If you are a Trauma Llama suffering from anxiety, or just stressed out, you have experienced the feeling of being stuck. Your mind is spinning. You are “shoulding” on yourself, and no matter how much support you get from friends and family, you cannot move 1/2 inch toward doing something productive.
Being stuck sucks! It seems like the harder you try to get up, and the more you try to do something, your energy level decreases. This makes no sense. Didn’t we learn that every action creates a reaction? What about basic willpower? Shouldn’t we be able to just get over this?
Dialectical Behavior Therapy is frequently used in treating trauma survivors. According to an author, Christy Matta, MA, feeling stuck is a normal experience in the life of trauma survivors.
“At these times we may find ourselves in repetitive patterns of conflict with others or feel angry, stressed, anxious or fearful much of the time. At these times, shifting how you think can have a big impact on changing how you feel.” (A Mental Shift: 5 Strategies to Get Unstuck From Negative Thinking, Psych Central., https://blogs.psychcentral.com/dbt/2012/03/a-mental-shift-5-strategies-to-get-unstuck-from-negative-thinking/ )
I have found myself in this state more times than I would like to admit. Even after extensive trauma treatment, the overwhelming feeling of not being able to take one step forward debilitates me.
I have researched the best methods of treatment for this symptom, excused myself for being a trauma victim, and turned to Pinterest for daily, creative ways to deal with it.
After months of trying different programs, and therapy, this is the system I created for myself to get out of the place of being stuck and into a place of productivity.
- Write out a list of “What’s Bugging Me.”
- Look over the list and decide:
- Is this something I can control?
- Is this something I have no control over?
- If you can control the situation, write “C’ next to the issue. If you have no control over the issue, put an “NC” next to the issue.
- Look over the list and decide how much time it will take for you to resolve the issues you have control over.
- Create a calendar (online or on paper), and schedule 30 minutes to resolve the issues you have control over.
- Look at the issues you marked “NC” (not having control over) and ask yourself, “What is causing this issue” not “Why am I having this issue.” If you concentrate on “why am I having this issue”, you have accepted that you are a victim. When you ask yourself “what” you give yourself the confidence to be able to find a solution.
- Write down 3 solutions to the “what” problem. Below is my solution to a “what” problem. Problem: I can’t make enough money with a blog to pay my bills.
- Update my LinkedIn to make more connections
- Research my local networking groups to make more connections.
- Research successful trauma blog and inquire about being a guest blogger.
- Add these solutions to your calendar in 30-minute increments.
- Set a deadline for completing your tasks and check in with yourself every day. There is no doubt that life is going to get in the way of what you want to accomplish. Open yourself up to the idea that The Universe is going to throw you some curve balls. This is a good indication that the path you have chosen for yourself may not be the optimum path that The Universe wants you to follow. Accept change and adjust your sails.
- Reward yourself. You have just accomplished an amazing feat! Woo Hoo! Those folks who have no idea what a Trauma Llama is can do this stuff on autopilot. But, we have to expend so much energy in making sure we are safe and out of the window of judgment. We struggle with the day to day challenges of how to succeed. Wrap your arms around yourself and give yourself a hug. Reward yourself for being a survivor!