I have learned a ton of things going to therapy. In the process I have picked up some language that makes it easier to explain what I am talking about.
Here I am going to walk you through some of them.
Let’s pick this up one by one, in the order mentioned above. The order itself is of no significance, it is simply a list of what came to my mind as I was writing it down.
Here’s what a trigger looks like for me
I was watching a TV show, and saw this one scene where the man is really stepping up with baby care and housework. My brain spiraled to a point where I started imagining what I would do if my partner never stepped up at home and took no responsibility.
Triggers can literally be anything.
Here’s what coping mechanism looks like for me
early on my pick was getting drunk with colleagues. Then it changed to grabbing a drink at times with my bestie. Now it is watching Modern Family on repeat.
Here’s what trauma looks like for me
I can be traumatized by the lack of warmth in my familial relationships, and I can also be traumatized by my boss continuously dismissing my opinions.
Here’s what I mean by inner work
For me this was identifying my patterns, my triggers, and my unhealthy/ healthy coping mechanism. Then it was about what I tell myself – narratives within my head. From I will never find love to I am being prepared for someone who is deserving of me (don’t cringe. Sometimes you have to believe). All of that is inner work.
Here’s what recovery looks like for me
I would have continued to be a people pleaser all my life, wondering why I didn’t form real relationships with people when I did everything to please them. Turns out people pleasing is really not a people oriented approach. Most won’t warm up to you if all you do is try to please them. Now I have very few relationships in my life that I can count on, and I am almost a 100% myself with all of them. And these people I can count on my fingertips.
Here’s what Higher power looks like for me
On some days, my higher power can be my Kindle where I read the things that I absolutely have to have read that day. On other days, it could be my mom, maybe a TV show that I am watching, maybe a friend – basically anybody/ anything that has a directional pull over you, and even though you may be rudderless, it keeps you on track.
Here’s what a boundary looks like for me
I get very upset when the other party is yelling. So my boundary looks like – if you don’t reduce your volume, I will not continue this conversation.
On a non-confrontational note, it can also look like, I will not engage with another person beyond 10PM on weekdays, after 10 is for I, me, myself.
More than the words, it was tough writing about what they signify for me. Pick any one and tell me how it shows up for you.
Only if we share what we are going through can we make any difference at all. Everybody struggles, but honestly sharing helps get through the pain. That is another one of my coping mechanisms.