Have you ever been told you were crazy but didn’t believe it until you looked back at your reactions to certain situations? Like damn!! WHO HURT ME!!?? WHY DO I ACT THIS WAY!? Am EYE the crazy one??
I’ve been self analyzing a lot lately, wondering why I keep seeing the same results in certain areas of my life. Why do I get angry so quickly? Why am I always on guard, ready to pop off? Ready to flip the switch on a pussy ass muhf.. let me stop… It’s because many times, we (we is me) fail to actually sit and take time to analyze situations that later become intense triggers for us.
In other words, when shit happens, we deal with it then and there, have our reactions, but we don’t take time to process how we felt in that moment, why we felt that way, and think through better ways to handle it in the future. But that’s fine! Sometimes it’s ok to just be crazy! Some situations warrant that side to come out. BUT DON’T TAKE THIS AS CHRISTIE SAYING YOU CAN GO RUN AND BE A LOOSE CANNON! NO! You do need to sit and become A.W.A.R.E. so that you can make some better decisions in life, become less pressed and in general, live a more free life. SO! Ready for the tea on how to be A.W.A.R.E.?
How to become A.W.A.R.E.
A- Allow yourself to feel.
This was probably the best advice I’ve ever gotten (thanks Will). Gone head! Throw that tantrum! Cry! Run and cry! Cry in the shower! Eat that whole cake. Lay in bed all day. Block all the calls! Whatever you gotta do, do it! Allow yourself to feel for as long as it takes ( as long as you “feeling” does not put others or yourself in any danger or harm). There’s no reason you have to be tough. Let that stuff out for YOUR health!
W- Why. Ask yourself why this situation makes you feel this way.
While you’re feeling, ask yourself why! Why do you feel this way? What in that situation triggered you? Why? Has this happened before? What was the situation? Did this same reaction or situation produce similar results? Sometimes, our feelings create a bigger problem than what’s really at the root. And sometimes, our feelings and reactions really have nothing to do with the situation (or person) at hand because it’s deep rooted in a past experience that you never analyzed. Take some time, grab a journal and figure out what the problem is.
A-Alternatives. Find at least 2 different ways you could have handled that situation.
Ok so boom, now you know why you felt and behaved the way you did. Here’s the tough part. Find at least 2 different ways you could have handled that same or similar situations OBJECTIVELY. Meaning minus your feelings, past triggers, principles, all of that. At face value, what happened and what are some reasonable ways to react? Or be proactive!? Ask all the questions to help you get these answers!
R-Retrain yourself to respond with one of the alternatives you identified.
Now that you know some different ways to handle a similar situation, SLOW DOWN! When you face a similar situation, try to slow down your thinking and emotions so that you can calmly and rationally choose one of those alternatives you came up with. This step is going to take some time, growth and maturity. It may take a stab at your pride and ego but what good has your pride and ego really done for you? I mean, up to this point, it’s made the situation worse, right? Make every effort to choose a better approach.
E- Evaluate and evolve.
Did this new reaction give you a better experience? How did it make you feel? What were the results? Is this better for you? How? This is how you grow. You MUST take time to evaluate situations that have a high impact on your mental health, physical health, and emotional and spiritual well-being. This is where therapy can be relieving, and can help you better walk through what happened, why and what’s next. As you evaluate, feel free to continue to express and feel! By no means are you expected to be a numb robot as you become A.W.A.R.E. Cry the whole way through if you need to!
I guess this is the point that I tell you how I became A.W.A.R.E. *Cues violin. If you got your tea up to this point, feel free to exit. Otherwise, it’s story time! Ehh emm….
So during one of my most recent low periods, I reconnected with an old friend, we will call him Lad for this story. Lad and I used to be great friends but we also dated. For whatever reason, life I guess, we weren’t as close, but no love was lost. Our reconnecting was absolutely what I needed because I had been in such a tough space mentally spiritually, professionally and more. I needed a friend and he was there despite our history. He was going through it too-- business school apps and tests were starting to get the best of him. But I was there, we had each other. It felt good to relax.
