Don’t Trigger Me…

Live, Laugh, Love (In Italian)

One of the common words used in therapy is “trigger.” Everyone has a trigger. Something that just boils your blood….grinds your gears….sends you right over the edge. Makes you want to go crazy.

That’s a trigger. Triggers are intense.

A trigger for a drug addict would be their drug.

A trigger for a gambling addict would be a casino.

But, it also breaks down much further than that. It doesn’t have to be as big as drugs or gambling. Even “normal” people can have very normal triggers; things that remind them of something unpleasant which in turn sets them off.

Say someone got hit by a car. The last thing they heard before they were knocked out was a horn blaring. Now anytime they are driving and they hear a horn it reminds them of that day. It takes them back to that moment right before they got hit by the car. What they were thinking. What they were feeling.

Fear, anger, sadness, pain….in their gut. As strong as the day it was when they got hit, and when they were laying in the street in a pool of blood. This can bring on feelings of anxiety or panic. Now the person is driving around anxious and panicked because someone beeped their horn at Grandma to go when the light turned green.

It can start off as something so small. Triggers can be even smaller than that, something as small as someone snapping their gum, a food, or an activity. A color, a TV show…etc.

Triggers are very unhealthy. They can be destructive. They cause intense feelings and emotions. It’s not healthy to constantly be in a state of anger or panic or anxiety.

How do you deal with triggers? You need to work through your triggers to get over your trauma. If you don’t work through these emotions, this pain, this fear, this sadness, this anger, then every time you are triggered this is how you will feel.

Your heart rate speeds up, your blood pressure raises, your hands get sweaty, you get angry….you start thinking, “I’m going to do this (beat someone’s ass) or I’m going to do that (just go to sleep, walk away)” – or – people like me might think “I need a glass of wine (I’m going to get drunk).”

And where does this leave you? In the morning this just leaves me cold, tired, and hung over. The feelings are all still there, but they are now suppressed. And each time I drink I can suppress those feelings a little more. But the problem is ultimately still there, no matter how deeply it’s been buried.

Are you all thinking about what your trigger is?

Are you wondering what my trigger is? I have a lot of triggers. I’m one of those people that DOES sweat the small stuff, so things constantly piss me off. I’m triggered on a daily basis, though usually most of it is bull shit, and I just have to tell myself to get over it. But I do have big triggers, too. I’m sure everyone has triggers, right? Or is it just me? Am I the only whack job on the block?

I have a couple of big triggers. Things that trigger me that hurt sooo much. And then I get these intense feelings of anger, unhappiness, frustration. Of sadness and pity. Sometimes I want to cry. Sometimes I want to punch something. And sometimes I just want to run away.

I don’t want to tell you my triggers. Especially this trigger because it’s stupid. I’m embarrassed. But, part of my therapy is to detox …. It’s to look at my emotions and try to figure out ‘why do I feel this way?’ ‘why do I do the things I do?’ To “detox” myself of these negative emotions.

Remember when life was easy? When we were kids in first grade in Miss Zurek’s class collecting popcorn kernels? Or in high school gym class watching the PE Leaders (me) do nothing, while the rest of the class (you all) sweated your asses off? Oh I miss those days.

Now here I am.

I’m a fucking mess dude.

I’m so over being a fucking mess.

I’m so over everyone wanting to read my blog so they can laugh at my hardships today.

I’m so over everyone saying I’m sooo dramatic or I just need to get over it or I’m just a fucking psycho.

I’m sick of posting my blog and wondering if people love it or hate it.

I’m sick of submitting writing and being rejected. I remember when I used to write for ME.

I’m sick of doubting my abilities; as a mother, as a wife, as a person, and as a writer.

I’m sick of feeling like a complete failure.

I’m sick of SAYING I feel like a failure.

I’m sick of being miserable and unhappy.

I’m sick of being judged.

I’m sick of being triggered.

I’m just so sick of it all. I want this struggle to be over. Why is God testing me?

And I love the people that say “When life throws you lemons make lemonade!”

Does anyone else want to punch those people in the face?

If I didn’t sound like a whack job before I surely do now. I’m sure you’re all reading going, “Wow, she must not have taken her meds today.”

The truth of the matter is that I did. I did take my meds and it’s still a struggle. Every day is a fucking struggle for me. It’s that every day I face my triggers. Sometimes small ones – like Dunkin Bitch – that I can just roll off my back, and other ones, bigger ones, more painful ones like I am right now that make me want to just throw in the fucking towel and say fuck it.


But, I can’t. I won’t! I have a daughter now who depends on me. She needs me more than ever. And all I can do is pray to God, and beg him to please, please God, please, help me find my way out of this.

And that is why I am taking meds, going to therapy, and “detoxing.” So, what’s my trigger?


Yes, bowling is my trigger. Trust me I know it’s dumb. I used to be on a bowling league. A league that I absolutely loved. I sucked as a bowler, but I didn’t care. I got a leopard print bowling ball and my own bowling shoes, and I would go to bowling every other Sunday hoping to break 100. We’d pick a team name and get matching team shirts. It was my time out of the house; my time just for me.

And then I was forced to give up bowling. I was forced to give it up because lots of things that happened to me and that were going on in my life. And it just makes me sooooo mad. It makes me sooo angry that I had to give up something that I love for someone else. Because of someone else’s actions, because of what someone else did to ME, I now have to give up my hobby, my “thing.”

It’s so unfair. Why is life so unfair? But I need to get over this. I can’t hear the word bowling and not get pissed off. But what am I going to do? I can’t never in my life bowl again. I can’t give up something I love because of someone else’s selfish behavior. I just can’t. I need to work through it. I need to move on. I need to step back from the ledge and just remind myself….it’s just bowling…or it’s just Dunkin Bitch giving me an iced latte instead of an iced coffee…

These things happen. It’s OK. Not everyone’s life is roses and butterflies. People get triggered on a daily basis. I’m not the only one. God isn’t out to get me. He’s not doing things TO me; he’s doing things FOR me.

Once I see that I feel like I’m making progress. The fact that I wrote this is progress.

I’m making baby steps towards happiness….look out readers. One day you will see a shockingly happy JLEE, and then what the fuck will you do?





Author: jlee5879

Office manager by day...struggling writer by night

4 thoughts on “Don’t Trigger Me…”

  1. Jlee you are not alone. I too have triggers and many others do also. I love the way you write but I have told you that before. I have been diagnosed with ptsd and it is a bitch because whenever something happens to you that is painful in some way you go through your depression again. Writing is the best meds. Keep it up and someday you will look back and be glad you overcame it all.

  2. JLEE~

    I think what you’ve written is very powerful. Now, this if the first time I’ve read anything of yours and I just happened to stumble upon it. I find your passion enticing and your expressions drive the reader to continue. I would not consider what you’ve written “lashing out” at your readers as it is an expression of yourself. Shit happens… there’s no reason you need to keep it to yourself… I think that’s why man created the toilet.
    I’ll continue to read.
    Thank you,

  3. Dear jlee, I for the most part hate to read,but I look forward to reading your stories.Please keep writing.You are very good at it. MARK

    1. Dear Mark,
      I am so touched by your comment. Thank you times a million. After posting this story I wondered if I lashed out at my readers. In fact, I’ve been very worried….sitting here thinking “I’m pushing my readers away,” and “I’m taking it out on my readers.” It’s readers like you that make me LOVE to write. I love to write for myself, but every writer wants to be heard. Thank you for hearing me and for telling me so.
      ~ JLEE

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