"Mr. Shayden, I am so tired of being tired...I don't know what to do...and I feel like I'll never figure it out," said a recently widowed woman to me not long ago. To be honest, I told her it makes sense she was tired as she was recently widowed, a couple months later lost her mother, just had the deceased father's baby, and oh ya...has two other kids. She then cried and said, "What do I do?" What would you say to her? We discussed some things together, but in the end her question lingered in my mind. On the drive home, I entered the highway and saw a sign. The sign read KEEP MOVING. As a driver it made sense, as I have often been stuck behind those who don't keep moving and nearly kill themselves entering the highway at 40 mph. Luckily for me, nobody was in my way to keep moving and my mind took hold of the meaning behind the sign. Thoughts rushed into my mind, thinking about my client. The answer to her question 'what do I do' was simply that...do anything. She has to keep moving...we have to keep moving...I have to keep moving.
I would like to try and explain why I think we often stop moving and start waiting. Our brain is an organ of anticipation. It's what it does really well. We are always anticipating what might happen next. Some might call it survival techniques, others might just say it's due to evolution. Perhaps all of the above. In anticipating events coming at us, subtle or gigantic fears can become what are anticipated. Because of confusion or lack or clarity about the situation, person, or thing, our brain predicts fear and we freeze. We wait. We sit and ponder, ruminate, exasperate, and consume ourselves with everything a situation might entail. As we do this we become stuck, lacking movement in a desired direction, and wait until we understand every tidbit of information a given situation would give us before we dare do anything. I call this depression in habit form.
In the case of the person mentioned before, just being around people was scary. Her heart was and is guarded, as she is fearful of losing control of her emotions (I don't blame her, it makes sense). However, her fear was keeping her from moving. Our next session she found hope, as we discussed something as simple as painting her nails as moving forward. If you could have seen the light in her eyes as she found a simple hope, a glint of movement, and fragments of fear fall away. An act of movement in a desired direction made it all the easier to act again and again, creating purpose and a sense of control.
Therefore...go and do.