I was triggered the other night. Random guy on the street, saw me taking some Ottawa storm photos (not of him), and mumbled as he walked by that if I post that on social media he’d stab me. Krista was with me but she didn’t hear him say it.

I had to unpack this because I knew if I didn’t I would have been up all night replaying every damn detail over and over and burying that emotional shit pile under a mountain of situations ending with me just slaughtering the poor guy. Not that I’m wired to ever do that, it’s just how my brain works when it goes into overdrive. It pumps me so full of adrenaline it can take hours to come down and it feels so familiar I almost look forward to it.

This trigger happened, oddly enough, while I’m in the middle of writing about triggers and that pushed me into doing something I don’t recall ever doing before. I talked about it.

Krista knew I was upset and I honestly just wanted to swallow this down until later, when I’d be alone. It seems like a light switch moment, but I suddenly just didn’t want to do that later. I wanted to let this out now and talk about it. I wanted to have peace later.

This year I’m learning to love myself and a big part of doing that is talking. You have to be willing to talk and share, especially with the people who love you.

It’s important to know your triggers and why they exist. Past trauma, stress, anxiety, or other mental health conditions can lead to a present situation turning into a bad one due to it being painted through the lens of your past experiences. I know that guy wasn’t much of a threat, I was easily twice his size, so my react had a little to do with him and a lot to do with me.

Why did I get so upset? Was I triggered or did I overreact? I have a lot to think about with this, but I’m glad I was able to talk about it. As soon as it was out of my mouth I calmed down.

The old me would have been up all night.