Trigger triggers me.
Yes, you read that right. Trigger triggers me. My world shattered after a trigger triggered.
We all have triggers. Good ones and bad ones. Happy ones and sad ones. Ones that make us cry, scared, and lonely. And ones that make us laugh, smile, and feel warm inside. Triggers come in many different forms. Words, objects, sounds, smells, and tastes. And I think it is imperative that we are aware of our triggers. Both the good ones and the bad ones.
Lemons. Let’s talk about the bad ones first. For me? Twins, guns, college, Tallahassee, loud noises, and January are all on the top of my “bad” trigger list.
Lemonade. Now onto the good ones. My top ones? My family, friends, plants, music, Thai food, and the smell of a Volcano candle.
So why am I asking you to identify your triggers? Because once you’re made aware of them, you can start to alter your thoughts, which will alter your behavior and inevitably, change the way you feel.
I would suggest making a list of what makes you feel good and what makes you feel bad. Sounds simple right? Well, here’s the tricky part (spoiler alert: it’s not all that tricky). Look at the “bad list.” What on here can you change and what can’t you change?
Turn off the radio if “that” song comes on. Unfollow “that” person. Don’t go to “that” birthday party. Say no to “that” invite. Don’t answer “that” phone call.
Now how do you feel? Better probably. So let’s say you take action like in the examples above. This should change your thoughts. Instead of, “I’m dreading that dinner tonight because I’ll have to see (insert insensitive comment maker’s name),” you start thinking about that new show you’re going to watch while catching up with your best friend across the country over FaceTime (lemonade). And now, you should be feeling a heck of a lot better than if you had gone to that dinner.
The point of this really is that you don’t HAVE to do anything. You don’t owe anyone anything especially during a time where it takes the majority of your energy just to get out of bed in the morning. If something or someone triggers your anxiety, don’t do it! And if someone can’t understand that, then they’re not meant to be an active part of your life. During a time of despair, you’ll likely part ways with people and events that you used to enjoy, but you’ll also find new people and new events that you can appreciate all that much more.
Look for the lemonade,
- how to cope with triggers
- how to help your loved one with his/her triggers