The word “stuck” can mean several different things, but for the purposes of this article, it will be used to refer to any situation where you are unable to move. Whether it be a jar lid, a car in traffic, or an indecision, being stuck can be a frustrating situation. Its meaning is derived from the Old English word stician, which means “to pierce, hold, or remain fastened.”
People experiencing grief struggle with their thoughts and memories. Often, they confuse distressing thoughts with feelings that aggravate their grief. The result is a downward spiral of negative thoughts. While some people can be distracted by emotions, they fail to address the underlying thought that created the problem. Moreover, stuck points can negatively affect our sense of safety, power, esteem, and intimacy. Hence, it’s important to recognize when we are experiencing these symptoms and how to move past them.
If you feel stuck, it’s best to set a re-evaluation date. Until that time, focus on the problems at hand. In the meantime, ask yourself what is the smallest step you can take to get unstuck. Once you have an idea of what you want, you can begin making it happen. In a few days, you may even feel motivated to try the hardest solution first. This will help you overcome any fear of failure and apprehension you may be experiencing.
In the same way, trauma survivors also get stuck in recovery. When we get stuck, we tend to make extreme, negative statements. These statements tend to focus on the themes of Cognitive Processing Therapy, such as safety, trust, power/control, esteem, intimacy, and safety. But, while these themes may seem like logical steps, they are actually the opposite. Recovery from a traumatic experience requires us to learn new ways of relating to the world.