Ironwood Maine Web Update

“Feel the feeling, but don’t become the emotion.  Witness it. Allow it. Release it.”

Everyday Emotions

              Sometimes I think about how many emotions filter in and out on any given day at Ironwood. A good day for me may have been terrible for someone at a different campus. At the beginning of my program, my worst days brought others’ emotions down. I resented others for doing the same but at the time, I failed to realize that I did the same thing.

              In the span of a week, so many emotional events can occur. Someone may move up a level and feel on top of the world. They have a newfound confidence, but also a sense of insecurity around figuring out this new level in their program.  Others may be demoted and are experiencing anger, sadness and fear. Others may feel stuck in the same place that they were in last week and the week before. That creates extreme impatience, insecurity and doubt.

              This week some notable emotional moments included two level threes being promoted to level four, which was very welcome since there were no blue farmhouse residents earlier this week. A Taco Tuesday holiday was announced which gave the kids a welcome day of fun activities and tacos of course.

              In DBT this week, the group was asked to envision their “Hygge,” pronounced hu-ga. Hygge is a Norwegian cultural concept that entails creating a peaceful space. Norwegian climates tend to be very cold and wet. Many people would think of this as depressing, however, Norwegian countries have some of the highest rates of happiness in the world. One way in which people there cope with spending a great deal of time indoors, is through hygge. This cultural phenomenon encourages people to create safe, cozy and comfortable living spaces around them. The group went around sharing what their hygge might look, smell and feel like.  This sparked a conversation about how we cope with being in a place that is not our hygge. When we are in an environment that is uncomfortable and not safe, regulating emotions becomes much more difficult. This is one of the key things that kids at Ironwood have to learn. 

         One of the things that makes Ironwood a truly special place is the unique emotional experiences that each resident brings here. We come from all over the country, from different backgrounds, working on different things. Emotions are a beautiful thing. They color our world and give our lives depth. Like anything, we need to learn to have balance with them. One of the most important things that I have come to learn at Ironwood is that I control my emotions, they do not control me.        

*Wow…this senior level resident update is forwarded along to you without a single edit.

So much growth this past year at Ironwood and we are very excited to see what will happen next in her life’s journey.  Almost at the finish line!  Have a nice weekend everyone and stay positive.