Ironwood Maine Web Update

“Worrying doesn’t take away tomorrow’s troubles, it takes away today’s peace.”


            As many of you probably already know, this quote is supposed to embody a theme of the week. The theme that I have picked for this week is worry. It may not sound like a cheerful topic, but it can be thought of and perceived in many different ways. I think that this topic will be beneficial to families in the Ironwood community new and old, as well as give insight into how we might all be thinking at this time in our lives.

            It has been a busy week on the Ironwood campus. The Farmhouse recently went hiking at Haystack Mountain and we have been working hard on the garden trying to get it ready for planting. In the beginning of the week, we ended up working in the garden for a full afternoon. Tuesday, we settled into a normal day with our two groups: Art and DBT. For those who might not know what DBT is, it stands for Dialectical Behavior Therapy. The idea behind it is that we may have more than one emotion and it’s possible that they might conflict each other. The group also focuses on how to emotionally regulate. Wednesday’s recovery group followed our food order delivery and later in the day, we welcome a new Farmhouse resident into our community. We ended the day with our weekly house meeting where we give lead feedback and talk about important topics within the community. There has been nervousness and anticipation all this week from our three new level fours, who have been eagerly working and waiting for this advancement. Our resident leads have been working hard too, hoping to do well to receive a “PASS”,  as part of their progress to promotion.

            Since I am a level four resident, I have also had the pleasure of mentoring the residents at Frye, this week.  Being there, I had the opportunity to talk to some new residents and others that have been there a while. I had many positive and encouraging conversations with the residents and I also got to cook with them, which they seemed very enthusiastic about. One resident asked me: “how do I do it?”, which made me think that he was uncertain on how to progress. I believe that he was inquiring on how to stop ending up in the same place, over and over again? This showed me that people are worried about their future and how they will find their place.  It also showed me that people aren’t just worrying about the negative things, they are worrying about the more positive things, as well.

            A therapy group that we had this week that related to our topic of worry is DBT. This week’s DBT involved a little activity on active listening. The activity consisted of groups of three to four and each group had to pick someone who was going to talk, someone who was going to be listening and someone who would be grading the listener on how well they did. The person talking was given a slip of paper with what they had to talk about on it. These topics ranged from talk about math to “where have you vacationed?”  This activity related to the topic this week is in two ways; the worry of what someone might see if we are not actively listening and then, what we might do in response to keep our listener interested and engaged. 

            We also know that it is not just the residents here that worry…you worry too. We know you worry about us.  Our quote reminds us that we can lose today’s peace by worrying too much. much. So, what I want to say is stop worrying. Put your trust into the Ironwood program and it will put trust back into you. This can help everyone, parents and students alike. If you can stop worrying you may be able to help your kids a lot more with their own worries. If you can show them that you are confident it will demonstrate to them that you are committed to the program. In turn, this will show them that they are not going to be able to sneak their way out of the program, through you. Now take this theme of the week into your mind and I think that you will come to the realization that this is all true. You will also have a deeper understanding of how we feel. 

*WOW, who is this author?!  Of course, I know who it is, BUT you have to try to imaging how contrary his positions and beliefs were when his IW journey began.  We see amazing transitions often but this one is, well…just amazing.  This resident and author is walking around campus these days with shoulders back, head high, with confidence and an interest in his future and his role within the community.  He’s also being taken seriously while also enjoying the ride.  WELL DONE!  Maybe I should try harder to worry less? 

Have a great weekend!