Crawling Before We Can Run

By Deborah Miller, MA, LPC – Licensed Professional Counselor

Recently, following a discussion regarding changes needing to be made and feeling slightly overwhelmed by the responsibilities we faced, a colleague said, “We have to crawl before we can run.”  I immediately chimed in, “And before we can crawl, we have to rollover.”  And I thought about my 4-month-old grandson and the many moments of growth in his short life! Not unlike the growth I have seen in the lives of my clients…

Sometimes it is reaching 40 weeks of gestation…or calling the office at Samaritan and saying, “I need to talk to someone.”  Then after 50 minutes in an office behind a closed-door with a stranger, my client feels heard and seen in a safe space. And returns two weeks later.

Sometimes it is a baby lifting their head…or a client tearing up with me despite their tough exterior and sitting in silence as the sadness bubbles to the surface that had long been kept down.

Sometimes it is the pain of teething and drooling all over everything you’re wearing! Or the client who says to me, “I think I need to break up with him.” And realizing they hadn’t allowed themselves to think of that option despite knowing it would be best for her. And finally having the strength to do so.

Sometimes it is seeing a toy and being able to send the message from the brain to the hand and grabbing ahold of it. Sometimes what we grab is a rattle that makes us smile and sometimes it is our grandmother’s dangling earring, and she pries our hand off it. My clients pick up healthy and unhealthy coping mechanisms too, and as they GROW, they begin to know the difference.

Sometimes it is rolling over…or the client who says, “I just got my 90-day chip and I feel really good.”

Sometimes it is crawling…or the client notices they are beginning to trust their spouse more.

“Last year at this time…,” they say. And they realize how far they have come and how much less stress they are carrying.

Sometimes it is walking and falling and getting up and walking again. And crying each time.

Sometimes we right ourselves on our own; sometimes we need another’s help. For a client it can mean they have been cancelling several sessions and are willing to return recognizing this is their “ground zero” and they’re back!

Sometimes it is running and making snow angels and going down the slide by yourself. Or it’s getting a promotion at work, the offer on the house being accepted, getting engaged.

Sometimes it’s connecting with a therapist after finding it hard to trust anyone—even themselves.

Fortunately, labor and delivery, teething, even potty training are often done in community with others. I hold my granddaughters’ hands when we cross the street. I tie their shoes and zip up their coats. And the 4-month-old needs the adults in his life for all his needs right now.

May I suggest we may need others, too? Sometimes that’s your grandma. Sometimes it’s a good therapist. No matter who we are!

Designate a gift to one of our funds or programs

Upcoming Programs & Events

North Market Open HouseJuly 12

Join us on Friday, July 12 at 33 N Market Street to celebrate the opening of Samaritan Center North Market. Stop by between 12 pm…

See Details