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Stress Awareness Month

Hey guys! April is stress awareness month.
Stress is something we all cope with, some of us cope more effectively than others, and some us us have more manageable amounts of stress than others.
So, lets check in!
On a scale of 1-5 (1 being not stressed and 5 being losing it stressed) how stressed are you?? What’s going on?
And on a scale of 1-5 (1 being coping really badly, and 5 being coping super well) how well are you coping?? What are you doing?

I’ll go first.
On a scale of 1-5, I am teetering between a 4 and a 5. I have a lot of days that feel unmanageable.
My stress levels make sense to me in the context of my life right now. I just moved a few months ago (still not unpacked), I am full time at school (almost done for the summer!!), working 2 part time jobs, and of course, motherhood- which doesn’t stress me out itself, it’s feeling like I am missing out on my child’s life that is stressful. But, then I have amazing days, like yesterday, I took a mental health day and stayed home from school after staying up until 4 am doing homework. Why? Because I needed to. And I didn’t feel bad.
How well am I coping? I would say between a 2 & 3. More days I’m a 2. I’m not falling back into all my old coping skills, but I’m not on top of myself and using coping skills or self care the way I know I should. But, then I have better days and remember it’s not the worst thing I’ve lived through and it’s not forever!

So, after all that, how about you guys?? This is your chance to check in with yourself and let a little steam out if you’re feeling stressed!
Also, I found this really cool site. So, if you are feeling really stressed and are having a hard time, check this out.


Disconnecting for a Connection

What is disconnecting? Is it when you detach with love? Terminating a relationship? Isolating yourself? Unplugging an electrical device? Is it rejection? Not having a bond with something or someone?

Many times, people assume that someone who is disconnected find themselves in a difficult and challenging place to be. This can definitely be true, but what if disconnecting can be healthy and form a different connection?

When I have felt disconnected to the people, places, and things that help me stay sane, I start to get pretty down. I start feeling each of my insecurities creep into my mind and heart to convince me that I either don’t deserve the connection, or that it’s lost because of me.

Being disconnected can be very dangerous for my recovery and overall wellness – mentally and physically – however, it can also be extremely helpful, when used the right way; when I disconnect in order to connect.

One way I do this is by going to the beach and I shut out my thoughts and ground myself by using all of my senses to connect with the beach. I’ll disconnect my phone, my racing thoughts, my rapid heart rate, my loved ones, my responsibilities and allow myself to be vulnerable so I can connect to the calmness that the beach brings me. When I do this often, I’m able to balance the other connections in my life and have the strength to mend the disconnections in my life that I’m unhappy about.

Another way I’ve been disconnecting to connect is by getting to a quiet place, getting on my knees, and closing my eyes to start praying. I’m disconnecting any distraction so that I can build my spiritual connection. When I do this, I’m able to stabilize my emotions and welcome healing.

I’ve also been disconnecting electronics. I have been actually for once turning my phone on complete silence – no vibrate, nothing. When I do this, I’m able to enjoy the moment I’m in and be more in that moment. Sometimes, the moment is simply being alone. Sometimes I disconnect with others because I’m taking time for self-care. I’ve been realizing lately how important self-care really is.

This tool that I’ve learned and put into practice has had amazing benefits:
-the symptoms of my anxiety and ptsd have been more manageable
-I am able to take full advantage of EMDR Therapy
-My self-advocacy skills have increased tremendously
-I feel more empowered
-I feel confident in my ability to say no
-tasks are less pressuring and overwhelming

How will you disconnect to build a connection? What does that look like for you?

What are you proud of from 2018?

Hey guys! It’s 2019!
Pretty cool, kinda.

Some people seem to really care about New Years, it signifies a time to reflect and commit to change. Other people think it’s BS. And some don’t really care too much!

