Hello all! I hope you all are having a great week–it’s almost Friday, woot woot!

Today has been, uh, interesting. It seems like it’s going to be one of those “lower” days. I didn’t wake up feeling that way, but I was pretty quickly triggered this morning and a bit last night that I think carried over. In case you aren’t familiar with what a trigger is, I’d simply describe it as an external (sometimes, internal) stimulus that causes a heightened awareness and increased sensitivity with emotions, much like being on high alert–that sympathetic nervous system has kicked in, blood pressure is raising, heartbeat is quicker, maybe you’re sweating, maybe you’re anxious. But really, it is an indication physically that mentally there is a swift in mood for various different reasons. For example, someone who suffers from PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) that was a solider in Afghanistan and experienced some trauma around gun shot wounds, may jump, scream, run or cry when hearing a sound that is a gunshot or similar to what may mimic the sound of one. This causes the sympathetic nervous system to kick in and that ‘fight or flight’ response is in action.

So knowing that basic detail, last night I found out I didn’t get a job that I truly felt God telling me, “You’ve got this. This is the direction I have in store for you.” But, I am confused because I was told they decided to go with a different candidate. Freakin A! It was my spanish speaking skills. I totally didn’t expect to be given a part of the interview in spanish when I haven’t brushed up on them. This wasn’t even a requirement of the job, it was just preferred. I studied everything else, this was my second interview, and I nailed everything else. The director even said, “When you come in for training, you’ll have to come to the San Diego office instead of the local ones.” I was sure I had it. Not to be cocky in any way, but you know that feeling when you just know that you know?! I knew it! But instead, my mind instantly started to tell me, YOU BLEW IT! “You couldn’t do it! You won’t ever get a job. You aren’t good enough.” Yes, that is where my thoughts take me if I allow them. That depression truly can take me on the rabbit trail of negative thoughts and all or nothing thinking if I allow it. And, trust me, it doesn’t take more than a few seconds for my mind to go from 0 to 100. Unfortunately, that’s just the hard wiring of my brain that I am attempting to re-configure. Because I know that I can get so carried away in my thoughts, I have to stop it externally. By that I mean, I have to call it out. DEVIL, GET OUT OF MY MIND! YOU WILL NOT WIN! NOT THIS TIME, NOT EVER! Speaking that into life allows me to maneuver the thoughts and stop them from taking off. To be honest, sometimes this takes minutes and somedays longer, depending on my mood. Sometimes I can get rid of them in minutes by distracting (another coping tool) my mind and engaging in another stimulating activity (which may be blogging, journaling, reading, yoga, meditation, prayer, etc.) that way my mind switches gears. If I don’t do this, it is so easy to head right back into depression, not severe depression, but that low mood and everything else seems like it crumbles.

To get to the point, since being triggered last night I was kind of bummed. Not kind of, I was bummed. I think I have processed it and just come to realize that God will close one door and open another. Those of you who were so supportive and sending me positive vibes last night, thank you dearly! It helped me battle the thoughts, the spiraling thoughts and catch them, not judge them, but let them be and talk myself back into reality. Reality check. So amazing what that simple tool can do. But I was triggered again this morning. And let me explain, I have been so much better in the sense of my paranoid thoughts and delusions have gotten to the point where they are so minimal that I would say they are now completely controlled. Now, this doesn’t mean that it doesn’t happen, but when it does within seconds to a minute, I can do a reality check and change those thoughts into reality. But this morning, I don’t know why, but I just couldn’t shake it. The trigger was I was returning something online that I bought for my cat. A dog bed to be exact and he didn’t like it. So I did the “online chat” option with chewy.com and the lady was super sweet and allowed me to have a full refund and asked that I keep the bed and just donate it to a local shelter. I was amazed! What great customer service. I told a loved one about how impressed I was and the comment was, “Don’t trust those online chats, those people can be hackers, they can hack into your accounts. They also might not be real people because that’s awfully fishy that they wouldn’t take the item back. In a couple months they will probably charge you for not returning it.” I was stunned. For a second, it made sense, I was convinced. Instantly, seriously within seconds, in poured the paranoia. I thought, “Oh my goodness, here goes this person that is going to steal my identity. Here goes that thing of people watching me. She tricked me, how evil!” All that off of one comment my brother made. Now to be fair, that was a paranoid comment from him that I allowed myself to swallow and wallow in. I made the choice right then to do a reality check and say ” Christina, this is not real. No one is going to do that. The lady has no reason to lie to you. She probably just didn’t want to have the company spend a shipping return fee and a full refund.” Duh! Even typing it now, makes so much sense! But man, that paranoia can creep in. But it is a miracle that I can get to this point now. Just a few months ago, I was downward spiral and not leave the house thinking cameras or the government was watching me. Sounds crazy I know, but it actually isn’t quite that uncommon. But I thank God for getting me through that one! If you aren’t familiar with paranoia or delusional thoughts, I encourage you to look it up because it might make a little more sense if you have never heard of this!

But enough about me, I want to hear everyone’s input and maybe any triggers that you have identified. Is a there a particular trigger that gets you riled up? Is it a person? Is it a place? A smell? Maybe a particular sound? Share with us….and share what you do to not allow that trigger to dominate your thoughts? Maybe you don’t have triggers that change your mood drastically, but we all have things that change our moods even slightly. People cutting us off on the freeway, maybe people yelling or fighting, kids screaming, etc. Share below your triggers and a recent experience. Please also share your techniques…I’m so curious to learn! I encourage everyone to try this reality check method. Now, your thoughts may not be as serious as mine, but even just slightly, write it down or call it out. Now are these thoughts reality? ASK yourself. What concrete evidence do I have to support this thought? If you can’t think of any, it’s not true! That’s your mind playing tricks on you!

Below is link to a sermon by Pastor Steven Furtick (he is amazing!) called “TRIGGERED. Why I went off.” Please take a moment to watch it, it is amazing! Have a blessed day everyone! ❤

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