I had to take a bit of a break from writing my posts on PTSD and I decided to write some poetry instead. Some of these posts have been very hard to write due to be being triggered, so I opted for a little lightness instead.
I have learned though that triggers can be a good thing, although they don’t feel good at the time, it’s really an opportunity to heal whatever is being triggered. It’s an opportunity to look that traumatic event in the eye and let it know it no longer has any power over you. It’s an opportunity to feel and speak to what you feel and why, which you couldn’t or didn’t do at the time of the original trauma. It’s an opportunity to love yourself through that anxiety and those flashbacks and those terrible memories. It’s an opportunity to realize that what lies before you, possibly years later is no longer real, they are just memories and your body is reacting as if it was happening now. Most of all it’s an opportunity to let go and realize the original trauma is over and you’re safe now.
Triggers pave the way to healing, you just have to learn to stop avoiding them and not to be afraid, they can’t hurt you, memories and flashbacks are not real even though it seems like it. You aren’t there anymore, you’re here in this wonderful moment of the now and you’re safe. Avoidance is one of the symptoms of PTSD that we have to overcome, as long as we continue to avoid, PTSD can keep rearing its ugly head and hold us in a pattern of fear. It’s those fears we have to stare down, face and overcome in order to take back our power. Use your triggers as a healing tool and allow them to work for you instead of against you, allow yourself to be in control instead of allowing them to control you.
They can be overwhelming yes, but once you learn to work through them and use them to your benefit it gets easier. First off you have to learn to identify when you have been triggered, that old familiar feeling in your body of anxiousness, the over zealous reaction that doesn’t fit the situation, the rapid beating of your heart, the flashbacks that you have to remember aren’t real and the fear that goes with a trigger. Once you’ve realized that flashbacks aren’t real but just memories that can’t hurt you, you have to learn to pull yourself out of them. Tell yourself, even out loud that they aren’t real and I’m not there anymore. Look around to see where you are and walk around touching things if necessary. This will ground you back in the moment, and tell yourself where you are and that you are safe. Breath through your anxiety and tell yourself how you are feeling at the moment and how you felt a the time of the original trauma. Then lastly, consciously let it all go telling yourself it’s over, it’s not happening anymore and it’s never going to happen again.
This is how I work through my triggers and it has worked for me, I will allow myself to be triggered rather than avoiding them, work through them and then let them go. This has helped me heal and something I did for myself in order to attempt to set myself free from this trap called PTSD. I didn’t see it as a choice, since I spent so many years living in fear, I chose to face to it rather than let it consume me. I’m not going to say it was easy and I’m not going to say that it was a quick fix because it wasn’t. It has taken me 8 years of working on myself 24 hours, seven days a week to finally feel like I am coming out on the other side.