However you feel about New Years, it’s always good to reflect on time that’s passed and recognize strides that you have made.
My favorite quote when I was in the midst of a lot of struggles was,

“I may not be where I want to be but thank God I’m not where I used to be”

We don’t have to leap from ditches to mountain tops to recognize our power and strength. And sometimes it’s not even steps that deserve recognition, sometimes it’s staying right where you are, because it can be really hard to not fall backward, and good enough is good enough.

This New Years Eve, I laid in bed next to Willow while she slept and realized the changes that occurred over the past year. I thought about the pain, fear, and excitement I felt, and how hopeless I was at times. I realized how far I have come by looking back for a few moments. And it felt good, and it made me feel proud of myself. And I didn’t feel bad saying that.

So, what are you guys proud of from 2018?

I’m proud of myself for starting school, taking the leap to “real” employment and beginning the process of getting off of disability and SSI, moving, admitting to myself and a few friends that I was depressed, sticking with my path even when it was scary and painful and uncertain, trying every day to be a good mom, working hard, getting certified as a SMART recovery facilitator, Recovery Coach, and a Recovery Support Specialist, starting the path to getting my licence, and beginning to throw away things that I don’t need.

Let’s congratulate each other on our success in being here, even when it’s really hard work.

What’s in your playlist?

What are your top three favorite songs right now?

Within the last week or so, I’ve become obsessed with a few “new” songs (new to me haha) and so I’ve gone through the ritual of replacing my go-to songs with some new “obsessions”.

Right now I’m listening to…
1. Idle Town by Conan Gray click here
Idle Town
2. Crush by Tessa Violet click here
crush
3. When The Party’s Over by Billie Ellish click here
When The Party's Over

Recovery Month Videos

We want to see your videos for Suicide Prevention and Recovery Month! Check out Eliza’s video of why she fights for recovery and post yours here! We will share them on our facebook and twitter (if you want!)

Stress

Stress.

I have been stressed.
Not every day, and not all the time.
If my stress were a rock, I would be small but very dense and very heavy.
Small, rigid, bumpy, sharp, molten lava.
Bouncing around in my pocket all the time.
Some days it feels so heavy that my hips hurt and my gait is off.
Some days I forget it’s there until I bump my leg against something and the rock digs it’s raged corner into my thigh.
And then I feel like falling over.
But I can’t- and so then I become sad- no, angry.
Hot and heavy, scared and tired. My chest gets tight and my breath becomes hot and thick. So that it weighs down my chest, and constricts my lungs.
I feel suddenly as though I am drowning.

And then I lose it.

Maybe for a moment, because someone needs something from me.
But how dare they need me, don’t they know there is molten lava in my pocket?
Of course, they don’t know, it’s too small to see.
Although, maybe they notice it ripping a hole in my pants, and they ask me if I’m ok, with a certain sincerity that rips my heart from my chest and makes my knees heavy. And then I just want to cry.
And then it becomes an ocean.
An ocean with huge waves and I’m stuck in quicksand being pummeled by huge gusts of cold, salty water.
And my eyes are red and burning, and I cannot see.
My lungs are full of salt and water, so I cannot breathe.
My mouth is full of sand and seaweed, so I have no words to say.
And I’m too scared to figure out how to move.
So like a deer in headlights, I let myself get hit by a car.
And I see it coming but cannot move or speak.

I am alone in a crowd.

A crowd of people who feel the same way as me.
But its all a big secret, and so together we all feel alone.
Then one day I find a word- or all the words. And I find someone to tell.
Maybe they are the right person; they give me goggles, so I can see through the waves. And give me a snorkel, so I can breathe. They show me my feet and tell me how to pull myself from the thick, sticky sand.
And they cannot stay with me the whole time, but maybe they can sit with me on the shore while I catch my breath.
And then the sun can begin to rise, and the mist may clear and life begins to feel ok again.

But it always seems to cycle.

