Recently I was shown this model that made perfect sense to me when it comes to the origin of emotional triggers. Within each of us we have a core belief system about ourselves, a truth we have come to know and many times we aren’t conscious of and can be detrimental to us if our core belief is negative about ourselves. Negative Core beliefs that no one cares, I don’t matter, I don’t have value, I am messed up, are a few examples.
When a trigger happens it is rooted from this core belief about ourselves that starts forming around age 2. It doesn’t mean when we are going through a difficult situation that is triggering that it doesn’t hurt, the pain we are feeling is very validated and real. Many times we obsess about the person who caused this trigger instead of looking at the core belief we have about ourselves that was actually triggered by that person and the negative core belief being validated is where this pain is shooting from. It’s not to say or excuse someone from treating you poorly but the depths of pain we are feeling are actually coming from is our negative core belief system being triggered in the situation we are in.
Why is this important? If we aren’t in awareness of our core beliefs about ourselves and we become triggered it starts a process called build up. It starts the depression cycle of feeling victimized, anger, blaming, expecting the worst, not feeling hope that things will improve, isolation and avoidance becomes our best friend. It feels like time has stopped and we are stuck in this intensity of all these emotions and feel extremely victimized.
Left in that build up state for too long can lead us down the road to the act out phase where suicidal thoughts and maybe even follow through by attempting suicide, feeling all these emotions without going back to the original source which is our negative core belief system.
We can also jump into pretending everything is normal, we feel fear and guilt when triggered, this is the justification phase. That also comes from core beliefs and handling it through justification to those negative core beliefs.
We can change our negative core beliefs if we know what they are, how they got there. We can affirm a new positive core belief system that enables us to not be triggered by someone else and their choices. We can rid ourselves of this defeating message from the past, to see clearly and not become triggered by the negative core belief system but empowered by a new real time positive core belief system and validating our truth in who we are today.
Pain has always motivated me to write since I was a child. It is this access to a wellspring of words that describe the devastation of feelings I am experiencing that want to explode out of me with immense intensity that make you hold onto whatever you around to sustain the power of the vomit of words coming out. When I decide to accompany music to this writing it is an orchestra of pain intertwined, swirling coming from the depths bubbling beneath me. It has become a relationship of having the greatest written material ever from this pain and the reality of living through the experience causing the pain. It is a vortex of a different reality that pulls me forward , I can fill a whole notebook in a week, it becomes an obsession to get it out of me. It is my healer, it is always what I return too, it is my best friend, my written word is what I seek in my relationship with the truth.
Do you ever listen to a song repeatedly because the words pierce your heart making your gut literally physically react without consent, making you scream without noise, the vibration of music that is sixth sense with words describing everything you are feeling? The tears rolling down in cascades, the uncontrollable sobbing holding your face in your palms feeling the very depths of your raw exposed, wounded soul. It’s healing, feel it to the core, the pain is seeking refuge.
As humans we suck at feeling pain we never give enough credence to closure and goodbyes. We move on way to quick to run from that shadow that we can’t face lurking with so much heartache we can’t face. We soothe the pain in whatever our poison of choice we choose to numb those pangs of feelings we cannot tolerate that shake us to our core.
Today I am grateful for the almighty, never ending, written word. My endearment and salvation is inarticulate, it is circle that is never broken in a world that is changing every day.
I am not ashamed of suicide, it took the life of my greatest support and example, my father. It is because of shame, people who struggle with suicide don’t get the support they need or the family members experiencing suicide don’t either. It is a veil of blackness we must remove around suicide.
I am not ashamed of mental illness, it has had ravaging affects on my family members, it is no different than having a physical disease, it’s in the mind. Shame stops people from seeking help or even having an open conversation about the mind not working properly.
I am not ashamed to speak of rape in a culture that stopped punishing men for their crimes because their lives would be ruined and the women? She has to live in shame. No, we are going to talk about it, we are going to take shame out of it for females. Shame stops women from talking about rape, 1 out of 3 females this will happen too in their lives, shame stops them from reporting it and is ruining lives.
I am not ashamed to fight for equal rights. I am not ashamed to stand up for those who need protection when they can’t help themselves.
I am not ashamed of my openly gay son. There is absolutely nothing wrong with him. He is a glorious human with a heart of gold in his service toward others who are also gay and the homeless and the people in need from other places around the world.
I am not ashamed to have any of these conversations. It is the only way we can change how we are dealing with these issues by removing shame and secrecy. Shameless is an attitude of caring more about the person who is suffering than opinions of others or culture.
Join with me in having these conversations to remove shame. Shame is not a sustainable value, no matter where you apply that principle there is mass destruction.
This is my 25th year smoking. I quit cigarettes cold turkey on Jan, 3 of this year. I am on day 56. I was living in downtown Denver in a blonde brick high rise , I had a tiny balcony on the twelfth floor that I would sit on a modern white plastic chair Smoking cigarettes. This was about 5:30 in the morning, 19 degrees outside, you could see every breathe, it was so cold. I would sit under three coats and two blankets , hat, gloves. It was my homeless look. That morning as I started to cough as I did frequently, I noticed I was coughing in unison with my downstairs homeless friend Kevin who lived at the 7-11 under our building. Kevin is very sick , he is still smoking in his 60’s and it was that moment , I had to look at my junkie behavior with these death sticks. I looked up emphysema symptoms on the google, while doing that search I found a website whyquit.com.
