Triggered by the Past


Today, I was texting one of my good friends from high school while I worked on other things. He was sending me pictures from back in the day. We were talking about them and having a great conversation. After about 30 minutes, although I was carrying on a casual conversation about it all, I realized I was not okay. 

My first clue was that I started being very judgmental (in my head) about people in the pictures. I was picking people apart, pointing out all of their flaws, and flat out being nasty about the dumbest things. I realized all of my muscles were tense. I had a knot in my chest. I felt a high level of anxiety. I became aware that if I kept ignoring my body’s signs and pretending that nothing was wrong, I was going to have a panic attack.

Becoming aware of my feelings was the first step. 

The second step was to acknowledge them. Whether I wanted to feel that way or not, that is how I felt. Trying to push it down was only increasing my anxiety.

Allowing myself to feel sad and scared in the moment wasn’t fun. But, it was the solution. I was able to speak about my discomfort, and within a few minutes, the feelings had dissipated.

I was once again my strong, confident self.

Just for fun, many hours later… I went back and looked at all those pictures again, wondering how I would feel. I still felt sad for that younger version of me – a feeling of loss, really. But, I wasn’t afraid of the others in the pictures. Because, I am not that scared young woman anymore. I have made it through to the other side of that pain. Those people can’t hurt me anymore, because I choose not to let them.

You see, I used to carry my past with me everyday. It was like a giant weight I carried around with me. I thought I was broken. I thought I could not have the life I wanted because of my past. That is not healthy and no way to live. 

I had to let it go… I rewrote the stories of my past with me as the hero of my life – not the victim of it. 

Today, I was triggered for whatever reason to go back to the old ways of thinking about my past. I am grateful for that moment, because it allowed me to see how amazing my life has become. I wouldn’t change any of it – not one single moment. Because, it has brought me here. And, here is pretty darn amazing. 💖