How to Get Yourself “Unstuck” and Take Charge of Your Mental Health

by Neseret on July 12, 2013

Do you feel like you’re in a “rut”? Do you feel “stuck”?

When I first meet most of my clients they described feeling like they’ve hit a brick wall. They say they feel like they’re in a hole they can’t dig themselves out of.

They describe feeling  “lost”, “confused”, “depressed“, and “don’t know what to do” to move forward.

It takes courage to come to a place of acknowledging there are “problems” in our life. I put a quotation mark around problems because I’ve recently come to the realization that we have the option of choosing to see “problems” not as problems but as “opportunities” for learning and growth.

The idea of viewing problems as opportunities for growth may seem far-fetched when you are in the midst of feeling overwhelmed and overburdened by your “problems”, however I ask you to keep an open mind.

The first and biggest shift that needs to happen for you to get “unstuck” and take charge of your mental health and even your life for that matter is on a mental/emotional/spiritual – energetic level. It is a shift in mindset and attitude.

The only disability in life is a bad attitude. ~ Scott Hamilton ~

Consider the possibility you are a powerful spiritual being who can create your own reality.  You are a powerful human being who has the ability to shift your mind and change your attitude.

Being open and receptive to ideas as such will impact your self image, the choices you make as well as the results you’re going to experience in your life. Everything starts with a thought.

Again it is difficult to believe we are powerful human beings when we are feeling completely “out of control” in the case of facing mental health and addictions issues. It is challenging to believe we can change our life when we have felt hopeless and powerless for a while at the events, and circumstances of our life.

Nevertheless, a willingness to have hope in the possibility of change is critical. Once you have a willing attitude towards change and hope for a better future then it becomes a little easier to go through the actual process. Change is a natural part of life.

Below I’m going to share with you what I believe are important aspects of embracing the process of change to help you get unstuck and take charge of your mental health.

Give Up Excuses

As human beings we tend to resist change. We fear change. We find comfort in familiarity and safety/security to a fault. We have an uncanny ability to rationalize our way to staying in mediocrity and even intolerable physical and emotional pain.

We argue and protest “I can’t because…I don’t have the time because…I don’t have the money because….It is too hard…I don’t think this will work…It is too late  now…I’m too old…” On and on and on…

It is o.k to have fears, reservations, and even excuses for that matter, but change means the willingness to attempt to give them up. The willingness to challenge our habitual ways of thinking and being. The willingness to step out of our comfort zone. The willingness to challenge ourselves. The willingness to have faith and hope.

Accept Where You Are

Accept where you are for now…We can be so darn hard on ourselves. We put ourselves down, blame, and criticize our self for feeling the way we do and or being where we are in life.

Yet all this energy of resistance about where we are in life compared to where we “should be” will only perpetuate what is. The law of attraction says “what you resist persists and what you focus on expands”.

Start shifting your focus from what is not working to what is working. The practice of gratitude can be a powerful catalyst for change and transformation.

There are times when you may feel that you have nothing to be thankful for, but there is always something to be thankful for. Even if it is the next breath you take. Even if it is the gift of life itself, the privilege of being right here – right now.

You Do Not Have to Do It Alone

As human beings we thrive with encouragement and support. We’re not meant to do life alone. We are certainly not meant to handle mental illness and or addiction problems on our own.

Asking for help and learning to accept support is part of the healing journey. Yet when it comes to your mental health and well being you want to make sure you are receiving the right type of support.

Traditional treatment for mental ill health and addiction closely follows the medical model which focuses on treating signs and symptoms rather than the root cause of “dis-ease”. At best it is a band aide solution.

I believe it is essential to combine conventional medicine with complementary and alternative treatment modalities. Make sure the support you are getting honors the mind-body-spirit connection. You deserve to be treated as whole.

Be Patient with Yourself and Your Process

Change is a process. Healing requires time. It didn’t take you overnight to get to where you are now. It will take you a little bit of time to get to where you want to be.

People want results yesterday. I can appreciate that feeling. When you’ve lived with pain and turmoil for such a long time you want relief in short order. I understand.

However, this is one journey you can not rush. Reminds me of the song by Diana Ross “…No you can’t hurry love…” You can’t hurry the journey of healing.

Focus on the Present Moment 

There is nothing you can do about the past. You can learn from it and move forward. What we all have for sure is today, this moment.

Learning to focus on the present through mindfulness teachings and practices such as meditation and Yoga has had the greatest impact on my own mental health.

I would encourage you to adopt such practices to learn to quiet your mind and to allow you to focus on the present.

Your point of power is always in the present moment. ~ Louise L. Hay ~

You can only make changes in the present moment. The degree to which you train yourself to be in the present is the degree to which you let go of the past and future. It is incredibly freeing experience.

Explore Spirituality in Your Own Terms

Spirituality can be a rich source of strength in people’s lives. What do I mean when I say exploring spirituality “in your own terms”? I mean not taking what your mother, your priest, your religion, or society tells you at face value.