It was a website dedicated to nicotine addiction. Over three hundred videos are on you tube and countless articles for reading on nicotine addiction . They believe addiction is healed in understanding addiction, they believe only in cold turkey quitting, as a nicotine addict you have to agree to never take another puff, one day at a time. Sometimes a second or minute at a time. It was that morning I crushed the rest of my cigarettes and threw them away. I drew a hot bath with Epsom salts and watched you tube videos on my addiction and how it was killing me for the next hour in my bath. I made a decision In my bath sweating, crying and feeling the full weight of my addiction on me ,that this addiction had to go. I couldn’t breathe. I felt like shit. The only solution that I would commit to not taking another puff , ever.
What I have learned about nicotine addiction really has kept me from smoking when I want too. Smoking is an addiction not a bad habit. The thing I am finding through the process of quitting is that as a smoker whenever I was upset, sad, happy . I smoked away my emotions. On day three of this quit I wanted to kill someone. I was so angry!!!! I work with the public that is not okay!!!! The thing I was learning was that when I got upset smoking, I would go smoke. It would make me pause, think, get some dopamine and help with the situation I was about to deal with. Now, not having that smoke break, time out or dopamine and the anger comes, it can be overwhelming. I found out I still need to take breaks and go for a walk or take a break and breathe and feel the emotions.
I have cried more since I have quit smoking than I can remember ever doing in my life. The bathtub which has become my safe and happy place during this quit unleashes the tears. I have spent many baths crying. I think that this is healing and it is me getting out years of pain that I have smoked instead of felt. It feels bizarre because there isn’t necessarily a trigger or current reason to be crying that much. I am allowing myself to feel and respond which is new behavior instead of lighting up.
The other thing is when you stop an addiction the grief process begins. Anger is second on the grief scale. One thing that has really helped me was to compare my quitting smoking to my dad dying. I can miss him, I can be angry but it doesn’t bring him back. I can go through all these emotions of grief with smoking and it doesn’t mean that I will smoke again. It helped me understand emotionally I can feel devastated just like I did with dad’s death but I have to handle it and bury it without smoking when I feel emotions. I feel them. It doesn’t kill me.
Working out has helped me so much with the anger , moods, and overall frustration of withdrawal and psychological addiction to nicotine. I have a 🥊 punching bag that I absolutely love to destroy while hitting as part of my workout and we recently moved right across the street from city park, which was so divine in timing with quitting cigarettes. We moved 5 days after I quit smoking which really helped with the routines around smoking. We also moved so close to the park I can run everyday. My dogs are in love with this decision as well. I have always worked out even as a smoker. The thing I notice is how much it helps me emotionally to get into the fresh air and run. The beauty that surrounds me even in the middle of a city. Everyday I run I feel my lungs improving along with my stamina.
I have gained weight. That is super normal because nicotine is an appetite suppressant as well as a stimulant. Smokers burn 200 more calories a day than non smokers. This is because every time you light up it makes your heat beat faster. Nicotine also tells the body it’s full before it is. Some people who quit smoking gain a ton of weight. That is because they are replacing food with the cravings. I think it’s imperative to breathe during the first three days quitting instead of eating candy or food during a craving.
You can drink juice to keep your blood sugar up as nicotine affects the blood sugar. Deep breathing with the nicotine cravings is what helped me this time quitting. With addiction I think it’s easy to replace one with another. I don’t want have to loose 50 pounds because I quit smoking and replaced that addiction with a food addiction. A lot of people feel it’s better to do that than to continue smoking but I feel it’s just as dangerous to get addicted to sugar after quitting. Breathing calms and exercise is essential. I do and did mad amounts of yoga during this time. Sometimes I would be in a yoga pose and I would scream, I wanted a cigarette so bad. I found that gave me a lot of relief. Yoga helps because the pose is painful just like the experience with quitting smoking. It helps to reinforce the experience with the pose and the gains through the pain.
I have found myself depressed lately as the latest on the long list of symptoms of quitting smoking. Nicotine has been my drug since I was 15 years old. Nicotine gives me dopamine. That makes me happy. I no longer am getting that dopamine. I have to work at it by working out. Nicotine is also a stimulant so it gets you going. Not having that makes me feel tired and not as motivated. One thing I have to focus on in my depression is acceptance that this should be hard.
I have smoked longer than I haven’t. I have done so many things with my cigarettes I consider them my friend! Doing things without them will be difficult because it’s all new behavior. I think it is the resistance in our thinking that we shouldn’t be feeling or experiencing what we are. This is like learning how to ride a bike, learning how to walk. The hardest thing for me is giving myself permission to suck. Addicts are very hard on themselves. I am a total perfectionist. For me to come to a place where I allow myself to gain 7 pounds to achieve this goal of quitting smoking was a lesson. I taught myself how to accept myself through that. I worked out hard everyday, I cried several times a day. I freaked out on my poor boyfriend often. It was a day at a time. My whole life has centered around my sobriety to nicotine this past six weeks.
