Wednesday, April 13, 2011

emerging light

emerging light

When I started looking at my intense emotional over or under reactions and shutting down as a normal response to my life experiences I was able to see myself as injured instead of ill and hopeful instead of hopelessly lost in despair. This is when I could learn how to recognize being "triggered" as an opportunity to grow instead of a symptom of something to avoid. This is where I became empowered instead of empty.

Seek Knowledge, find Wisdom, live your Truth!


Darlene Ouimet said...

I love this Susan and what a great photo to go with it!

Realizing that my issues were a normal reaction to abuse began a major truning point for me as well.

Hugs, Darlene

Susan said...

Hi Darlene!

Absolutely! Finally understanding that my distress was a NORMAL response to abnormal life experiences made all the difference in the world!

Susan said...

BTW...the photo was at sunset on an old hi-way in central Iowa last summer! I was able to catch several shots as the sun settled through the clouds!

Patricia Singleton said...

Susan, as I said on my Facebook page, you light the way for others who come after you.

Susan said...

Thank you Patricia. I am truly appreciative that I can share. To know that my work supports others is truly a gift. :)

Myself said...

Thanks for sharing this! Makes me hopeful ;)

Susan said...

Myself:) I'm glad for you! Thank you for sharing that!

bapesaurus said...

Hi Susan,

I'm interested in how you found being triggered an opportunity to grow. Right now I pretty much just see torture and torment, so finding a way to make that positive would totally rock my world. Just wondering if you have any further comments on it?


Susan said...

Hi B!

This is a topic that has many layers and one I'd like to write more about so your question is a great writing prompt for me - thank you!

The functional process for me began in understanding that in traditional mental health care the focus was on avoiding things that caused what is termed "symptoms" ie stressors.

My personal goal though was to learn to live vs cope and "manage" "symptoms". To do this I had to understand what a trigger was ie anything that could "trigger" a feeling, a thought, a memory - that left me "feeling" uncomfortable or distressed. Then to use that information to identify my unhelpful coping mechanisms like irritability or lashing out, pulling away, hiding or just plain shutting down when I just got so overwhelmed I couldn't tolerate any more stimulation.

It began with awareness and learning to connect my learned "childlike" reactions and self preservation behaviors so I could develop the adult skills of reasoning and responding vs reacting and retreating.

Part of this was understanding that there are a few basic and NORMAL responses to lifes stressors (work, kids, spouse, bills, family roles etc) and that if I could start connecting my behaviors - acting out, acting in, shutting down at overwhelm - then I could identify the connection to where I learned that as a response and I could engage in the emotional healing process and developing what I've learned to call that "wise mind".

Today - over or under reactions or shutting down at overwhelm can always direct me back to those core beliefs where I feel powerless over a situation and the urge to try to control an outcome that will give me a sense of power to affect some sort of change to ease my feelings of distress.

As I write this I realize just how simple, yet complex this concept is. I hope this is helpful and would love to hear your thoughts on this:)

Jackie said...

I agree with B. It is hard to use triggers as something other than running from or hiding from. My therapist recommended this blog to me. Thank you Susan for sharing your experiences with everyone. You are really helping me and I'm sure many others.

Susan said...

Hi Jackie and welcome! Thanks so much for your note! I am grateful to be able to share and "pay it forward" so to speak:) Thank you for joining me on my journey and for sharing yours!