Ironwood Maine Web Update

Forgive those who insult you, attack you, belittle you, or take advantage of you. But more than this, forgive yourself for allowing them to hurt you.”                            


As many may know, the Lakehouse got a new cat a little while ago. Snowball is her name and she has officially become friends with everyone in that community (except the dogs). The cats and dogs always seem to be attacking one another, so it can be a little crazy when you are trying to cook dinner and a dog runs by chasing a cat!

At the Farmhouse we have all been working nicely together lately, there have been little or no issues involving peers arguing, to my knowledge at least. Yesterday, the Farmhouse community played blind-folded dodge ball as a facilitated group. Chris P. (therapist) and another resident lead the session. There were no issues, everyone participated, and we all enjoyed the group.

I remember the first time that I participated in an experiential group here at Ironwood. I thought it was going to be my least favorite assignment, but it actually turned out to be the most fun and connecting groups for me personally. Sometimes, I just need to remind myself of mindful meditations, so I can connect with myself better and figure things out in the moment. This way, I can truly connect better with myself.

At the Frye campus, we have a resident who is on his solo.  This upper-level goal involves overnight camping (alone and on campus) and it is meant to demonstrate great community trust, also providing time for the resident to reflect on their Ironwood journey, as they prepare for graduation.   All of the Frye boys group seem to be all getting along a lot better.  I had the pleasure to attend a group at Frye this week and I saw a lot of growth in most of kids down there, with everyone (mostly) happy.

Overall, this has been a really great week for all the campuses and all groups have been doing very well together.

*Thanks to our Lakehouse author for sharing this weekly update…his home visit is now on the horizon and he has grown so much since the close of 2020…mostly in self-confidence and group leadership.  Well done!

His quote is relevant, specific to a conversation that I had yesterday with one of our Frye residents.  She was experiencing sadness that mostly revolved around the guilt and shame of prior mistakes, uncertain of how she might be able to right her prior actions.  As we talked, she confirmed that she knew that her parents were forgiving and that they also loved her.  Yet, she remained conflicted and saddened by her past?  We talked about how powerful the quality of forgiveness can be in human relationships and that FORGIVENESS can actually be seen as a super power…even while some may misunderstand it as weakness.  Those who seek out forgiveness and those who genuinely forgive (when hurt) are strong and courageous, capable of developing longer term relationships than those who are unable to forgive.

This resident was then able to identify that perhaps her greatest struggle was in her ability forgive herself and she was told that she was absolutely in the right place to accomplish this important personal goal.  She is surrounded by a community of residents and staff (even family members) who are flawed and capable of making mistakes and that it is VERY human to do so.  She was told that this is a safe place to test out new ways to share uncomfortable thoughts and feelings and that she can get better at this through practice in the same way that our other skills develop and improve.  She was further challenged to “go deep” in her relationships, even if it felt awkward.  Lastly, to try to laugh more and have more fun…because laughter and joy are also considered critical human superpowers!

Have a great weekend.