Episode 41: Unwanted Thoughts and Stories Pop into my Head and cause me problems

Becoming aware, separating truth from fiction, and finding coping strategies, all help with the unwanted triggers that pop into our head creating stories that send us spiraling. That doesn’t have to happen. We can change the outcome. 

Episode Transcription:

(This transcript was created using software. Please be advised that it won't be 100% accurate, and it may contain formatting errors.)

We are going to be talking about those crazy thoughts, stories triggers that pop into your head. I'm sure you have them on a regular basis? I know I do. And what can we do about them? How do we manage them? How do we navigate them because they are annoying and they take over, they can take over so much. Where we ended up spiraling into something that isn't even true. It takes us down, it leads us to a place of resentment, bitterness, we are no longer productive in our life.

And we aren't able to show up for ourselves or our family members or other people, when we let these thoughts rule our lives. So have you guys heard that phrase or that quote that says, "I can't control the thoughts that pop into my head, but I can change my focus and whether I choose to believe them or not." That's really what we're going to be talking about. So I don't have a lot of triggers that much anymore. But every once in a while I will, I will have some sort of trauma response from something that had happened way back or something current that feels like something that happened a long time ago.

And it triggers a story or a thought or something that pops into my head. And it is my job with healing, to notice that that's what's happening, to be able to catch myself so that I can actually do my tools do what I need to do so that it doesn't take me down. So recently, I had one of these, and it was kind of something that used to happen to me all the time. And I didn't recognize it until I processed through what I should do about it. So I went to the gym, and I was with my husband and we walked in, we went to the locker room we came out we're just going to do our thing, like we always do just our own normal thing.

And I kind of walked around the gym out and this gym was a new gym. I've never been to it, I was visiting this gym. And for me with going through betrayal trauma, going to a new gym is one of the biggest, hardest things that I have to do. I remember shortly after my first husband left. So back in 2015. And my gym membership that I had had for years was ending, my counselor challenged me to search out and look for a new gym. And I'm like, well, why would I have to do that I'm comfortable at mine.

He said exactly. I want you to do something different because you can I want you to live your life, I want you to be able to go places and do things. And if you can't, let's figure that out. So I ended up finding a new gym. Anyway, at this time when I went to this new gym that I was visiting. I was walking around trying to get a feel of where everything was. And all of a sudden, my body went on high alert. Do you know why? Because I saw somebody that resembled my ex husband's addiction. And all of a sudden my body said there's a threat.

What do we need to do? And I started scanning the room to find where all the threats were. Okay, there's one right there. There's one right there. There's one right there. And I was like, Okay, I know where they are. All right, I got on the treadmill. And I noticed that I could not focus I couldn't function. I'm sitting there freaking out thinking, This is terrible. I can't even be at the gym. Again. This has not happened in a while like I've been able to go to the gym, I've been able to go to the mall, I've been able to do all the things that I had not been able to do in the past. And here. I had to keep telling myself, I'm safe. Nothing's wrong, everything's fine. I don't need to worry about anything.

Yet my body did not respond that way. So as I'm on the treadmill, I can see and feel how the stories are just coming at me and popping right in my head. And I'm having to kind of deflect almost like I have this shield and deflect them out of my mind. Because I don't want to entertain those thoughts. I could feel my body saying let's just go with all the stories. Let's just do it.

Let's just do it and take us down and spiral in it and let's live here for a minute because there's one part of me when that pain comes up, I will I want to, I want to because what had happened to me was so horrific that I can't even believe it. And I just sometimes want to be able to shout it and say, don't forget that this happened to me. I am so angry that this happened to me, how is this possible? Right? I don't want to forget it on that one hand.

But in my healthy brain, I want to move forward, I want to be free, I want to heal, I want to be able to go to the gym, I want to live my life, because that's where I feel good. And that's where I'm productive. And that's what makes sense. Because that's what reality is, I can live my life and I can go to the gym. So as I'm on the treadmill, this is what happened. I start feeling like all of these things popping into my head. And I'm having to say, no, we're not going to do that. We're not going to go there. So what I decided to do was I just sat there and tapped on the treadmill, you know, tapping for me, I take my hand and I tap right at the underneath part of my neck, right at my chest.