I have barely spoken to friends. Telephone and cigarettes are like peanut butter and jelly. I have stayed away from phone calls to make my life easier during this quit. I text more.
I try everyday to do my gratitude list when I am at my wits end . I tell myself everything positive that had happened during my quit. I am grateful for not smelling like an ashtray. Disgusting! I am grateful my circulation is better I used to be cold and uncomfortable. I have to accept that I have to do other things to get the dopamine I got from smoking that aids in my natural depression.
In closing, whyquit.com has a Facebook support group at:
Statistics show addiction is overcome with support and community. This support group has been helpful in my quit, when I have been struggling and having hard days with the quit to go online where everyone is going through this process of quitting or has gone through it.
Have you quit smoking? Comment on what worked for you.
Yep, when you meet me for the first time, that is what I am going to ask you, “what is your sign?” Then as you get to know me or your a friend of mine, you will know this is how I understand humans. This is my language ,some call it my gift. I have been studying astrology for about 7 years.
Last week I was given an amazing opportunity to go to the town of Morrison and lead a team building lunch based on everyone’s zodiac chart, that worked in the office. I love skeptics. As I told them, many who work in astrology are not taken seriously because they change their names to star beam and quit shaving their armpits. That has not been my experience with astrology. It has given me great understanding about people and their temperaments and dispositions in life. As a hairdresser of 24 years I have worked with everyone. What I started understanding over the years is that, there is a theme in which people live their lives consciously or unconsciously. I like to know or relate to someone so I can understand them and the way they communicate with me. That is the power of understanding astrology.
My first skeptic entered the room for lunch in Morrison, declaring she was there for the free pizza. She asked me ,”what I could tell her that would make her believe anything I was about to say? “I asked her, what her sign was? She answered,”Leo.” I asked her if she suffered from headaches? She answered, ” yes, horrible headaches.” I explained to her that the Sun was the ruling planet of Leo. The energy of the Sun can be so intense for these lions that they have to retreat to the dark due to their ruling planet ,the Sun or they will be plagued by headaches. She proceeded to get her pizza and find a seat because I just explained something to her, her own doctors don’t understand. It gave her value, so she listened. My mom is a Leo and has suffered from migraines her entire life. That is the power of astrology, knowing ourselves and others and understanding the differences. Each sign is ruled by a different planet, symbol, element, chakra and body part affected by these. We have several signs and planets ruling us within our charts but most people know only their sun sign. That is why we are so different even in the same sun sign. Most of the time we can relate to the element in the same sign.
I had everyone at the office in Morrison pull their charts on their phones, so they could read further on their own time if they chose about their charts and how each planet affected them. We also used the information during the meeting to find out the strengths of each person in the workplace. I have to tell you how happy I was to find out earth elements are running that town and government . We did not discuss the election at this meeting or politics because this was team building. I have written about my concerns with our elected president who by the way has no earth in his charts and explains why he is so flippant and fiery. He is Gemini sun (air), Leo rising (fire), Sagittarius moon (fire). That chart screams reality t.v. Show. It’s fine he doesn’t have it in his charts but he needs to put Earth elements around him. He will naturally never be stable or practical. Earth elements are the practical people of the zodiac; stable, salt of the earth, practical. These are people you want running government. Those Earth elements are Virgo, Capricorn, Taurus. Even if these are not your sun sign they can be dominant somewhere else in your chart. Which was the case in this situation in Morrison. It was awesome as we talked about each sign, for them to point at each other and say,” that is totally you.”
I was given a gift certificate to use at any restaurant from the town of Morrison. It came to me in the mail,in a card from everyone who attended the meeting and signed with newfound zeal for this information. That is what it is. Information you can use to transform your own understanding about yourself and those around you. So glad they all got so much from it!
We all have our charts. We can learn about ourselves. We are going to do what we do naturally,unless we on purpose put people in our lives who help give us elements we don’t have in our charts. Some of us interestingly do it without knowledge or seek that missing element or elements. Statistically we marry within our sun elements. Air (Aries,Gemini,Libra), Fire ( Leo,Aries,Sagittarius),Earth (Taurus,Virgo,Capricorn),Water( Pisces, Scorpio,Cancer). For me, I don’t have Earth elements in my chart. I have been aware of this for some time and need that balance. I have never dated or married in my Air element as a Gemini. My best friend, my fiancé, my daughter are all earth elements. When I am loosing my mind, I call them or talk to them. They present fact and stability to my emotions in practical ways. If we know we are going to react a certain way we can learn what to do to stop and think before we do it. Typically,Waters feel before thought, Fires react before thought, Earth is critical before thought, Air communicates before thought. Finding out about charts is hugely fascinating to me but also expains the how and why of people. I think it brings great value to the workplace to know your starters, your maintainers and your changers in the personalities you have working for you. It brought me no greater pleasure than to see this working in local government and their willingness to be open to it.
I write this to the sounds of a nearby train, in the light of the super moon, I wish I could enjoy more at 3:30 a.m. I awoke from what feels like the millionth nightmare I have had since Trump/Pen…