I know my triggers and I’m really good at avoiding them whenever possible, but lately I’ve noticed three things that have become quite overwhelming:
I have started to recognize situations that at first glance seem to be nothing more than small annoyances but are rapidly turning into new triggers.
Because I have had such a great run with handling my triggers without the aid of medication, these new unexpected triggers have thrown me for a loop and have upped my anxiety to a level that has required me to refill my anxiety meds.
I have been beating myself up for feeling overwhelmed. Not only have I felt horrible being thrown into situations that I can not control – and let’s face it, anxiety comes from a lack of perceived control – but I have somehow made myself feel even worse because somewhere along the line I told myself that my known triggers were my only triggers and that I had them handled and that made it clear to me that there was no way for them to beat me. I have no idea how I rationalized this and it makes perfect sense that this train of thought was more harmful than helpful.
I’ve written about my known triggers before. For example, the grocery store is a big one for me. I know which days of the week are busy, which stores are too crowded, and the layout of the building that may set me off. It may seem silly to some people, but anxiety and panic attacks have left me almost helpless in the middle of a grocery store on a few occasions. I can’t tell you how many full shopping carts I have abandoned in the middle of a store while crying and shaking with fear because a certain noise set me off. It has been a brutal lesson to learn my triggers, many tears have been shed, many curse words have been yelled, and many pills have been swallowed. But it took years to get a handle on my biggest known triggers, so you can imagine how upsetting it is to find new triggers popping up all over the place lately.
Nonetheless, identifying triggers is still an important part of learning to live with anxiety. Once you have determined the types of situations that make you feel overwhelmed, it is easier to address them and find coping mechanisms that can help make your worries more manageable. For example, one of my friends has found that using cbd oil for anxiety has helped him to feel more calm. Above all, when it comes to mental health, it is vital that you speak out so that if you need support, you are more able to find it.