Shat terd


The hidden half of domestic violence

How to have eternal life

Dealing with Triggers
By Shane

We've all had it happen: something in our daily lives
that sends us spinning in a downward cycle, with memories
 and feelings from the past overwhelming us, and the ability
 to function in the present impaired by our minds becoming
confused or switching. It could be something as innocent as
 a misunderstanding with a co-worker or friend, or something
as difficult as a significant anniversary or a trip to visit family,
 in either case the result is the same: we feel overwhelmed
and out of control. It is at such times we often feel the most
helpless and hopeless about recovery. It seems there is
nothing we can do- we can't change the past, or the overwhelming
 nature of our feelings about it, and here they are rushing in
unwanted and wreaking havoc in our present life.
And not only that, but we usually sense that the havoc and
difficulty functioning only makes it more likely that the
situation will continue or get worse. The stage is set for a
 vicious downward cycle. While its true that we can't change
the past, and that our feelings about it may take a long time
 to process in recovery, there is still something we can do to
 prevent these downward spirals. Our control lies in recognizing
the things that trigger us and taking steps to prevent them
 from occurring. All too often we are our own worst enemy
 when we say to ourselves, "But I shouldn't be reacting this
way to what just happened, it was no big deal, other people
 aren't as sensitive to these things. What's wrong with me?
" When we do this we are denying our own primary reality,
perhaps in much the same way as our reality was denied
when we were young and dependent on others. The truth is
that everybody, in fact every living thing, has sensitivities to
 outside influences, some of which will be harmful Some people
are allergic to shellfish, though most aren't. None of us would
expect such a person to silently eat scallops at dinner just because
 everybody else was. I don't mean to suggest that avoiding
 triggers is quite that simple. It is made complex for us by
a number of factors, such as shame we may feel over being triggered,
misunderstanding and prejudice of even well-meaning people, life-time
habits that tend to lead us into triggering situations, as well as people
 in our lives who for one reason or another intentionally trigger us.
But we are not helpless as adults! We can take a stand for ourselves
 and decide what is OK and what isn't. We have both the right and the
 power to take steps to avoid being triggered. Of course, none of us
 wants to be obnoxious to other people, imposing our needs in a
heavy-handed way. But this is rarely necessary once the basic decision
has been made "on the inside" to avoid something we know will trigger us.
 Its not possible to give a simple recipe that will work in all situations,
 but the fact is that there are many socially acceptable techniques,
which can be learned,allowing us to shape the encounters we have
with others without offending anyone. Society could not
function without them! We only have to make the decision to learn
 and use these techniques. Some ways to learn are by observing
how others handle difficult situations, or by asking friends
what they would do, and of course by experimenting. It is surprising
 how often a simple non-threatening statement of preferences is enough.
For those people in our lives who are prejudiced or invested in triggering us,
 we can become better able to firmly say "No!" to them once we
experience that others are not offended by our preferences.
While avoiding triggers in our daily lives will not in itself heal the
 past, it can be a significant help. When the past has less power to
overwhelm and mess up our lives today it becomes less threatening
and a little easier to face. And taking control in a positive way of even
one aspect of life, learning to gracefully avoid even just one triggering
circumstance, always gives hope for more improvement to come.

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