, giving rebirth, resurrecting all the beauty and power within, rising from the ashes. Hope gives oxygen to the fire, illuminating light over the darkness, blinding the fear you once had. When the Phoenix burns, it can’t be stopped, whether in smolder or blaze. Though having been engulfed, incinerating all the past lessons into ashes, be wary and don’t let the beautiful transformation and hypnotizing dance of the flame distract you – you must never forget where you came from (you could lose sight of where you are going). When my Phoenix within awoken, I immediately felt stronger, but I learned slowly over time that no matter how strong you are, you still need rest and balance in your life. I believe that If I had been aware of this after my transformation, I would have taken more time to rest before flying straight into all of the emotionalities at once. Thankfully, somehow I found my way to the right place with the right people who helped me slow down and take care of myself. Therapy is a great place to start, taking it easy and working through feelings and deep seeded insecurities to kick-start the recovery process; alongside journaling. I learned to unwind every moment you can. No doubt you’ve realized by now that this is as much for your life as it is going to be for life; you want to be in your best mental shape for this life-long journey. NAMI (National Alliance for Mental Illness) is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. That right place I had said I found with the right people, it’s NAMI. It felt great to be supported by a community of people who cared, who understood what I was going through and how they could be there for me. They offered advice, free classes (on many degrees of information pertaining to mental illness), a weekly support group, but what was most helpful of all, was the many local agencies and mental health services that they connected me with or explained how they could help; I was overwhelmed but weirdly in a positive way (I never knew that could be a positive feeling). NAMI, being an advocate for mental health, understands that not all psychological disturbances are the same. Bearing in mind that some are more serious than others, and there are varying treatment paths that may or may not include medication, NAMI has prepared every aspect of their organization to cover the whole range. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from, what emotional disability you may have or level of treatment you require; NAMI wants to help.