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You don’t have to LIKE doing the things you need to do in therapy or recovery. 

You don’t need to find them EASY. 

You don’t need to find them interesting, exciting, or fun. 

You just need to do them- and do them consistently. 

The fact is, therapy and recovery (recovery from addiction, trauma, depression, anxiety, or anything else) will probably ask you to do some things that don’t come naturally to you. 

If you’re recovering from depression, therapy will ask you to put the brakes on your self-downing internal dialogue and reality test your distorted cognitions. 

People who are suffering from depression usually don’t WANT to do these things. 

Not only do they take effort— and depressed people very often don’t have physical or emotional energy to spare— but they also ask a depressed person to consider the idea that what they’re thinking and telling themselves isn’t accurate. 

No one likes to swim upstream against the current of their own thinking, even if it IS distorted and contributing to depression in the moment. 

But that’s the thing: if you’re depressed, you don’t have to LIKE talking back to your self-downing and distorted thoughts. 

You just have to DO it. 

If you’re recovering from trauma, therapy will ask you to take a step back from the overwhelming things you’re feeling, and use certain skills and tools to make sure you’re fully present instead of dissociating. 

People who have been traumatized often don’t WANT to be present— and who can blame them? MOST people would choose to float away via dissociation rather than stay present with painful memories and wounded parts of themselves. 

But, again, that’s the thing: if you’ve been traumatized, you don’t have to LIKE using tools and skills to stay grounded and manage the various parts of yourself who hold those painful memories. 

You just have to DO it. 

Understand: when I say that people who are depressed or traumatized don’t WANT to do the things that will ultimately help them feel better, I’m not at all saying they’re just being oppositional or “difficult.” 

I think people don’t WANT to do the things therapy and recovery ask of them because those things can be scary. 

They can seem like HUGE, exhausting, intimidating tasks. 

If the tasks of therapy and recovery were EASY, most people would be doing them already. They wouldn’t need a therapist or a support network or recovery system. 

That is to say: I don’t blame anyone for not WANTING to do the things recovery asks. 

But I can also assure you: unless you’re willing to risk doing things in therapy and recovery that don’t come natural, that seem intimidating, or that feel tiring…you’re going to have a hard time making progress. 

The good news is: once you START doing these things? They actually get easier. 

You get better at them. 

And, as the tools and skills start to work, you begin to feel better— which, in turn, makes it easier and easier to use those tools and skills. 

It can be a slow process, and a process that is awkward, tiring, and uncomfortable, especially at first. 

But the pain involved with doing therapy and recovery tasks, in the long run, is nothing compared to the pain of continuing to let trauma, depression, addiction, or anxiety beat you up. 

Take the risk of doing things you don’t want to do. Things that don’t come naturally. 

Risk it a little at a time.

Nudge forward. 

You don’t have to enjoy it. 

You just have to DO it. 

 

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2 thoughts on “You don’t have to like it. You just have to DO it.

  1. Excellent as always. My mantea when I was in the troughs of grief and anxiety …
    Feel the way you feel and do it anyway.
    It helped me cope wuth the deaths of both my husbands.
    Nor for the faint of heart this widow thing…….

    Like

  2. This article is one I shall retain and refer to when necessary. Once again Doc tells it as it is. Love it. Doc what you do is a marvellous thing. Gratitude to you for giving your time and thoughts on difficult life issues. I really appreciate it.

    Like

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