And soon again, I’m drowning.
Or maybe not always, but often enough that my knees are bruised and my elbows are scraped from falling again and again.
But I feel ok for just long enough to catch my breath.
And one day, I hope, I will have my goggles and snorkel with me always- and I won’t need someone to bring it to me. My legs will be strong enough to carry my small, heavy rock. My thigh will be calloused enough so that when my molten lava hits it, I do not fall over.
Until then, I feel happy to know there are lifeguards on the shore, and that some days my rock sits quietly in my pocket and I’m able to forget that it’s there.

And there are other things that make me feel strong and steady and very happy.

Like Willow.
And I’m not always perfect, and sometimes she throws my rock in my face and I melt into the ground and grow into a monster. And when the rock shrinks back into my pocket I feel so sad and guilty.
But I can hug her and say sorry.
She always seems to forgive me for being imperfect. And I’m learning how to forgive myself.
She seems to feed me a steady stream of light and love, which gives me strength and makes me feel safe and happy.

And I tell myself again and again,
“I will be ok, I will be ok”.

Willow Moon, my sun my moon  and my stars.

Daily Thoughts

I just got a new job at MIlkcraft, an ice cream shop. My parents have been forcing me to get a job for months now. I applied to several places and never heard back from any. I was hopeless at this point. I thought no one was going to hire me. All the college ids were coming back and going to get their old jobs, leaving me with no available positions. However I got a call one night and was told I got a job! I am really happy but nervous. I am the newbie so the other employees are bossing me around a bit but I am having fun!

Thinking About Everything and Nothing

Friday, March 16, 2018
Life is weird. It’s horrible and wonderful and fun and scary and exciting and sad. All of that is loosely wrapped into a pattern of wrapping paper that you don’t chose, that doesn’t change the contents it holds or matter much, but is what many people will judge us based upon, without looking inside. Then we throw in feelings; lots of feelings. Thoughts, too- which are different from feelings, but maybe they are exactly the same. I’m not sure. There are also experiences, both good and bad. Whether we perceive them as positive or negative, they happen, and they change us. And they help us and they hurt us: and supposedly we have control over that, but I’m not always quite sure of that. Then there’s time. We can’t control it, have little understanding of it, and are unaware of how much we have. And time changes and it changes us- constantly. It’s like this river that can grow into an ocean or shrink into a puddle suddenly and without clear cause. And finally there’s uncertainty; lots of that.
We are thrown into life holding these packages that grow and grow, or maybe they stay the same for a long time, or maybe they shrink; we don’t know, or at least I don’t, and usually we don’t even know or understand what’s inside of them. Then we are sounded by millions of other people and their packages and their feelings and confusion. And we are constantly bumping into them or holding their hands or pushing them away. That’s mostly what life is made of. I think.
Sometimes I think my anxiety or my depression or whatever it is: something in me that I don’t like, but should probably try to make friends with, forces me to try to define things. So constantly, I am attempting to place reason upon the unreasonable. This futile attempt to define many small things, alongside the one big thing- life- is not good for me. I mean, maybe it’s not all that bad. Sometimes I come to a reasonable understanding of something. Or maybe it gives me a unique lens to look at life through. But I think more often than not, it either causes me to romanticize that which is unhealthy or sad or negative; or it causes my mind to run in circles, chasing its own tail, desperately attempting to catch something that will never reach my fingertips.
But I am not all bad, and neither is life, or the people in it, or the packages glued to our palms. And today is a beautiful day, and spring is coming which fills me with happiness and hope. Recently, I got a new camera, and that means I can be creative again, which I used to be able to do constantly. And Willow and I had a beautiful night and morning today. I cannot wait to bring her for a ride on her new tricycle-thingy. And I’m happy and content, and the sun is pulling the sorrow from my skin and replacing it with hope. Right now I am happy, for the most part, and today is a good day. And all I can ever ask is to be good enough, and anything after that is extra. Someone I love told me that, and I like to hold onto things which make me think of people I love, and I like to think of life in lose but concrete ways, if that makes sense. Because even though everything is always changing and always will, right now it is how it is and that is ok.

