I Should Be Over It By Now!
This is a phrase I hear almost daily in my Boca Raton therapy practice. Somehow, many of us have absorbed a cruel inner clock that tells us we should be done by now with whatever emotion or difficulty we are having.
Usually the “over it by now” comment comes from people who are months or years down the road from a heartbreak, trauma, major loss, or long-unfulfilled wish. The person is frustrated with her/his perceived lack of progress in therapy or in life.
To me, “I should be over it by now” signals too little self-compassion and an inaccurate accounting of progress that has been made. To my clients, it signals a mental breakdown, proof of their “f*cked-upness” or weakness, and hopelessness. I don’t think a shortage of self-compassion is a crime, or an illness, or a hopeless situation. I believe it is a habit that can be changed. Here are some tips on how to “get over it by now”, aka, have some compassion for yourself and honor the progress you have made.
1. Any experience can be traumatic. If you feel traumatized, you are. No matter what your situation is, you deserve to receive proper treatment for your difficulty, no matter how long ago it occurred.
2. Have you been working on the same issue for a long time and can’t seem to break through? Chances are, one or more of the following is present:
a. your issue goes further back into your childhood than you have addressed
b. you have not fully addressed the true source of the issue
c. you are not receiving the right treatment from the right provider
3. Delete the phrase “I should be over it by now” from your vocabulary. Stop yourself if you feel like saying it. It is unkind and counterproductive.
4. Think about any progress you have made. Notice the small things. Are certain things no longer bothering you that once tormented you? Is anything easier for you now than it used to be? Have you avoided any mistakes or trouble because of your progress?
5. Redefine “over it”. It’s normal to cry about long-ago events. It’s normal to miss people who died decades ago. It’s normal to make changes in tiny baby steps. It is truly bizarre and unrealistic to “get over” deep pain quickly!
6. If you are feeling stuck, this might be the perfect to call me for a free phone consultation.