Ironwood Maine Web Update

“The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” 

Ralph Waldo Emerson

            In this weekly update I would like to highlight and focus on resilience. Resilience is the ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune. At Ironwood, residents constantly use resilience every single day and it is sadly overlooked. I want to take the time and effort to acknowledge how much resilience is used here at Ironwood. Every resident is tough, resilient, capable, and worthy, but some may not realize this. There was always a time where we fell and got back up no matter the circumstances. I am extremely proud and inspired by all people who come to Ironwood because it takes a lot.

            At the Frye Campus, new residents are struggling to communicate with appropriate language, but they are continuously working very hard and diligently on the tasks at hand. During their free time, these residents find joy in manufacturing chairs and benches out of wood. At the Farmhouse Campus, I observe that residents are being challenged on a daily basis, which reminds me of my own journey how my resilience developed after being constantly faced with conflict. At the Lakehouse Campus, we have been volunteering weekly to give back to the community and contain a very cooperative group at the moment. Although others are struggling at other campuses, at the Lakehouse, we still have our struggles, but are able to overcome them together.   

            In the Farmhouse Experiential Group, residents put negative experiences in a blown up balloon and then popped them to make themselves feel better and let go of the negatives. In Dialectic Behavior Therapy, residents made of list of aspects that staff can do or do better instead of listing things staff shouldn’t do. This way of speaking encourages non-violent communication to not trigger the receiving end. These groups relate to resilience because residents still are moving forward regardless of the negative experiences and occurrences. 

            During exercise at the Lakehouse, we play basketball sometimes which is always having a positive effect on me this week because it is very fun and helps me stay in the moment. After a missed shot or steal, we still have fun and bounce back which also exemplifies this resilience we maintain. Volunteering at the Alpaca Farm was very entertaining this week. We walked the alpaca even though they are really anxious and nervous. We help them work through the nervousness and make them feel more comfortable which is another example of showing resilience.             

            At Ironwood, resilience is used every day by all students, as they move forward in their program. This thick skin will support and aid residents in the future outside of Ironwood. I hope all the readers can be inspired and moved by these powerful teenagers and their good hearts.