Once Upon A Time

Once Upon A Time, there was a girl.
When she was born she was small and soft and surrounded by love and warmth. She had a brother, a mom, and a dad.
Very quickly the world began to creep through the stone walls surrounding her. The world was dark, and black, and thick. It oozed through the walls and lay heavily on and around her. It weighed her down and made her sad. Sometimes the world was nice and bright, it shone through the windows of the house and melted some of the black goo away. But the black goo was always there, it would never all melt away. Even still, sometimes when the goo was gone it left thick, dark, painful scars. It hurt her a lot, but made her happy, too.
The girls father went away. She was too young to know what it meant to miss someone, so she didn’t. Then another man came to be her dad. He went away too, though. Her mom got sick and sad. Her and her brother built and armor for each other. It was thick and strong, but very dark and heavy. Nobody could get through the armor. That was good sometimes, they thought they were keeping out all the goo of the world. But one day they realized they couldn’t get out, and when they tried to let someone in they had forgotten how to take it off. So their skin grew hard and clung on tightly to the metal around it- soon the armor wasn’t really armor, it was just them.
Inside the armor they were very sad, and angry. And underneath that they were scared. And under that, they were small soft babies who needed love and warmth. But the world was mean. It pushed them over and looked away when they reached out and cried. So they learned not to.
One day they left the stone walls. They fell into the goo. The girls brother swam out, but she was stuck. Her brother tried to tell her how to swim, but she couldn’t hear him; he tried to throw her a rope, but she couldn’t see him. When she looked around, she couldn’t see how he had swam to safety just to help her. The world grew into a monster and whispered in her ear. It told her he left her, he abandoned her. She was alone. He told her that he wasn’t ugly, but all of them were. All the ugly people, and deep down she was hideous too.
So she pushed out the sadness and fear. She nursed her anger and helped it grow big and strong. She climbed on his shoulders and she felt big and strong too. But he sucked the life out of her. He made her smaller and sadder, but from her perch on his shoulder she could not tell.
One day she fell. From the hole in the bottom of the goo, she could finally see where she was. And she knew she didn’t want to be there anymore.
She started to try to climb out, to reach for people to help pull her out. She kept coming close. But she fell many times. She fell hard, and sometimes it was a very long way until she stopped falling. Sometimes she felt so sad in her hole that she took a very long time to pick herself back up.
One day she found out she would have a baby. She was so happy and scared, and very sad because she didn’t want her baby to be born in the goo. She started trying harder and harder to climb out. One day when she was halfway up, the baby was born. She was still in the goo, but she wasn’t stuck. She realized it would take her a very long time to get all the way out, and when she made it, it would still take time to clean the goo off of herself and her baby.
But the baby was small and soft and surrounded by love and warmth. And the girl wasn’t a girl anymore, she was a young woman. And the armor didn’t stick to her skin so much, in fact some of it fell of on its own. And one day she realized the goo was lighter some days, and that even from the pit the light could come through.
Once Upon A Time There was a warrior. She had a baby who was small and soft and surrounded by love and warmth. And each day together they fought off the goo of the world, and searched for the light. She knew one day they would find their way out together.
The End

Me and My mom

Me and my brother, Harry

My mom and me

Harry and me in Montana 

Harry, my mom, me

Me and Harry after he graduated Naval Boot Camp (Chicago, IL) 

Me, 8 months pregnant- the night of my baby shower

Willow, 1 day old

Me and Willow, first day home

Willow, 1 week old

New Opportunities, New Life

Today is a beautiful day. The sun is shining. The air is fresh. My soup was still hot when I finally sat down to eat it.
I am reflecting on some of the positive things that have been happening in my life recently. Sometimes I get wrapped up in thinking about the negative bits of my day and I forget to take a minute to thank the world for the opportunities it has given me. I am sitting at my desk (which has been decorated with things that bring me joy), in an office (that is full of people who offer the best kind of emotional support), drinking my favorite drink (iced tea), and thinking about how lucky I am to live this life.
Today is a good day.
Not all days are this good. But I’m happy that I’m taking a minute to think about how good this one is.
Today, I am thankful for having a warm lunch. I am thankful for the cold October air at my ankles. I am thankful that the sun is shining. I am thankful for LDB, who makes me a better person. I am thankful that I have an excellent opportunity for success in my education. Today, I am thankful for me.

