Breaking Out of Unhealthy Coping Cycles

Bridging the Divide
June 11, 2022
Hearing and Learning
July 1, 2022

Breaking Out of Unhealthy Coping Cycles

“We created the Keystone for Men project because we saw that many men had health issues related to their lifestyle. And we experienced that the combination of exercise, fellowship and positive input can help vulnerable men to break out of unhealthy coping cycles,” says the Keystone Program Manager.

This is what some of the participants say:

“During the Keystone program, something happened inside of us. I feel that we all have psychological problems. At Keystone I found people who listen to me, I can tell them my concerns and they help me to find solutions. Speaking with people has helped to unload the negative charge inside me. One day I had a problem when a dispute arose. I understood that the issue was with my relatives, because of my brother actually. It happened in my house and as I understood the matter, I calmed things down. Thank God that the issue was facilitated. Because of the Keystone sessions I did not rush to react and rather I dissipated the anger of the people. We were able to settle things and guide people and we came up with a result. I tried to comprehend things so that they would not develop more than this, we solved it in a very smooth way. Through the sessions I learnt to be patient, and that my chest (heart) can accommodate these people."

“Because of Keystone, we started playing sports here at home with our children and with my grandchildren. A little while later, the neighbors came, and we all had fun together. We also started trading exercises with our friends. I exercise almost every day. I walk more than 6 km a day, and I am committed to taking my medication. And the fact is, we taught the younger generations to do exercises.”

“I benefited from the Keystone sessions as I learnt how to deal with my children. I was harsh with them before, but in these sessions, I learnt how to deal with my children in a better way. I have changed a lot, as my wife testifies. My wife and my children have also changed. The relationship between them and me has changed. Sometimes my son gets intolerant, so I became patient and understanding. I am diabetic, and my wife cooks inappropriate food. At first, I used to get so angry at her, but now I’m patient. My wife's mood has changed, and so have the children’s. Because I have changed, they have also changed. We are improving.”

“A problem happened one day with a neighbor who is also from my family. He beat his wife because of a disagreement between them and violently hurt her. Then the wife told her brother, who came later, very angry and hit the husband, the father-in-law, and the mother-in-law. He cursed them with many insults and took his sister home. Then the wife sued the husband, and the husband sued her brother. Now the husband is in prison, but the brother is on the run. They asked me to intervene and speak with the head of the family to try to solve the issue and settle the dispute. Because of what I had learned in our sessions, I was somehow able to solve the problem and the lawsuits against each other were dropped. The husband is released from prison, but they want a divorce.”

We are encouraged not only to see relationships develop, but hearing accounts from our Keystone participants that they themselves are being peacemakers, is extraordinarily gratifying.

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