Sometimes we think things are going great. And then something happens that completely shakes it. It might be super minor, it might be larger scale. But after we feel stuck, in our heads and we just can’t seem to get to feeling like ourselves again. This has happened to me numerous times, especially in dating. I never fully knew why specific events triggered me so badly. But I did realize a pattern. Some took me longer to get over than others, but as I started using this “tool kit” , believe it or not, each time something happened it took less time for me to recover. I still felt very similar feelings but now I was able to handle it, grow and move on. So let’s go through the tool kit on things I have learned through my journey.
I clearly remember being so triggered a year ago. I was excited about dating this guy, we went on weekly dates, he was a gentleman, held doors open for me, planned great dates, drove to me to hike. I had my guard up, but slowly started letting it down. We planned a trip to Arizona, the ultimate place to get centered, go on amazing hikes. After a few days, I realized it felt off, I didn’t feel like he was enjoying the little things as much as me. But since we had been talking daily for months, I decided at the end of the trip I was going to ask him “where does he see this going?” Not thinking it was a big deal, but being a words of affirmation girl, I like to hear and be reassured of things.
Well I asked him this question…and instead of getting the “yes I love spending time with you and can’t wait to see what’s next” I got tons of confusing “you live to far.” Random things. My heart instantly dropped. I become paralyzed and the rest of the trip I could barely speak. All I wanted to do was curl in a ball. My insecurity in every way came out. I questioned this for months, I ruminate (which basically mean you CANT stop thinking about it, it’s like a crazy loop ), I felt lost. Will I ever be good enough ? Suddenly everything was extremely difficult, I was tired, didn’t want to leave bed or work. My friends were tired of hearing about it all. So I felt even more alone.
Despite our convo, he still kept messaging me, which made me more confused.
Then one day (this is now 2 months later) after having a full cry session and break down on it. I decided it was time to move on, it was time to forgive.
So I sat outside, cried my eyes out and wrote a letter to “him” forgiving him for each thing that had upset me, and then I wrote a letter to myself forgiving myself for having such a hard time letting go.
The words spilt out on the paper, until finally. I felt like I almost released it and let it go. I then took the paper, and burned it. I know it sounds crazy, but it truly allowed me to spill, let go and move on.
I still had my “moments” after this but I was able to be present and realize that the world had better things planned for me. That is moment did not define me and that these feelings I had were not dumb just a part of the life process that many don’t speak of.
So the first stop on the tool-kit
-Write a letter to whoever or whatever is bothering you and forgive them
-Write a letter to yourself, forgive yourself and get off the self judgment train
-Burn it, and truly release it. (I happened to do mine during a full moon accidentally and I guess that has a super spiritually meaning)
After this kind of thing happens you kinda lose yourself. You’re triggered for a stupid amount of time and life flies by, you’re not present, you’re in a fog, and you kinda felt like you wasted your life away for a few months.
Who am I ? What did I even like ?
So my therapist gave me an exercise, to create a menu. A menu of all the stuff I love and she told me make sure I do at least 1-3 of them a week. This allowed it to be less overwhelming. Sometimes when you try to do it ALL it becomes ALOT.
So for example:
Entrees (where bigger things that make you happy, that might take some planning and time )
Appetizers (the smaller things, maybe that’s something you can do super easily and quick)
What’s crazy is after recovering from the situation…I had really lost what half of the above was so when I started coming out of it. I realized wow…I really need to rediscover myself again and learn what I like! So I was able to add to this stuff weekly when it started coming back to me
So second stop in took kit:
-Create our Happiness Menu
-Continue to Add to it weekly,daily whenever things come to you
-Do at least 1-3 of these things to start simple
For the longest time, I had a hard time believing in meditation. I also thought you had to completely shut down your mind. But the truth is when you are “in your head” turning your brain off can be even MORE stressful. But it can really center you, bring you back to the present, something that is tough after going through a triggering experience. So I read this book called “Stress Less Accomplish More” and Emily Fletcher takes you through a simple process.
First Listen to the Sounds around you (you normally can hear way more when you sit an actually listen)
Second Look behind your eyelids (it’s always a red weird color)
Keep going through this process and think more in depth about what you are hearing, tasting, smelling and seeing. These FEW seconds of just getting present can remind you so much more about how we are going to be okay.
For a while, to get me back to realizing how lucky I am and how this life is beautiful, any time I would go for a drive I would say things I was grateful for outloud. Its funny, when you are triggered or living in your head you really forget to take a look around you and appreciate what you have and WHO you have.
Third piece of the tool kit:
-Start with Meditation in a Simple Way
-Write down or say out loud three things you are grateful for
Beside the fact that my dad is an alcoholic and I have had really bad experiences with addiction, which I go into more depth with below. Alcohol is only a way to “numb” the pain and not deal with it. So I went completely sober for a year. I found other ways to disconnect in a healthier way that allowed me to grow. I surrounded myself with people who had the same thoughts. Getting out in nature, ice bath, meditation, breathing, really learning to enjoy this life we have.
Alcohol is a way to numb pain, not take care of it. I went completely sober for a year, and was able to find other ways to disconnect in a healthier way. Nature, meditation, ice baths. Yes this may be hard to think about now. But do you want to be stuck with how you are feeling now forever? Or do you want to try something new and get out of your way? Alcohol is a temporary fix.
