Lisa Lynn, I’m sorry to hear about your chronic pain. I understand what you’re saying about people becoming numb to continuous trauma. When there is no relief, it’s impossible to recover and grow again.
In some ways, it’s similar to learned helplessness. If nothing you do seems to change the negative situation, you give up trying to change it at all.
I think the only way up and out of this is to find a way to have even the smallest of wins. My past situations can’t compare to what you’ve been going through, though.
But, I have had situations where I felt overwhelmed and could see no way out. Nothing I tried seemed to work. I had failure after failure. I had to completely reset myself, and change my expectations for what success meant day by day.
It reminds me of the intense physical therapy required after a terrible accident. Your first goal might be that you can simply move one finger. When you can consistently do that, you celebrate that win and make a new goal of moving another finger, and then the next. And so on…
There is nothing wrong with big goals. But, I think we often do ourselves a disservice by expecting way too much, way too soon. Then, when we fail to accomplish that, we lose faith in ourselves. Now, I do set a big goal, but I map out a series of what might seem like small, insignificant goals to allow me to celebrate wins every step of the way. That builds my confidence and gives me the feedback I need to keep going.