Question everything. Truth can be found anywhere and everywhere. No person, religion, and society has the corner on the “Truth”. Exploring spirituality means being willing to ask the hard questions and not settle for any answer that is given to us.

It may mean being willing to live without answers for a while. Being comfortable with not knowing. Being willing to question the ideas and beliefs we accepted by default. It means being willing to let go of our habitual ways of thinking and being.

It means being willing to leap empty handed in to the void. Being willing to surrender. Let go. Trust. Operate from a place of love rather than fear.

I hope these tips have been helpful. Please take time to share your questions and comments below. Share this article on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

Peace, Love & Gratitude,

Neseret

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

marquis July 18, 2013 at 2:57 am

Thanks for the blog! My therapist and I got at it on Tuesday this week. I do agree about question everything and I think her problem is she don’t “question” everything just goes with what “feels right” because she is a “mother.” I told her I don’t settle for any answer. I told her how I felt she twisted my words on saying because my parents didn’t throw me out on the street and that they “love me.”

I told her so what? What difference does it make if they threw you out on the street or made you live in a hoarded house? Mistreatment is mistreatment. I told her they have never operated like real parents are suppose to not sure why she fails to get that. I haven’t slept in two days that’s how pissed off I am.

I told her if your parents love you, they wouldn’t have mistreated/abused you period end of sentence. Why is it that hard to comprehend? It is basic math, 2+2 is 4 not 8! She seems to live in Alice in Wonderland to me the problem with a lot of people today. I forgot to tell her you don’t mix love and abuse and call it love that’s what women do when they are abused by their boyfriends/husbands and that’s how they get in trouble all the time.

I told her a lot we (siblings and I) were never wanted. If you are never wanted by your parents/family, where is the love coming from? I noticed she couldn’t answer the question. We were born just to keep our dad around, where’s the real love from that? I agree question everything which I have always done all of my life.

I told her there are things I didn’t get from a psychology book, it’s called life experience something you never went through. I told her exactly what my parents told me long ago if I moved out and asked her does that sound like real love to you? Silence is golden! Not a peep! She said healing takes time, but is complaining because my mind isn’t changed yet. I wanted to yell at her saying make up your mind, you said change takes time and because of the questions I answer always reflect in the past it’s because I haven’t left the past and moved out. If I wasn’t near my parents, then yea, leaving the past would slowly diminish.

Well, next week, she wants to dig a little deeper and I am also retaliating because I know the hurt will bring out my feelings. At Shabbat, they always question everything. She asked me what goals have I completed and told her a few – not sure what specific new goals is she seeking.

I agree about change and that it isn’t easy. I still struggle with it and just confused by the word change.

“Traditional treatment for mental ill health and addiction closely follows the medical model which focuses on treating signs and symptoms rather than the root cause of “dis-ease”. At best it is a band aide solution.”

I agree.

Reply

Neseret August 9, 2013 at 5:13 am

You’re very welcome Marquis. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me here.

It sounds like you’re feeling frustrated with your therapist as she doesn’t seem to understand the impact of what happened in your past. Therapist can easily re-victimize their clients by minimizing and invalidating a person’s past and the impact of unresolved traumas they’ve suffered.

At a minimum we need to be willing to listen to our clients’ experiences without judgement and minimization. We need to provide them the space to feel their feelings about the past in order to move past it.

Many people are not trained to work with trauma. They don’t understand it and don’t know how to work with it. If she is working in the typical CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) model then she will not be addressing trauma.

CBT focuses on the here and now, and there is nothing wrong with that. However, if a person is still stuck in the past and has unresolved trauma issues CBT is not going to cut it. You’re going to be extremely limited by the results you’re going to experience from CBT.

I often see people who have been going to a therapist for 5, 10, even 20 years and they haven’t moved forward and feel like they’ve made progress. The problem in this situation is not that the person is not willing to work but what the therapist is or is not doing. Ultimately the therapist is the therapy.

Ignoring and minimizing people’s past and the traumas they’ve suffered is a serious mistake. It is also unethical. It can be extremely damaging.

Hope you will be able to move forward with your therapist and if not, you will need to find someone else who is willing to address past issues and not gloss over it.

Sending you Light & Love

Neseret

Reply

marquis April 25, 2014 at 7:41 pm

Ex-therapist never did CBT with me, she didn’t find it to be useful for me or whatever. I finished therapy two months ago and I am happy because it was nothing but arguing. That woman always had to use her “marital and parental” status to cut my argument(s) down which she failed to do so! She felt that because my mom is married she doesn’t have to work, I told her it wasn’t a real marriage to begin with and please check your wedding vows before you keep speaking! She didn’t have much to say and told ex-therapist she quit work because my dad having these affairs, she never wanted to work only a few months here, couple months there – marital status means nothing that is just an entitlement attitude!

