Recently there was a post on social media that read, “Feeling the need to be busy all the time is a trauma response and fear-based distraction from what you’d be forced to acknowledge and feel if you slowed down.” Immediately, I knew this was meant for me. Since losing my mother in 2007, I have been going non-stop whether it was working more than one job while raising three children, volunteering as a coach, administrator, various charity functions, planning parties, vacations or going out with friends.
After sharing the meme with my friends, I found I am not alone in this situation. And I have been asked several times, “You are always so busy, how do you keep up?” I’ve never really thought about it in terms of there being a “problem” with keeping busy. But maybe there is something more to it.
My brother passed in an accident in 2009, then I lost my father in 2014. My “busyness” has picked up considerably. I’m not happy unless I’m planning the next work goal, event or vacation. I say I am a planner, that is my forte, but maybe I am just keeping my mind busy to be able to forget the pain I feel in my heart from the losses I’ve had.
Several people have said they too are the same way and if they really thought about it, it might be that they are also running from the pain. This is just how some of us survive through life as we grow and experience loss. We all have different ways of dealing with grief. And if being busy, productive and proactive are my side effects of grief, I’ll take it any day over feeling depressed and isolated.
And as my good friend Margarett replied to my post, “It’s ok to be busy—busy hands make happy minds.”
Email Paula at firstname.lastname@example.org.