Yesterday's session was very eye opening. I was telling her how on the weeks I feel like "nothing" is happening, it always turns out MORE is happening than on other weeks. Weird, right? Like I can't understand my progress until someone else puts it into perspective for me.
It came from a discussion that I feel triggering situations more intensely now than I did before and that's somewhat jarring. I know it's GOOD, but it sure doesn't feel good! She asked me to walk her through what I do when I'm feeling triggered which happened both food-wise and emotion-wise at different points.
The plot is the same.....I recognize that I'm feeling triggered - aka something has created an intense flight or flight moment for my brain, a heightened emotional response not in line with the actual "threat" level present. Then, I try to just get some calm in the ol' noggin. Important so that I can go to the next step. That next step is identifying the trigger and why it's there. That's a lot easier in some moments than others. It typically ends with me saying, "OK. This is a trigger. All it is is a challenge to your core values and truths. You are stronger than this trigger and don't need to let it hurt you. If you are patient, perspective will prevail."
Sidebar - this NEVER used to happen pre-treatment. Never. I suspect it's because before, triggers just got added to the pile of hurt and anxiety already swirling about in my brain. Now that those are more under control, triggers stand out. Which is great because I can work on them. But which also sucks because they hurt harder than before now that the buffering of being a miserable mess mentally is gone.
As I was telling my therapist this, quite pleased with my enlightened state, she says, "And then, once you've identified it, what do you do with it?"
You're telling me there's MORE to this? *sigh* Demanding little thing, isn't she? :)
I just looked at her and said, "Um....nothing. hahha I do nothing with it at the present moment. I have no idea WHAT to do with them once they're in pretty little labeled packages."
And that folks, is the next level of challenge. DOING something once a trigger is identified. Knowing that it's OK to do something. WHich is a lot easier to write than to do because it's going to mean stepping up and letting people know if they've said or done something to trigger me. Tactfully and without blame because ultimately, it's MY issue and I'm responsible for my response to outside influence. But learning and practicing that it is OK to let people gently know that what they've said has a negative impact on you is a step towards releasing it.
Eventually, I'd imagine that having confidence in myself to withstand potentially negative comments/experiences leads to not bracing for impact and recoiling in fear that I'll be permanently damaged but instead leads towards those same things breezing past me.
But, I don't know that for sure just yet. That's the next part of the journey. :)