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How do people get through unbelievable, harrowing difficulty?

Rise Magazine

by Jeanette Vega

Andrew Solomon will speak at Rise’s annual benefit on October 19. Here he discusses his work, his own story and his connection to Rise.

Rise: How can parents find resilience within themselves?

Andrew Solomon: Resilience comes from many sources. To some degree, I think it’s a choice, and parents have to say, “This is my reality. This is what I want to get to. What are the ways going to be for me to get there?”

Resilience comes from finding community. Rise is the kind of place, so far as I can tell, where people find community. You’re sharing your experience with other people that have been through the same thing. That’s a huge source of strength and power—having people around you.

If your problem has a solution, the sense that you’re working toward a solution can also help. If you’ve been given five hoops to jump through to get your kids back, if you can really figure out which you’re going to do first and make a plan for yourself, that can give a feeling of resilience.

A lot of resilience comes, if you can access it, from other people who can give you their love and attention. If there are other people who actually care about and love you, even if they’ve been difficult, try to spend some time with them and hopefully get built up by their love.

Don’t give up too soon. Don’t just think, “I’ve lost my kids and it’s all over.” There’s a pretty good chance that if you do what’s asked, you’re likely to get them back or have some access to them. Try to keep your eye on that shining prize in the distance instead of the horror of the present.

(To read the full interview, please visit Rise magazine.)