Now that we have identified the need to change, we need to plan how this change will happen. This step will need for us to identify supports that relieve our pain but in a way that is compatible with our new journey. We cannot simply remove the old patterns and coping mechanisms without replacing them with healthier ones. We should try to have an open mind with this step and be willing to try different methods available to us. When we are in a dark place We are often blind to the help that is available. Some people find starting counseling and using “talking” therapy effective, others find peace of mind in mindfulness. Some of us would usually benefit from personal development courses to improve our confidence, others might find exercise a healthy  escape.Some of us may need to consider medication and should get advice from a doctor, others may simply need to change the friendships and company we keep. If there is addiction we may need specialised help in that area and should work on reaching out to avail of that help.

This step will hopefully help us identify earlier when we are struggling and identify what support is useful to interrupt our downfall. We need to be gentle with ourselves as we may have been using the old harmful coping mechanisms for a long time. They can be hard to unlearn and may be our default option for some time when things get tough. If we find ourselves slipping into old patterns associated with the abuse, we need to acknowledge it and resume to our better methods as soon as possible. As time goes on we will find that we can trust ourselves and our judgement more.

“Moderation is the key in defining if something is a coping mechanism or normal”
 The Kavanagh Sisters

Step 5: We committed to tackling our weaknesses and developing healthier coping strategies.