Of course, he asked me so we entertained the idea of going on a date since we never did when we dated and me taking a trip to see him. I was with it! I needed the trip-- it would’ve been my first trip out of Washington since I moved here a year ago. I was excited for weeks, smiling and generally more happy than I had been for months. I needed this-- my friend, his hugs and cuddle, a familiar face, a companion, a place to unwind but also express and let it go. When I got there, I was mad excited to see him, lowkey ready to be attached at the hip, to go eat at all of Texas’s best eats and places of nostalgia, to finally go on that cute date we never had but he kept asking for, to do fun stuff and even just chill and watch movies while we cuddle. We made a pact that Saturday night was just for us. School apps, Gutted and me visiting my other friends would stop so that we could have a still moment together. It was gunna be lit… until it wasn’t.
I was not met with ANY of the same energy. I mean Lad was DRY af from the night I got there through the end…Friday through Monday. Lad even planned over the date and all. I tried to ask and understand why, but was given dry ass answers, as if it was no big deal. Triggered, I slowly, hold on, I’m lying, QUICKLY started shutting down.
Because in the past,:
I’d be excited to see and hang out with my “step-dad” but wasn’t met with the same energy, making me feel like he didn’t value me.
My family always made broken promises and either didn’t plan or planned over me, making me feeling like I wasn’t worth it.
I’d try to address the elephant in the room and how I felt with my dance teacher or my “step-dad” but was told I was doing the most, crazy, was ignored or made into the bad guy while they took on the victim role. I felt silenced, ignored and not taken seriously.
My ex wanted so much from me, for me to be another person, but didn’t contribute that same energy. He wanted a cute arm piece to cover his tracks and identity. This made me feel reduced and powerless.
People would use my energy for nothing in return. I’d give my all, show appreciation and support but had nowhere to turn during my toughest periods. I felt abandoned and alone.
Triggered hunny. Like why did I even waste my time and money, which I didn’t really have, to come here if you knew you didn’t want nothing. If you were going to plan over our plans? If you were going to be dry and stand-offish?
I couldn’t handle it.I was triggered and pressed, so I up and left, with few words and only a glance. And because of that reaction, instead of having that difficult conversation, I let my triggers and emotions win. When I left I cried so much.
WHY DOES THIS KEEP HAPPENING!? We haven’t spoken about it, or to each other at all to this day. I lost an opportunity to really get to the root of what was going on and to make a better, informed decision then. I put myself through even more of a mental challenge by replaying the hurt I felt in that experience and thinking of should’ve could’ve, would’ves. To make it worse, I lost a friend.
Looking back and now understanding why I was so triggered, I realized how cold I’ve become. How afraid I am to be vulnerable and to feel. And how these fears have driven me to act irrationally when I feel like my happiness and essence are threatened. If I could go back, I’d force the difficult conversation. Maybe I would’ve found out what he was dealing with mentally that made him push me away or act so distant. Shoo he may have actually still been full of shit!! But at least I would have known. I mean that still doesn’t excuse his stand-off demeanor but it at least would’ve allowed for conversation and understanding. It could’ve been a better weekend.
Now, I’m in the retraining period. It’s a bitch, I’m not gunna lie. My fears of vulnerability and abandonment can be so crippling sometimes that knocking down this wall seems impossible. I feel impossible to love or be valued sometimes. But I have to constantly remind myself otherwise. My friends help me with this tremendously and share so many affirming words. I just have to continue to take this one step and one day at a time. As I go, I am finding that it is becoming easier to have those difficult conversations and become less triggered. Still got some ways to go but look! The Lord is working ok!!
Growing up is a painful process sometimes, especially when you are trying to manage your pride and ego. I promise you though, as you start to retrain yourself, situations similar to what triggered you will start to just roll off your shoulder. You’ll be less bothered and/or more in control, and in a much better mental place! Trust me.
Now, I’ve been chatting with a Wakandan lately. Hunny, when I tell you FOINE!! Sheesh!! I’m gunna try not to let my triggers mess this up. We gone talk about when you trigger me punkin cuz ooooo… Let me stop! His fine-ness is clouding my mind right now. :)
Yall be easy!