What makes today so good for you?

Detours Are a Crash Course in Improv: How to "Travel" Like an "Artist"

Art-ing through life

How art taught me to live

We’ve all encountered things in our lives that have gone in a different direction than we had hoped or at least anticipated.  It’s what makes us human – living at the mercy of whatever life throws us.

But that’s the art of life – the improvisation.  That’s where we get to be creative, work with what we’ve got, and sometimes, we end up being pleasantly surprised by what amounts.

I’ve found that “sometimes” can be “all the time” in three ways: (in my opinion…)

1.) We can choose to view the “hiccip” in a certain light, seeing the glass as “half-full”

2.) We can just follow that detoured path and patiently wait, holding onto the idea that things will improve, hoping that eventually the “bigger picture” will come to light. This reminds me of a favorite quote I heard, “everything will be okay in the end, and if it’s not okay, it’s not the end”

3.) If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.  We can just shrug off what we had anticipated, laugh it off, go with the flow, and surrender to the uncertainty which is neither good nor bad – just be with it and experience what is rather than what should be.  (i.e. “Man plans, god laughs”)

This is what my paintbrush teaches me day after day.  I love the feeling of moving around a big glob of paint on a fresh linen canvas and having no idea what to expect.  Sometimes I feel like creating very exact detail…and sometimes I just want to throw some colors around on an empty space.

Painting is just a great exercise for learning how to live.  Or at least, it’s a lesson I need to learn myself day after day.  To have the courage to just start from somewhere – anywhere, to not judge it, and to just keep going – even if you don’t like how it is turning out.

Sometimes you have an image in mind, and you start with that idea.  And sometimes you even stay with that initial idea for a bit.

But when the paint smears, or you blotch something up, or your sleeves get on the paint and smear the nice clean line you just painted – it’s a little frustrating.  But then you just learn to go with it.

And with a bit of patience, and the determination to eventually see it to completion, you’ll get there.

And then sometimes, you start off painting, and you’re on a roll, you feel the adrenaline of creativity jolting through you like a fluid wash of watercolors, and then – HALT – painter’s block.  You have no clue what comes next.

Or you keep painting and painting, determined to rectify the deviant path your paintbrush took, and the more you prod away at it, the worse the painting feels to you.

Then, it takes the greatest discipline in the world to step away and come back another day.

As a “Detourist”, remember – you an always come back to it another day.  When life gets hard, just take a time out for self care.  Take a deep breath.  It’s okay to sit on the sidelines for a moment.   You can always get back on.  Just don’t forget that you can!

Safe travels, Detourists, and remember to take a breather every now and then!

strat8

Get Lost! Rediscover Yourself in Nature

There are plenty of detours in nature. And better yet, nature is great for your mental health! Being In nature combats depression, boosts your Well-Being, and is a great way to continually rediscover who you are. I learned that as I literally learned who I was again…

Apple of Mine

I’ve always loved nature—ever since I was a little girl. My nature walks were my time to daydream and collect little treasures along the way. I’d often come home with pockets full of acorns, mulch, flowers I picked off neighbors’ lawns, pebbles, and a bit of dirt. My fantasies were vivid, and the world felt so alive around me—the trees had faces, the sun had a song, and even as a kid I knew I was living in a world of miracles. Nature was how I continually rediscovered myself—every day, the world felt new.

