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I’ve got my finger on the triggers

August 10, 2014

No, ladies and gentlemen, I am not talking about firearms.

A trigger is something that sets off a memory tape or flashback transporting the person back to an event of her/his original trauma.  For me it is also a floodgate into thinking alcoholically (read: my ISM takes flight) based on resentments or fears that have not been fully worked out.)

Triggers are very personal; different things trigger different people. The receiver may begin to avoid situations and stimuli that she/he thinks triggered the flashback. They will react to this flashback/trigger with an emotional intensity similar to that at the time of the trauma. A person’s triggers are usually activated through one or more of the five senses: sight, sound, touch, smell and taste.

But all triggers are not about trauma.  For me they can also represent fears and defense mechanisms that strongly suggest I lose my handle on some of the character defects I may have worked on, but need  to understand there may never be a solid or complete solution for throughout my lifetime.

Today I thought I would get honest about a trigger of my own that I had been unable to understand completely until it was revealed to me this weekend.  My work is an all-intensive and very much a problem into solution environment.  I often find myself at odds (or overwhelmed) with the barrage of negatives that we are introduced to and the greatest percentage of the time I relish the role and ability to seize them and calmly stop, smile and breathe in order to better situate ourselves into solution mode.

But there is a “force” within my work world that has been triggering me for several years now.  I am now able to pinpoint the time where it began to be a deterrent for the full time gratitude I have for the job and the endless opportunities for growth that it has given me. It is slightly difficult for me to understand how I did not connect the dots that would have given me the means to resolve my dis-ease sooner, but I must accept the present and move forward without holding myself back asking questions that are no longer relevant.

I have been triggered regularly by this “force” and when that happens my ISM kicks into full gear.  But the recognition of the trigger and its source have only provided me with the option to change how I feel, how I react and what it is that I have to change within myself to feel better and be happy in the moments that this trigger have otherwise stalled.

Make no mistake, triggers are not always something we can solve or stop.  I am unable to guarantee I am not going to be kicked into the place of fear (which then produces grandiosity, needs for control and the sense I am “not being heard,” all of which are my character defects and can only be changed through awareness and actions by me and my behavior.) My best defense to the triggers is the understanding that they are triggers.  Because I have finally made this identification I am hopeful I will be able to remind myself I am creating the problem through my reactions and can, with work, faith and patience, solve it with some time.

This is just touching the surface of the psychological world of triggers.  But each chip off the block is a win for me.  Any awareness is a win.  I am always working hard to live out of judgment and in happiness.  It is only my head that will ever stop me from being successful.  Life is short, I am grateful for the opportunities to grow and change while I have it.

Stop. Smile. Breathe.

  1. Kevin permalink

    I think you are ready for a career change—an evolutionary JUMP to Addictions Counselor!!!!

  2. Kevin permalink

    Then again—I’m guessing—at SONY—you are sort of the “go to counselor,” that instills awareness in others about the damaging negativity—and your positive presence helps others get to that place of letting the negative go…just a guess…

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