Although triggers can and will catapult us back into previous unhealthy patterns of thinking, behaving, and feeling, they can also serve to teach us more about ourselves and how to move forward in our recovery in healing and healthy ways!
|Triggers can also teach us!|
Listen to what the trigger is telling us! Pay attention to it! Choose a different path!
|Triggers help us to take care of ourselves!|
Keep a pulse on our 'trigger thermometer'! It is right there with us - waiting and wanting to guide our choices and our decisions!!Let's take a look at one last example. Family dynamics can be very difficult for many people. We feel the pull of responsibility and of obligation, and yet often times we sacrifice our own well-being in rescuing or enabling unhealthy or irresponsible family members. Although this example applies to numerous situations, I see many parents - especially Baby Boomers - struggling with this issue with their adult children. For example, Barbara and Mark have raised and supported three adult children. Although all three have graduated from college, Barbara and Mark don't want to see them 'struggle like they had to'. When they see their adult children going through tough times, this is a 'trigger' for Barbara and Mark. They become weak when they remember how no one helped them. Recently, a phone call came in from one of their adult children asking for more financial help. Only this time, because Barbara and Mark have been attending counseling and working on their codependency issues, they know this is an emotional trigger for them. They stop and check in with one another; they talk about how they are stronger and how they need to keep the boundaries they've learned; and they agree upon a response that protects them. Barbara and Mark are learning....
|Triggers can bring us closer as we make healing choices.|
Triggers can pull us back into old patterns of thinking and behaving...and they can propel us forward into new healthy ways of choosing and being!
- Step One - STOP
- Step Three - CLAIM YOUR PRESENT REALITY (Recall where you are right now; that you are in a well place; that you have worked hard; that you are safe and healthy; that you have the right to take care of you)
- Step Four - CHOOSE AN ALTERNATIVE HEALTHY BEHAVIOR - (Call a friend, sponsor, or counselor; set or reset a boundary; reclaim your voice and state what you need; set and adjust expectations and then maintain them; reinstate your self-worth and self-respect by making choices that are healing for you).