Over-and-Up

I grew up happy, healthy and confident with who I was. But my life took an unexpected turn when, two weeks after I turned 18, I fell into a coma for months due to a sudden blood clot. When I awoke, I was told I no longer had a stomach and couldn’t eat or drink. It was not known when (or if) I would ever again.

Waking in the unfamiliar world of the ICU (full of beeping machines, nurses and IV pumps) was earth-shattering. Discovering medical appliances all over my immobile and foreign body, feeling as though I woke up as someone else, and not knowing when I would leave this alternate universe was frightening and overwhelming. But what I want to share with you are the blessings that came from starting anew.

A detour in life is easier to travel...

As I became more and more alert, I slowly rediscovered the world that I had been away from for so long, and it felt like every smell, every sight and every interaction was being experienced for the first time. As my family sat by my bedside, I noticed things about their demeanor and our dynamics that I had never taken time to see before. I realized that the quiet, intimate moments can speak volumes. In a way, being snatched from the hustle and bustle of everyday life provided an opportunity to connect more deeply with my loved ones. We had been given the precious gifts of quiet time and no distractions. Things I hadn’t noticed before—my mother’s smile, a friend’s laughter, the love and support all around me—now evoked feelings of profound gratitude.

The beauty of a near-death experience is you realize the things that matter in life. However, I wouldn’t say that falling into a coma is necessary to realize this! Every day is an opportunity to remember the things that make us feel grateful. Once my hands were able to write again, I would make a list from A to Z of what I was grateful for. Even on some of my hardest days, I found that by the time I got to “Z”, there were at least a few things to smile at and be thankful for.

Soon my alphabetical list turned from “Almost walked, Better heart rate, Coughed less” to “Awesome walk outside, Best afternoon ever, Cheerful spirits today.” It was amazing to see each day slowly improve and to feel myself gradually claiming ownership of my world again. Bit by bit, I started to feel myself materialize back into the girl I knew before my coma, but equipped with a deeper wisdom and a vivacious new desire to discover the world.

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As my spirits lifted, I got better from the inside out, hungrier than ever to re-experience the world. Eventually, I didn’t need to be plugged into as many machines, so my family started taking me on high-speed ride, racing through the halls of Columbia Hospital in my wheelchair. We’d explore all of the hidden nooks and crannies of every floor, though I’m sure we weren’t supposed to be in half the places we went to! Finally, one day, we found a beautiful spot outside where I got to enjoy my first breath of fresh air in months. I remember seeing the sunset for the first time since the coma… I felt like a child being born all over again. Even the mundane became glorious—seeing people having lunch outside, the roaring of traffic, birds overhead—and the more I saw the more I wanted to be a part of it.

World-in-Her-Hands-IMG_0413

Now, here I am, a decade later. I’m healthy, grateful, and part of the world again. It’s the wonderful world I knew before as a nature-loving, happy-go-lucky teen, yet there’s a little spark that lies behind every sunset, every friend, and every routine experience. I admit that I still get caught up in the rush of everyday life, when it’s easy to take things for granted, but I always try to remember what it felt like to breathe in that sunset in that rusty old wheelchair. When I do, the overwhelming sense of gratitude floods my senses again.

How would you live your days as if each experience was being felt for the first time?

Start today…

Subscribe for updates on Amy’s upcoming book, “My Beautiful Detour.” Oestreicher is a PTSD peer-to-peer specialist, artist, author, speaker for RAINN, writer for The Huffington Post, award-winning health advocate, actress and playwright, eagerly sharing the lessons learned from trauma through her writing, performance, art and speaking. All artwork was created by Amy on her detour.  Catch her touring Gutless & Grateful, her one woman musical, to theatres, colleges, conferences and organizations nationwide.   Learn about her mental health advocacy programs for students and follow her on twitter @amyoes.

Find out how to get involved with #LoveMyDetour, and give your support here. Learn more about creating compassion through our detours at amyoes.com.

