Monthly Archives: January 2009

Triggers

Knowing and recognizing our emotional triggers and not letting them take control of us are two very different things. It’s definitely one of those “easier said than done” instances. Have you ever worked at something for months, for years, maybe your whole life, and then one tiny little thing that someone says or maybe worse, doesn’t say, seems to erase all of your efforts and suddenly you’re wanting to bust out of your seams?

Yeah, that was me today.

I’ve been working at it. I have. I had a great first step last week. I was so proud of myself. And I have been talking out loud about everything more, to myself, to my family and boyfriend and friends who care about me. I was making changes.

And then, “it” happened. A trigger. Without going into too much detail, it was the thing that wasn’t said today that set me off. That set me on a stream of tears, a stream of consciousness that went something like this: i’m-not-needed-recognized-loved-worthless-doesnt-matter-who-cares-get-over-it-forget-it-why-does-this-keep-happening?

You’re like, man, she sounds like Cybil! Nothing is worse than starting to beat yourself up and getting angrier and sadder by the second while simultaneously trying to force yourself to stop thinking about it and to not worry about it and to not make anything of it. Nothing is worse than feeling like an entire couple months of progress are gone in one instant, an entire year’s worth of work is unnoticed, and that an entire life’s worth of this SAME EVER-PRESENT FEELING has still not gone away and seems like it never will. And nothing is worse than 98% of the people around you telling you and showing you that you’re appreciated, but the other 2% (yourself and one other person) negating the whole thing.

Back to square one. Deep breaths. More hugs.

Step 1:

Be rid of all things toxic.

Now I’m not talking about not smoking (I don’t) or not drinking (I keep a low profile there too) or ditching other ridiculously harmful habits. I don’t really have any of those. But, detoxifying yourself also means mentally, emotionally, and socially. I’ve already been doing well with my workout routine and eating better. It’s time to move on to the big guns.

Tomorrow, I’m taking a step to make this happen. I won’t go into major details, but basically I’m getting a fresh perspective from someone new, someone who can’t take sides. And as part of all this, I’m going to start making choices about what to keep and what to get rid of in my life – and maybe who. We all do things or think things or feel things that aren’t helping us move forward, and that aren’t helping us live in the moment and enjoy life to the fullest. We also all have people in our lives that fall into this category. Maybe they are an old friend who isn’t so much a good friend anymore, or a newer friend that just isn’t panning out, or a family member that isn’t worth the stress either. I know that my biggest problem has always been to just accept that a relationship is over and move on – it’s one of the hardest things I deal with everyday. Those of you who know me more intimately know what this stems from – and I’m taking steps to fix it.  I can spend months agonizing over why my friend or old roommate or family member hasn’t talked to me in months, letting it bother me until it consumes much of my thoughts.

Or, I can learn to place it outside of me and my life, and say, ok, yeah I’m not feeling the love, but they made a decision. Maybe I don’t know the decision, and maybe it had to do with something I did or said, but maybe it didn’t. And realizing that and saying, things will be okay, is the big step. Realizing there are other people I have in my life that care and aren’t going anywhere. You know who you are, those people – and I appreciate it, more than you know.

So, as change comes to our country, and people are trying to keep their resolutions going, I’m making some changes, too. It’s really time.

For readers: What changes are you wanting to make this year?

Making plans?

I’m a planner. A think-aheader. An organizer, a routine person. Anyone who knows me, knows that about me. I have lists to check off and dates to remember and goals to meet and visions to pursue. In some arenas, I pride myself on this. It makes me feel productive, and somehow, it comforts me.

But lately, I’ve been realizing how sometimes, planning ahead isn’t possible and it isn’t the best way to go about things. For instance, planning out the BIG aspects of your life: marriage, kids, career, where you’ll live, etc. Don’t get me wrong – thinking about these things and having ideas about them isn’t bad. But I know that I can, and I’m sure other people can, fall into a rut of imagining their lives so far in advance before certain things have even happened, so much so that it can take away from living in the moment, and take away from you doing the things you truly want to do and being the person you want to be.

Parents are good at these times, to remind you to be selfish while you can, before you have obligations, before it’s too late. As someone in a serious relationship, I know that I often think about what will happen in a few years and what it means for the things I want to do in life. There’s trade-offs. It’s inevitable that we give things up to be with someone else. That’s where planning ahead too much can make things harder. Suddenly, the plan to get married in 3 years and have kids 2 years later and live in City X for 5 years before moving to City Y isn’t so appealing if it means you might have to sacrifice other things you love.

As this year moves forward, it’s part of my “plan” to not plan so much. Now is the time to figure out what I want to do – and go do it.

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