Tuesday, January 17, 2017

You have no power over me...

"Through dangers untold. And hardships unnumbered. I have fought my way here to the castle; beyond the goblin city, to take back the child that you have stolen. My will is as strong as yours, and my kingdom as great...you have no power over me..."

- Sarah to the Goblin King, Labyrinth

Late last week I experienced what is called a triggering event.  I won't be sharing the event here, but I will share that it led to extremes of anxiety and self loathing.  Human interaction became extremely difficult because everything in me wanted to shut down and go into hiding.  My emotions were very close to the surface and I found myself in that terribly uncomfortable place of crying in public on more than one occasion.  I spent much of the weekend self medicating and binging on Netflix.  Many of my healthier coping mechanisms went right out the window

"Hostess.  Frito-Lay. Hersheys. Red, red wine. Won't you come join me at my little party of self loathing?  Let's sit together and dwell on all of my flaws shall we?"

This of course led to that horrible cycle of self talk in which I berate myself for not dealing with the situation well, which leads to more not so healthy coping mechanisms, and thus more beating myself up over how poorly I am managing this....and...

"Welcome friend, you managed to bypass The Wallow and dive head on into The Pit - here's a cozy black hole of despair to hang out it - you aren't likely leaving anytime soon so let's get you nice and comfortable...."

Monday finally rolled around (thank you three day weekend) and I managed to climb my way out of The Pit.  I got it together enough to go for a walk.  I made sure to hydrate and rest.  I wrote in my journal about the event and my response to it.  It was there that I wrote how I was so tired of the events of my past continuing to have power over me.

I paused in my writing.  It seemed such a simple revelation.  Past events, traumas, hurts, loss - all of these things impact how we relate to the world.  Long after the event has passed it continues to have power over us. They events linger in our minds, waiting for some action, or scent, or sound, or whatever to bring them raging back to the surface with all of their caravans of unresolved emotions, snatching us up to be unwilling passengers.  But they don't have to...

I know it is not just a matter of saying it.  Unlike Sarah, by uttering the words I won't be instantly whisked away to a land of high self-esteem and solidly healthy coping mechanisms.  The next time some monster triggering event comes along it is quite likely my brain will accept its offer of an express ticket to The Pit, but when I come out, as today, I'll still be doing the work.  And so there is hope that maybe one of these times I'll recognize the creature for what it is and maybe, finally, I'll look it in the eye...

"You have no power over me..."

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