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  • Amelia Gillis, LMHC

Triggered


Dear Journal,

Today, was just a big block of blah! I can’t even find the words that I want to say to even pinpoint what has been going on in my head. Today wasn’t the only day that I felt this way. Lately, I haven't felt like "myself". Mentally I am flooded with thoughts that keeps my mind wondering. However, I can’t really address what is on my mind or the real issue because I will look like I am “soft”. To be honest, I have My mind keeps wondering and sometimes it gets me to this place where my chest fills tight, my mind is overwhelmed, and not to mention my attitude has been poor. My moods have been up and down and I have been snapping at others and honestly I can’t really say that it’s because of them. I try to please everyone and make them happy but it doesn’t work. Truthfully, there was this situation where I trusted this individual and …. Well, forget it, the story is long and I have to prepare for this game, besides, I work hard seven days a week. Nothing is probably wrong with me, I just need to forget that it ever happened. Shoot, maybe I am overthinking it! I’m out!

Todd.

Todd’s story is a common story. Many of us get to a place where we ask ourselves on several occasions, “Where did that come from?” Truthfully, we all have drifted to this place before in our life. When we get to this mental space there might be some things that we have failed to address that are slowly taking over us. It is as though we can’t think straight or even pinpoint what is causing us distress. We attempt to avoid the reality that something is troubling us. We attempt to either run from this trouble by making ourselves busy or we simply suppress our emotions. Either way there is an issue that we are failing to address. However, what happens when the issues you should have addressed starts to address you?

Sometimes our unaddressed issues spill out emotionally, in our conversations or in our behaviors. At this point we have allowed ourselves to reach what I would call the mental "overload" zone. In this place there is mental confusion, you are imbalanced, and your mental state is at risk. This could place you at a place where you start making irrational decisions that can lead to irrational behaviors, your emotions can seem confusing, and/or you could even have an emotional breakdown. This place can be created by one or more of the following: lack of boundaries, lack of self-assessment, lack of rest, lack of prayer/mediation, lack of support, and/or lack of addressing mental health wellness. Sounds familiar?

So how do you avoid this zone? Here are some suggestions:

1. Take the time to quiet yourself. Turn off your phone and just be with yourself. If you have a journal, this would be a great time to write down what you are feeling. Trace your feelings and ask self-reflecting questions.

2. Reassess your boundaries. Are there things that you can change, limits you can set? Can you learn to say no to others in order to make sure you are taken care of?

3. Stop reliving in the past or worrying so much about the future. The past can no longer be changed and the future isn't even promised. Have the serenity to accept the things you cannot change.

If any of these steps don't work, you might be moving or have moved to the danger zone and professional support may be your best option.