What are your triggers? For me, my triggers have mostly been reminders of my past. I would become extremely sad and melancholy when I’d see children and families living similar to the way I did growing up with addictive parents. To see children and youth in such conditions where their appearance told their story – lack basic necessities, poor, neglected, parents with substances abuse problems, emotionally drained, sad, hurt, lacking positive role models, hunger, wishing for better, feeling less than others, embarrassed, in need of love and affection from their parents, etc.
Another trigger of mine was seeing other girls with their fathers. This was always painful while I was growing up—and still is to this day, sometimes. Watching fathers and their daughters on television can sometimes be a sore spot that would make me extremely sad and wishful. As a child, and even still as an adult, I dreamt about feeling the comfort of my father’s arms around me and holding me tight.
One of the songs Beyoncé sings is a tribute to her father, Daddy. Such beautiful lyrics—who would have thought they could be so painful to hear. I would torture myself listening to the song, over and over. I was living vicariously through that song.
These particular triggers of mine often led me to a doom loop that I made reference to in part 1 of this blog series. I’d find myself weeping uncontrollably or in an extremely sad, emotional state as I reflect on my past.
The more we are aware of our emotions, the more successful we’ll be at managing and overcoming them.
Reflect on the situation or circumstances causing you to become emotional - talk about it with someone - write about it in a journal or diary. It actually works. Writing became a form of therapy for me. Getting out on paper how if felt allowed me to see things from a different lens than it did when I internalized my feelings. I was able to see in front of me how various events from my past were affecting my future. This allowed me to put my emotions in check so they didn’t cause me to go into deep depression or worse.
If we don’t get ahead of our emotions by recognizing them early on, we may
find that we’re constantly reactive instead of proactive, thus having to spend time to correct or undo what we may not have done under normal circumstances. Let’s aim to improve ourselves, while improving our situations.