I get so tired of trying to talk to these lousy MHPs and all they wanna do is put their dogma on you, their ideologies because what you say doesn’t fit theirs. Who is counseling who in there?! Last July, it got so heated I almost walked out and I regret not walking out! I should have stopped the sessions within 6 months because it was ridiculous and I wasn’t happy, my social worker told me to stay with her because she has history on me and I didn’t want to retell the same story to another MHP. I have seen a high school counselor and college counselor both of them were terrible!

It’s fine if they disagree, I told her ‘you were not there. so you can get huffy if you want.’ That woman was so freakin fussy and huffy all the time, she got told off a lot in her office. She undermined my book reading on the subjects of abuse, trauma, narcissism, etc and said to her am I suppose to take your advice because you’re the therapist? You have failed everything that I questioned and you couldn’t come up with better answers just your dogmatic answers that you get from society NOT your own life experiences. I have 18 years of dealing with narcs, more than your career experience! Books are great, but life experience will always weigh more.’ Yep, that was an argument right there. She was always trying to get me to agree to something that wasn’t true, I said then both you and me are lying like you said not gonna do us any good and she didn’t do that anymore. I was really hurt how she just threw my reearch into the garbage saying ‘it’s another perception. You are taking other people’s words for it on everything about your situation.’ Duh, maybe because it definitely relates everything about my parents idiot! OMG, that woman just didn’t get it. I told her did you think a client (me) was gonna come here and not know anything just so you can school on this stuff and again make me believe your dogma that my parents did me/us a favor? No, I wanna be on the same level with you that way you can’t convince me on such garbage!’ Ohh, that was fighting words with her!

Sorry, an MHP should be glad you took the time to read this info on your issues shows you are not in denial or you finally admitted the problem(s). Honestly, even an MHP can brainwash the client and how is that gonna help the client?! She had such a hard time trying to convince, I had her in a bind on a lot of crap she was saying and having no freakin experience in what she was speaking about! It was so heated in last summer, I didn’t sleep for 2.5 days! I told her you may be able to get away with that from another client, but I am not your sucker client!

There were things we talked about that made some sense, but when it comes to narcissism, nope, she didn’t know crap about it! I didn’t get credit for the knowledge that I have, oh well, should have been credited for the high insight that I have on my situation.

A hypocrite and she contradicted herself a lot that I caught and yea, I was studying her nonverbal communication. Ex-therapist couldn’t seem to see the faults of my parents and there’s way too many faults from them! Kept nagging in my ear about me I said wanna make someone responsible go make abusers responsible! Funny, at the end of the session, ex therapist said it’s been a pleasure – really?!? You said I was a lost cause and didn’t want help all because I wanna do is argue. Yes, I am argumentative (should have been a judge or lawyer) but I have a right to defend myself and question anything that someone says to me. Why should I sit here and “take their word for it? Don’t care how old they are.”

Ex therapist threw in my face ‘if your situation is so bad, then you should places that will help you.’ I told her ‘not a day goes by, that I didn’t leave sooner. When a person is so codependent it’s like being a slave, may be crack open a book on codependency! My situation growing up has always been bad and still is, how could a person leave when they have no life skills or money to survive and all they know is being glued to someone for support? That’s like saying my mom should leave right now, she has gotten so used to being used/abused/dependent on someone else’s money, has zero life skills, she wouldn’t know what to do or how to live if she did leave! People who have been treated like some slave in the household and say if it’s so bad then leave, not when you have been put through so much hell since birth that it looks impossible to leave.’ I was so hot it wasn’t funny, I cut her off and put that lousy therapist in her place! I also said ‘sorry, I am not my brother and sister who can just get up and leave whenever I please – didn’t have that kind of spirit like they did plus they had each other since they are close in age whereas they are 18 and 14 years older than me!’ Told her don’t believe me about what I said, ask anybody who has been codependent all of their lives yet your too good to do that because “that’s another perception!”

Anyway, I got a job and been there for 2 months now. I love my job, it is temp long term, part time pays good just need more hours. It’s at a college where I used to attend and graduated from. Getting a full time position is very hard because of the budgeting issues, but it does give me a paycheck to do some things with. It’s hard to reach my goal with my check, my goal is to move out that’s gonna be hard (live in a State where the cost of living is cheap) because it’s only 25 hours a week. My idiot parents don’t know I am working. I added the price of rent I wanted along with bills, not sure about application fees, a bit more than my monthly income. I told my boyfriend ‘I don’t care, but I want freedom and freedom means more to me than anything else always had meant something to me. Still a slave in my parents’ house and how awful is that! If they want a maid, they should go pay for one!’ This summer, I plan on looking at apartments just to see what’s out there and what exactly what they need. I need job experience and don’t think working a 2nd job will do it – may be not right now.

Well, I have been reading blogs hoping I can use that as therapy to help me with things. I got kicked off of State insurance claiming I didn’t show proof of income, I sent my first check to them and the State is claiming I didn’t show proof of income. Now, I don’t have any insurance. I am still looking at apartments online, reminding myself of my goal.

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