Triggers from Long, Long Ago (and How I coped)

It’s been a while since my last post. Sometimes I didn’t write because I was doing so well. Other times I didn’t write because I felt that I was doing so terribly. Since yesterday, I’ve been thinking about what the original intention of this blog was: self-therapy and hopefully to, in some way, encourage or help someone else as a peer.

That being said, I’m ready to write again.

I’ve been very triggered this past week. I won’t get into all of the details of it (to avoid re-triggering myself and possibly you). In a nutshell, when I was about 8 years old. I got really ill, and my father left me with someone I didn’t know. I don’t remember this person ever checking in on me, and I was there several days. I was feverish and hadn’t had anything to eat or drink. I kept getting sick.

I remember feeling so helpless, alone, and afraid.

Unfortunately, I’ve just come down with a (mild) cold with a low grade fever. Even though it’s literally been a couple of decades since this incident happened, I still get triggered whenever I get a cold or come down with a bug.

At first, I was able to use a lot of self-talk. I told myself that I am an adult now. I can take care of myself. I have support. I am not a helpless child. It’s 2011. I did this great grounding work, but somehow continued to listen to the fears and ended up experiencing full-blown panic attacks that have pretty much kept me up the past couple of nights and have affected my appetite (I’ve had to push myself to eat). I am keeping with drinking plenty…and I am continuing to tell myself that I am ok, but I continue to feel panicky.

Perhaps I wouldn’t be so vulnerable if there weren’t a number of other factors right now: the holidays, being in the PMS part of my cycle, and my partner is going away to see his family and will be gone for a couple of weeks.  All of these things combined were a bit too much. I need my distress tolerance skills!

Things that have helped so far: self-talk (to an extent), showing myself compassion, keeping a schedule of drinking juice, water, and having small snacks, got out for a short walk today, did a little bit of very gentle, restful yoga poses, reaching out here and on Twitter.

I also did Worksheet 1a: Emotion Regulation to deal with some of the anxiety.

Can you relate? Are there some situations from long ago that still challenge you today?

What skills do you use? How do you cope?

I found this great image here.

Thank you.

More soon. 

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