DO YOU KNOW YOUR EMOTIONAL TRIGGERS?
Very important to learn our emotional triggers in recovery otherwise…we will project every hurt, anger, and pain onto usually those we love most. When we first get sober we are emotionally R.A.W. Ripe anger within. Feelings follow actions not the other way around. Meaning if I wait till I feel like doing something I am letting my feelings rule me. At the same time denying and repressing feelings will make me sicker. Emotional balance is what alcoholics often lack. But for now, If we are not walking around with our hearts on our sleeve then we are not an addict in early recovery. The thing is we usually want to Love and be Loved desperately but we continually push people away with our reactions to twisted perceptions. WE ARE NOT BAD PEOPLE TRYING TO GET GOOD, We are Sick People Trying to Get Well. We must rangle in our emotions long enough to get a sponsor and make some new recovery friends.
BLAME GAME HURTS ME AND MY RELATIONSHIPS
So how do we identify our emotional triggers so we don’t blame the world for our own feelings? First we start the day with the precept of “I am responsible for my own feelings” even when I am wronged. Even if I am wronged I am the one who must process the pain and hurt from that wrong. I am the only one who can let it go. So rather than trying to fix all my triggers in one day by taking my heart out of my chest and washing it off. That would be impossible. But what I CAN do and do have control over is my tongue and my thought processes. I can intervene and basically “fake it till I make it” emotionally.
So when I suddenly find myself furious or deeply hurt, my face is turning red and I want to attack someone because it’s their fault that I feel the way I do…Instead I say. “I am responsible for my own feelings.” I write out what I am feeling on paper. I talk out what I am feeling with an empathic and understanding listener who WON’T POINT OUT MY SHORTCOMINGS AND DO MY STEP FOUR AND TENTH STEP FOR ME by taking my inventory. My support group can help me see my triggers by their understanding and sharing their experience and their own past triggers.
DON’T BE ASHAMED OF FEAR
I must be able to admit fear or I won’t find my triggers. I have to ask myself…”What is it that I am afraid of when angered and hurt?” Am I trying to control everyone by making them have all my same viewpoints? Am I playing God? Am I afraid of losing something, like control or power? Do I feel belittled and inferior as if the person I blame directly insulted me? Do I feel I need to defend myself because I am afraid that I really am worthless, bad, inferior, stupid, or anything along those lines? (that’s the most common.)
HOW TO BUILD SELF-ESTEEM
We don’t come into recovery brimming with high self-worth and the self-esteem of an accomplished CEO of a large corporation. Working on the 12 Steps however ALL OF THE STEPS will gain us the self improvement and esteem that we lack. And that is exactly what we need to do to quell the incessant emotional triggers that hurt and anger us at a core level.
Know this my friend…nine times out of ten if I am triggered in early recovery IT IS NOT ABOUT THE PRESENT AT ALL. It’s really about what lives in me and the baggage that needs worked through. Repressing my emotions by denial will only make things worse. I AM NOT AFRAID OF ANYTHING! This is the attitude that will keep me sick. All humans have fears and when I start realizing mine that doesn’t give me permission to point out everyone else’s. But it does give me the advantage of understanding people at a deeper level. When I realize my fears and ask God to remove them I realize often the same fears in other people by their behaviors.
We must go one step further in our self-examination process by finding the original “hurt” behind the triggers. Practicing meditation will help me realize what my past trauma emotional issues are. And remember none of the self-awareness is so I can beat myself up or condemn myself for my past. Self punishment never has and never will get me well emotionally or stop my addiction. If it could it would have already. If I find myself in a place of self abasement then I say “OUT OF THE PROBLEM INTO THE SOLUTION.” And I practice one of the programs’ many tools at that point.
By RUTH EDGAR -feedback welcome
If the grammar and punctuation of this article makes you crazy please contact Lori Edgar who is most likely willing to make you an editor on this recoveryfarmhouse website.