During the holiday break, I was lucky enough to get to spend some time offline, taking in some new Louisiana Holiday traditions and visiting with family. One of the more relevant conversations that we had to readers of this blog was with someone who had recently been injured in a fall. She was overwhelmed at the thought of something she was going to have to do in a few weeks, and how to accomplish it with her new “boot”.
It occurs to me that many of us get this same feeling of being overwhelmed when it comes to any type of injury, whether it be a physical or mental one. We look at where we are right now, and look at the end goal and simply don’t know how we will ever get there. However, what we fail to see is that this end goal is really just a series of steps, and those steps, when taken individually, may not be as overwhelming to us. For her, we talked about how getting comfortable on crutches or with a cane was the first step. Can you get around the house and get ready? Can you get out to your car? Then, can you get in the car, and maybe drive a little bit? Can you get back out? And so on.
The whole end goal wasn’t going to get accomplished without some of these intermediate steps, so why not focus on them instead? Healing, or overcoming a mental health issue, isn’t something that will just happen one day. There are steps. You don’t get help for example, by sitting at home and wishing someone would give you a diagnosis. You make an appointment. Then you show up to your appointment. At the very least you tell someone what is happening and let them help you make an appointment. Don’t focus on how difficult and long the process may be, focus on the next step. Focus on moving forward, because very few of us who have gotten into this process ever feel like it’s done, like we are exactly the person we want to be now and will never need to work on anything ever again. Figure out how to move forward today, and do that. Maybe that’s just getting up and around with a cane, maybe that’s speaking out and asking for help, or maybe that’s just getting a good night’s sleep for yourself. Heck, maybe it’s just reading this post, getting out of bed and eating breakfast. (We’ve been there…)
Take a step. Then, when your feet feel firm beneath you again, take another. That’s how we make progress, step by step, until one-day we see how far we’ve come and marvel at it.