Discovering my emotional triggers


She sits in a room. Rocking back and forth upon a wooden floor, staring down at the object within her grasp. A candle burns in front of her at the center. She takes a deep agonizing breath before she stands up and stares at her surroundings. Nothing but four white blank walls. She focuses her attention upon the flame, while steadily lifting the gun she holds in her hands.

Five bullets. Each one symbolizing a significant factor encompassing her pain.

She turns towards the left and slowly takes aim. This bullet marks Trust. The benefit of the doubt. Believing something to be true. No surprising secret agendas or selfish intentions. It is simply what it is. Deception inconceivable. She fires. There is no such thing as trust.

She pulls back the hammer until she hears a click. Turns to the right. This bullet marks Emotion. Utterly blinded to what is reality. Completely unpredictable. Draining. Beautiful yet sometimes destructive. Beyond all reason. She fires again. There is no longer anything to feel.

She turns all the way around, the candle light burning behind her. Her nerves already slightly shaken. She lifts the gun, again pulling back the hammer. This one is for Hope. Wishing that things would get better. Everything will be alright. It will work out. Believe in the disillusionment for there might be a chance… it won’t end this way. It can’t end this way… she fires. Hope has been altered… and abandoned.

She turns back around towards the candle flame and aims straight ahead. This one is for Forgiveness. Accepting excuses for misdeeds. Trying to be the bigger person, but never forgetting… Feeling sorry time and time again. Another bullet fires into the wall. She stares down at the flame once more, a tear sliding down her cheek. She makes no move to wipe it away. These walls of innocence now bear her scars, holes bleeding out her sorrow.

Her last bullet. This time she directs the gun onto herself, taking aim at her heart. Every bullet certainly made way for this final one. The bullet for Enslavement. No willpower. Loss of control. Chained and helpless. Completely overwhelmed. Lacking strength. Driven by the need to escape and failing… closing her eyes, she puts more pressure on the trigger, the blast echoing in her ears momentarily as she drops to the ground, the candle quickly flickering out…

A devil of a gun. Misery is no more.

I wrote these words years ago. I was contemplating ending my life.

Instead I decided to have a serious talk with myself.

Stop making excuses chasing someone that will never fully commit to me. Stop depending on other people to make me feel fulfilled, happy, or complete. Learn to understand my emotional triggers, figure out my insecurities, and remove myself from situations that will never allow me to grow or become a better person. Challenge myself to take accountability for my actions and my mistakes. Do not succumb to being a victim of abuse and trauma. Learn to empower myself, without relying on substances for a temporary relief. Listen to my gut instincts when something doesn’t feel right. Accept that it is not a stroke of continuous bad luck in life but merely a shaky foundation with potential for improvement.

I need to understand what I want out of life and learn to provide this for myself. I don’t need a self help book to tell me I should start seeing unicorns and rainbows by embracing a concept that does not feel second nature to me. I must take responsibility and find the right tools that work for me.

Do I have the motivation, the self-awareness, and the dedication to work on myself every day for the rest of my life?

Life is hard. But being determined to take control of what you can despite your obstacles and push through is harder. To feel confident in my decisions without seeking approval from anyone else.

I show compassion to others, because this is what I wish someone had shown me during my struggles. If you have no one else, you learn self-compassion.

There’s so much emphasis on someone’s fame, fortune, possessions, connections, or how they look, and everything on the surface. The beautiful things people want you to see because it distracts from everything else in between.

There are people struggling with mental illness. Anxiety, depression, agoraphobia, body dysmorphia, PTSD, bipolar disorder, etc, on a regular basis who are misunderstood. There are people who go through brief periods of sadness, or experience a panic attack for the first time, or hate something about themselves and become obsessed about changing it, or are introverted and have a difficult time opening up. There are also people that default to envy and criticism instead of channeling this negative energy to inspire, support and think outside of the box.

There is power in understanding your emotional triggers. Focus on yourself, don’t expect others to fully comprehend what you are feeling or going through. Most of the time we know what to do, we’re either too scared to do it, don’t know how to do it, or we’re not ready to take action.

Commit to being the best version of yourself. Don’t use your issues as a crutch to continue on a self-destructive path. Don’t be so quick to label anyone “good” or “bad” when no one neatly fits in either category. There are so many layers to each of us.

When I’m down, overwhelmed, or angry about something.. I imagine two versions of myself. One is calm, self-assured, pleasant, and the other version is the embodiment of whatever I’m feeling. Rational me vs emotional me. And I go back and forth, until I address what’s really bothering me. If it’s in my control and calls for a simple change of mentality, I work on it. If it’s a combination of my perception and someone’s actions, I figure out the best way to talk to them about it without blaming them.

I stopped self-medicating, I don’t find it necessary to go to therapy, and I don’t feel compelled to go on prescription medication. which never played nice with my body chemistry.

Everyone is different, pursue what options help you.

I still don’t have it all figured out.

I’m evolving.

And it’s OK.