In life, we all have things that trigger us. A trigger is something or someone or a situation that causes us to change our thoughts or emotions. Having bipolar I have had to learn about my triggers. Over the years I have had relapses, and major changes in my mood either up or down. As you may imagine knowing what triggers me helps prevent these changes in my mood. When I was first learning about triggers I was very vague. I didn't realize how deep the triggers were embedded in my mind. So in thinking that "family" could trigger me was not enough to prevent it. I had to go deeper. "Family" is very vague and shallow for what I needed to know and understand. I love my family yet every anticipated visit would trigger me right into a mixed manic and depressive state. Too many times I would talk myself out of visiting without knowing the real underlying reason. Don't get me wrong I can make up reasons till the cows come home. It's not healthy for me and my family are left with unanswered questions. 

When my illness was at its worst my family had to take care of me even though they didn't know what to do and when. They tried as hard as they could. I stayed with my dad for a while, my sister too. Once I started to feel better and had a more stable life I would be paralyzed emotionally when I was to visit them.

So, back to triggers. I remember feeling shame around all the help I needed. I felt in debt to my family, like I owed them something. I recall many years back asking my sister if she or my dad felt like I owed them something for all they had done. Her response was "of course not". I don't think it even entered her mind. It was in my mind. I had to let that go and know that I was giving this idea so much power that it didn't deserve.

When working on identifying your triggers you must go deep. Don't accept the first thing that comes to mind. Go deep and keep questioning why, why, why. You need to know why you give these things so much power for you to be able to take your power back. Triggers will always be there, but they don't always have to have power over you.

Metabilization of Medication

Writing compared to P/R