And I tap while I say something or while I think something. So in this case, I was tapping and saying things like, I'm safe. I'm okay. All as well. There is no trauma here right now. Nothing is actually happening. My body is strong and powerful. My body is okay. I'm okay. I don't need to look like anybody else. It's okay that I don't look like anybody else. It's okay, that I'm not super fit. It's okay, that I've gained some weight over COVID. It's okay, that I'm just now starting back to the gym. All of It's okay, I'm okay. My body is working great. Look at how great my body is working. Wow, look at us on the treadmill we are doing so well.

There is nothing to fear here. It worked. I tapped it out. I was almost in tears. When I tap it sometimes brings emotion. And my eyes kind of welled with tears. But then I tapped through it. And then I was fine. Only for those voices and those stories to try to pop back in my head. Again, I did it a couple different times I tapped it out a couple different times. It left me stressed. It left me feeling like I couldn't work out anymore. And so I left the gym, I ended up going on a drive after that to think through what I needed to do.

Because I don't want those things taking me down. And I don't want to live in fear. And I don't want to own anybody's anything, I just want to own my own healing, and strive to do the best I can. So as I was pondering on this drive, I was thinking about how good it was that I actually noticed that those stories were in my head, how I was very aware very quickly what was happening and what I was doing, what my body was doing, oh, your body thinks there's a threat. So it's automatically going in that mode of let's check out the area and see if we're gonna be alive or not.

Let's see if we're gonna make it or not. So my body was striving to do something good for me, obviously, it's not something that I want it to do now, I don't need it to do it now. And so I had to acknowledge that my body went into a place of fear. So why was my body in fear? I had to ponder that I think about that I had to bring up what is hindering me right now that would cause me to feel unsafe or fearful. So I had to bring up things in myself that I was unsure about. Okay, well, I am feeling unsure right now in my body a little bit because I have not been going to the gym like I normally have. And I have eaten a lot of treats over COVID I enjoy that.

I enjoy the holidays. But of course I want to be healthy. So that's why I was kind of feeling unsafe. So some of it was my own insecurities. The other thing I noticed was my body, my mind, my heart, my soul. I just despise addiction, not the people because I love the people in my life who have struggled with addiction. I want them to heal, I want them to get help I want them to recover. But addiction itself is a destroyer. I hate it so much. It destroyed some loved ones and it destroyed me in pieces, certain pieces of me felt destroyed. And I had to do so much work to gain myself back. That makes me angry sometimes. It is hard work. In here. It's been years and every once in a while I'll have to deal with something like this.

At the same time. super grateful. I love watching the way my body and my mind work now. My tools, all the healing I've done did not allow me to spin through the stories. It didn't want me to sit in those things. spiral down, it kept saying, No, let's not do that. We don't need to do that. Let's navigate this, let's call it out what it is, let's stay present. And let's stay aware what a gift. That's why healing brought me. It brought that to me in the moment when it was happening versus an hour later, two hours later, three hours later. It's not that it didn't make me sad for a little bit. And my time at the gym was difficult. But I made it through.

And after my drive, it didn't even take that long on my drive. And I was able to reason with myself, see what it is put it back where it goes, Okay, this goes over here where addiction goes, this goes over here, where betrayal goes, do I need some help with betrayal again? I think I'm okay, but maybe I'll keep looking at it. This is where I'm at right now. I'm happy with who I am. I'm happy with the choices I've made in my life. I'm grateful for the gifts and the knowledge I've learned from going through these hard things. So I'm not sad about that.