Finding Your Conciousness

Your consciousness is basically your ideal state – letting go, lightening up, being whoever you are. On many occasions, through music I have been able to achieve this ideal. Life (living up to the status quo) teaches us to be aggressive and overly ambitious, virtue (purity) teaches us to be gentle and kind. My consciousness has enlightened me to do away with ‘life’ at times and embrace virtue.

Simply put, your consciousness refers to being at peace with yourself. Conscious songwriters and musicians:

Bob Marley:

“The truth is, everyone is going to hurt you. You just got to find the ones worth suffering for”

“Don’t gain the world and lose your soul, wisdom is better than silver or gold…”

“Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds!”

Tray Chapman

“We all must live our lives always feeling, always thinking the moment has arrived.”

“People’s real hopes and dreams can be distorted and misdirected and packaged until you’re not sure what you really want or what you even really need.”

John Lennon

“Reality leaves a lot to the imagination.”

“If everyone demanded peace instead of another television set, then there’d be peace.”

4 Hard Core Detourist Survival Skills to Get Through ANYTHING – Part 1

Who knew that mental health first aid was as simple an inspirational wall hanging?

Survival – Simplified.

Surviving – and “thriving” – through any setback, obstacle or ”detour” in life can be that simple.  I learned that from over ten years of “detours” in and out of hospitals, where every road sign said “uncertain path ahead.”

detour paint

Now I like to share what helped me through my stressful traumas with others, because whether it’s surgery, traffic, a disappointment or…well, anything that you don’t expect – life can sure be stressful.

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The latest stop on my “detour” will be the Mental Health America Conference next month!

Hardcore Survival Skills

After my show, I like to talk about the four “hardcore” survival skills that helped me through this huge detour in my life.  They were not quick fix solutions, a treatment plan, talking to a stranger in a tiny room, or a prescription from one of my many doctors. These were skills I learned as I went. I call it “self-service therapy.”

russs

To put yourself in my shoes, I was discharged from the hospital because I was medically stable after a plethora of emergency stomach surgeries, but I was missing one tiny little thing… a stomach.

So doctors sent me home, asked me to check in periodically, and when my wounds had healed enough from the previous handful of surgeries, they’d try to reconstruct my digestive system.

Creating a Survival Strategy

Look at this like any other unexpected “detour” in life – and believe me, this was very unexpected at 18 years old!But so is a flat tire, a lost job, a breakup, or a breakdown. We all need to learn how to cope with things in life we don’t expect.

chasing blue hope

I like to share the four essential “hard core” survival skills that honestly saved my life.

Four Simple Words

These four words might be easily confused with inspirational wall hangings you see in home decor stores, or whimsical words in bubble letters on the cover of gifted journals you’ll find at the bookstore.

But that’s what makes these “survival skills” so great – they are basic, long-term mindsets that anyone can foster.  Which means we are all capable of surviving and “thriving” through any detour in life!

I’ll only be sharing the first “hard core skill” with you today.  Stay tuned for the rest in this four part series!

Four Survival Skills for Any Detour in Life

1.) Gratitude

When you know what you’re grateful for, you know what you’re about.  Try keeping a daily gratitude list. When you see what’s makes you feel grateful, you’ll see what is important to you, and in turn, what your values are.    Your values act like arrows telling you what direction you need to take on your detour. When you know what your values are, you know what moves you – literally.

The reason why we have trouble knowing where to go on a detour, is that detour shakes up everything we thought we knew. We lose our trust in our world and in our selves.  Make a gratitude list as a daily practice, and you’ll see your value start to emerge.  Once anchored in your values, you’ll know intuitively which way to go on your detour. 

So that’s #1. What do you think the other three might be…?

Oestreicher_BlushingTree_img5

Comment here – but definitely stay tuned!  You can follow my adventures on my blog at amyoes.com, or tweet me @amyoes!

And remember – there are a ton of amazing “hard core” survival resources at Turning Point CT!

Safe Travels!

The Detourist