What is a trigger? Triggers evoke an overwhelming feeling of panic, fear and/or anxiety associated with a memory of a traumatic event. Triggers can come in all sorts of packaging. Sometimes they are smells, foods, or music. More often than not, they are events, dates or places. Special events that you spent with your addict can become triggers after discovering they have been cheating on you. That restaurant you went to last year on your anniversary, the hotel you found him in bed with the other woman, or Valentines Day can all become triggers. When these triggers happen it can turn a previously happy time into feeling you would rather crawl in bed and pull the covers over your head. Triggers can be paralyzing and debilitating. Most of my triggers feel like the rug has been pulled out from under me.
One of those days for me is Valentine’s Day.
It’s good to identify your triggers in advance if at all possible. Make a list of your most difficult triggers so you can plan how you will work through them. The last 3 years I spent Valentine’s Day in bed, sobbing my heart out. All I could think about was my Cheater spending time with other women. And then after my divorce, it killed me to realize he was spending it with his new wife. I never felt so alone and abandoned. Sometimes triggers make life just SUCK!
So this year, I decided, in advance that I was not going to let Valentines Day get the best of me. I did pretty well, until my Cheater decided to text me that day. I am pretty sure he did it on purpose because the reason he gave was lame. It’s interesting to me to know that he was out of town and his thoughts were turned towards me and not his new wife?? So be prepared for something like that to happen. Narcs love to reach out on days like these to make sure you will feel crappy just in case you might have forgotten them. Just be aware.
I woke up that morning determined to give myself lots of self-care and love. Someone told me that you can be your own best love. Like Whitney says, “Learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all!”
I got my nails done a few days before to look like a box of chocolates.
I took an extra long bubble bath with a lit candle. Did you know you can do a self massage? I did that! I gave myself a facial too. Then I got super dressed up in red, a power color, for a meeting I was hosting later in the day.
After my meeting I bought myself some flowers, since I bought them myself, I got exactly what I wanted! Then I went to get a fancy cupcake at my favorite cupcake shop, Cravings. It was a cute Chocolate Covered Cinnamon Bear Cupcake. Super Yummy!
I finished out the day having dinner with my favorite people – my kids and grandkids. And guess what? I got through the entire day without crying! It can be done with a little planning and a lot of self-care. Being good to yourself is the key. Rewriting the story is critical.
You can overcome your triggers with self-care!
Stay Sweet, Be Strong
The Cupcake Warrior