For this post I want you to think of “the story” as history and the “the issue” as the present.
We all have a friend “literally in our heads(minds/brains)” named Amygdala or Amy… she’s between 1 and 7 years old. This is the friend that lives in our brains that tells us to FIGHT because she keeps a count of all our life’s trauma… all of it from childhood to adulthood. She thinks she is protecting us by telling us to fight, but the truth is she is torturing us… I know she’s torturing the hell out of me. She is the reason why when we are around certain folks or in certain situations we are on high alert… but as for me, she keeps me on high alert 24/7/365.25😩😭.
I will protect my feelings and my heart at all costs… I am always on the defensive end of every situation… and if I am honest, I am like this no matter the situation… good or bad… even with God🤦🏾♀️… and you know what… IT IS SO TIRESOME! You see, I use my hurt as my protection… I remember everything someone did to me that caused me any form of hurt to protect myself from ever getting hurt again. YES, I know how to let go and forgive but what I struggle with is how to stop protecting my feelings and allow myself to become vulnerable enough to accept that getting hurt in any form is inevitable.
As someone that battles depression, stress, and anxiety daily, I always carry a lot of protection around with me. You see, when I am hurt in any form, I take it as a direct attack on my character… I immediately begin to think that something is wrong with me as to why they hurt me. That is the reason for my “protection”. This “protection” causes me to isolate myself and to always, always be on high alert… my guard is always up, and my antennas are always up too. Having to remember everything someone did to me to hurt me in any way is so taxing on my mental health… like, when I am talking to someone or around someone, I am always listening and looking for signs that may lead to them hurting me… SO VERY TIRING I TELL YOU 😩… having to listen to what’s happening now, reply, and replay hurt in my mind to stay on high alert so that I can protect myself from getting hurt again… SO VERY TIRING.
I realized that I was using my hurt to protect myself during my recent counseling session. We were discussing my recent job promotion when I started discussing my concerns about working under the combined leadership team. One person that is on the leadership team I have a “story” that created a very stressful WORKship between us. During that session I realized that just the thought of working with that person was making me anxious… my hands were sweating, and my breathing rate increased just talking about it… my thoughts were getting clouded, and I began to stutter. After a quick breathing exercise, my counselor introduced the idea of “the story” and “the issue” to me. She explained to me how I bring the entire “story” (the history) to every situation instead of just focusing on “the issue” (what is happening now). Her explanation helped me to realize that even in a regular conversation with that person my anxiety begins to rise, I become nervous and stressed because I am always looking for signs that may lead to that person hurting my feelings or adding stress to my life… Crazy right?… I know, I know🤦🏾♀️… because thinking like that consistently I am adding stress to my own life and unnecessary wrinkles to my face and we cannot have that!
This school year I am going to focus on the mantra, “When you know better, you do better”, now that I understand how much “the story” effects my mental health I am going to work on focusing solely on “the issue”. Allowing myself to be vulnerable in any form is challenging to me but I am welcoming this challenge with open arms. I refuse to torture myself this school year by taking every “story” I have with each individual person that I work with into every situation.
- only focus on the present… focusing on the present will alleviate a lot of work stress and anxiety… and wrinkles too.
I begin work this Monday, August 9th, 2021… whisper a prayer for me, wish me luck, and I will be updating you all in quarterly!
This piece of paper means so much to me… my counselor drew this pic of the brain on my first visit explaining what each emotional part of my brain was for and when each part experiences trauma what happens to them… my #amygdala has been through so much but I am taking care of her now… she’s in a much better state than she’s ever been in but there is still a long way to go… and I am ready because she needs healing.
DID YOU KNOW:
Did you know that every year has a day that is 25% longer than other days? That is how we get an extra day during leap year! For example, the years 2021, 2022, 2023 will have 365.25 days, which means that 2024 will have an extra day… February 29th… because that year will also have a day that is 25% longer than other days in the year.(25%x4=1 which in this case means 1 whole day). But, the day that is longer is not in February… I think it is in December… you can fact check me and let me know.