“Stay there! You can’t leave – no! Don’t get up! No, Mom, you have to stay and watch it all the way through… awww Mom!”
This is what happens when I get triggered.
Could be a movie. Could be Grey’s. Could be anything that draws me in to pain, and I immediately react. It ain’t pretty.
Most of my adult life I have been walking around in some sort of pain, so I have never really bothered to analyze what the heck my reactions were all about. All I knew was that pain hurt , even on a tv screen. Leaving the scene was my only option.
Along with gasping breaths (which I now recognize as hyperventilating).
Stomach in knots.
You know… normal everyday stuff a grown woman does when watching the boob tube with her kids. (insert eye rolling emoji here)
Its only been in recent months that I have been curious about this weird thing that I do. And I have come to the conclusion that it is anxiety.
I know. I’m a rocket scientist.
Guess what? I’ve been dealing with anxiety for a long time, without realizing it.
Guess what else? My kids are prone to high anxiety too.
But here’s the thing: now that I know what is happening to me when I’m triggered by witnessing pain in any form, I can learn how to manage my reaction. I’ve even discovered Tapping recently, so maybe I will employ some of those techniques. It may take some time to get a handle on it all, but the thing I’m happy about most is that I am aware now.
I tend to get anxious about a lot of things. Even writing gets me agitated. For instance, as I have been typing this piece, I have had to get up numerous times, walk around, rub my hands on my pants, go get some peanut butter and chocolate, and force myself to sit back down again and continue typing.
There is power in the knowing.
And you know what else? I see growth as I look back over the last few years.
So many of those years were spent simply surviving. Ragged, broken pieces of my heart that knew there was more to life.
A faith that refused to give up on what I read about God and the tantalizing possibility that I was important enough to Him to matter. That He would indeed breathe life into my dry, dusty bones and create beauty out of my ashes.
I have held onto those hopes, reveling in His whispers along the way that He was doing a new thing and that I would see it soon.
That His plans for me are good. That no weapon formed against me has a chance of taking me down for the count.
I can truly say that I know what joy feels like.
I remember what it feels like to be happy, because I am happy! I am seeing new, green shoots of life begin to come forth and I am giddy with anticipation.
Instead of feeling bound by the chains of fear, disappointment, religious rules, and social approval, I instead feel His freedom.
I feel loved.
Ephesians 16-21 “I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”
Umm. Yeah. I’ve tasted and seen His goodness.
Its for you too. Stick out your tongue and try.