Get rid of those substances:
-Get rid of Alcohol
-Find other ways to replace it
This is a great way to get you present again, and limit anxiety. Great thing to have in your tool kit to get you towards feeling like you again. While I am NO expert in tapping, this takes you through a variety of spots on your body that you will tap against each other. You to through each of these points and as you tap you say something you are upset about followed by “I love and forgive myself”
I should have moved at a slower pace with this, but I love and forgive myself
I wish I never said what I said, but I love and forgive myself
The first time I went through this process…I was shocked by how much more present I felt and how just saying it outloud really helped me get one step closer for truly loving and forgiving myself.
Tool Kit Tapping:
-Go through about 3x Rounds of this
-Youtube Video to follow along with for Tapping Click Here
One of the worst break-ups I had to deal with was in college. I was dating him for YEARS. We met at party, immediately locked eyes. “Who is THAT?” Instantly that night we connect. He asked me if I wanted to play spin the bottle and pointed a bottle to me and the rest was history. Man was I in LOVE. WE would start gaze, talk for hours, look into each others eyes and when we were out we were the life of the party. He even had a key to my apartment and I couldn't picture my life without him in it. Things started to get ugly though. As I started growing and not being so into the “party” days…he stayed in it. He would stop showing up to dinner, stop messaging me… and my friends would tell me that they saw him making out with other girls when he was out…but I didn't want to believe it. He never admitted it to this day. Even though he started dating the girl after we finally broke up. But I was devastated. I was lost. I didn't know who I was without him. I was so used to always having him in my life.
But damn am I grateful. It forced me to try new things and meet new people. I started to travel solo, join groups that enjoyed workouts and entrepreneurship. It was a whole other world.
So this one is:
-Try new things, maybe just one new thing
-Check out a new group
It's going to be scary…and some may not feel like it works, but it WILL help you find yourself again.
Another situation that happened this year for me, was that I got involved with someone who was recently out of a divorce. (Dont ever do that lol or long term relationship) He came on STRONG and I was excited because I was excited that someone was excited about me! We went on dates, went to concerts, even when on two trips together. I could always sense something was off and he always told me “I am not ready for a relationship” but would re-assure that I was the only one he was seeing right now, but eventually he would need to date again. So basically putting me in the position of “you will get hurt” but I like you and want you to stick around for now. Of course I thought I could do it OR I thought he would see how damn great I am and just stay. But it just got uglier and uglier. He would pawn me off to his friends and tell them “she’s single” . He would make me feel invisible when I was around other people with him.
I don't know what made me hang on for so long. But one night, after reading about it for a long time I decided to try mushrooms. I set an intention and wow, did it change my perspective of the world. Everything was beautiful and I started laughing at the fact that I had allowed this guy to control how I felt about myself. At the end of the day…we are all just on a rock floating in space…so why are we allowing others to control how we feel and enjoy life.
I didn't have anxiety and my self worth increased 10x after this experience.
It’s not a “quick fix” by any means but damn…it does help you realize so much more faster.
I am not a doctor, I don't believe this is a drug I truly believe it’s a medicine
-If you’re open to this find someone who knows a lot about it and have them help you through the experience
In conclusion I have a story for you… “Be all you know you can be” You don’t need to stay Stuck where you are
This story I don’t tell many people because I never want them to feel “sorry for me” but it has definitely been the reason I have had deeper triggers and struggled with self worth. In 2010 I tore my ACL, and my world fell apart. I felt like I had nothing. I started hanging with the party crowd and playing flip cup at a lake and met him. We kept in touch and he would message me everyday, we would talk about life and our dreams. He would romance and tell me all the amazing things he had planned for us to do. When I finally saw him again I was hooked, but I started to notice some things that didn’t make sense. His pupils were smaller, he would act strange…he then would start asking me for $$.
Something didn’t seem right but when I asked he had an answer for everything. And then….I came to visit one day and walked him to him sniffing something through a straw, he would also go to the bathroom for a long period of time. I asked him what the deal was and as he shouted profanity at me would then beg me not to go.
He said he was addicted and needed help. So me being the helper…I helped, getting more drugs to help as he withdrew, put up with him yelling at me and putting me down. At one point he even black mailed me and was sending emails to my college professors.
I was a mess, I felt worthless, I believed each thing he told me.
A friend finally noticed I was struggling and asked me what was happening…she urged me to tell my mom …I was so scared of her judging me, I was so scared of her telling me I was stupid. But instead she helped.
We had to get a restraining order to stop all that was happening and I kept getting the please help me messages daily. Things calmed down, I was numb. Why did I suck so bad ? Why didn’t he love me ?…why couldn’t I helped.
After finally putting my foot down, getting away from the situation a a few weeks later I got a phone call.. asking if I was okay ? And my friend had told me he had overdosed and did not make it.
The guilt I had over the moment, I couldn’t save him. What if I had been better ? It lingered over me for years. I would have nightmares. I know now it wasn’t my fault and there’s nothing I could have done, but it still is heavy on me as each relationship I have been in following this…has always ended by someone else and it always was seemingly “my fault”
But I share this story because I had to do a lot of work after this to become more self aware, to get back to being me again. I am still getting there, and YOU will too!
But again after each experience, I grow, it becomes a little less painful, and it really awakens me. I can now use all the tools from above, to help me and I hope they can help you. I am still on my search to find that person to compliment me (not complete me) and I know that person is out there also looking for me. But at the end of the day, forget about if other people like you…do YOU like you? Are you doing things to help YOU get to the best version of yourself. Because the person you are with isn't meant to heal you from your traumas, they are meant to just be there on the journey for comfort and to listen.
Thank the bad times for what you’ve learned. If we didn't have them we wouldn't appreciate all the amazing moments and things in our life