I just noticed that it just doesn't always just go away. And this is now a part of me. At the same time, I know how to do it. That's what healing brought. So right now, it's the holiday time, it's almost Christmas. There's a lot of stress, a lot of anxiety. I have a few people that I know who have chosen divorce just within these last few weeks. It was time. They couldn't go on anymore. The lies, manipulation, deceit, the narcissism. All of that emotional abuse finally came to that point where it's like they said no more. I'm not doing this anymore.

They did not wait. I'm so proud of them for their strength for leaving when they knew it was time. Some of us are in a relationship. That is hard. And we're right in the middle of it. And we're hoping that our spouse chooses recovery or we are hoping that our children come back to us or we are hoping that our family members who struggle with addiction that live with us or don't live with us find some peace. We want goodness, yet we have all this chaos around us at the same time. And it's hard and so full of anxiety. So what do we do?

What do we do during these last couple weeks before Christmas, when we are stressed to the max and our anxiety is through the roof. And we have to go places and we still have things to buy and things to do. And we are not in a good place. And our relationship is not in a good place. We feel alone. What are we supposed to do? Look up tapping. I think I've mentioned that before, but look it up. So you can see how to do it, practicing some of the affirmations to yourself while you tap and see if that will help you get through it. The other thing is kind of some of the things we talked about last week about noticing what's also good.

Acknowledging the stuff that's not good. We don't want to just dismiss that. But noticing the things that are good. When we notice the things that are good, we kind of feel a little bit more gratitude. And that all that does is it helps us to make it through the hard things. And we want to make it through the other day one of my clients told me about this book that she was reading called Born This Happy Morning It's by John Bytheway, it's a Christmas book, and I will disclose to you that it is a religious book specific to my religion.

But in it we he was just talking about Christmas. And he's talking about the three levels of Christmas, which is just amazing to me. He's talking about level one, which is the worldly version, the Santa Claus, the reindeer, the gifts, the fun, the lights, all of that good stuff. And there's nothing wrong with it. He talks about how great that is. And that is just the most amazing thing. We love that. I love that as a kid right? I just looked forward to all of it. He then goes on to talk about level two, which is the manger scene.

Everything we talk about everything we sing about the the baby and the Wiseman and the shepherds and the star and all those things that bring this spirit to our Christmas season. That's the stuff that helps us feel all that goodness, right. We want to be giving we want to buy people presents and we want to spend time together. Not just because it's the presence part, but because what feels the world and the air, the energy of the air because of this baby. We're celebrating this baby. It's amazing. It's all this good stuff. He then goes on to talk about level three, which is our grown up Jesus Christ. The thing is, is that Jesus is a baby, obviously is amazing.

He came into the world and how wonderful is that? As he grew up, he taught us things. He shared things with us. He spoke truth. He had boundaries. He gave us so much rich goodness. A lot of people didn't like him because he spoke truth. A lot of people didn't like the boundaries that he said, hard things happen to him. And then, of course, he died for us, celebrating the fact that that little baby in the manger grew up, to teach us and show us how to be in our life, how to make it through the hardest things. Can you imagine him carrying that cross to the Hill, he carried it himself. I look at all of that. And I sometimes think about the things that we're going through.

Our stuff that we're going through is not easy, it is so hard, we are carrying our own crosses. At times, we are bearing these burdens that are so heavy, we are mocked by other people, when we make hard decisions based on the addicts in our lives, or our children or our parents, when we have unhealthy relationships, and we set boundarys other people around us mockus, they think we're wrong. We have God to pray to, and we have Jesus Christ to look to, we can look at what he did during those times. what's so cool about Christmas is the entire thing, level one, two, and three, bring such a gift during this time.

And even if we are carrying our burdens during this moment, during these weeks, and the burden is heavy, and we're not sure how we're going to make it through or how to get out of it, or what we're supposed to do with our actual reality are the stories in our head, we can know that somebody has already done this, we can know that Jesus Christ has walked our road has done this knows what we're going through and can help us when you're sitting there trying to navigate these next couple of weeks, and figure out what to do.

Give yourself the space and time to pause. When the stories pop in your head. When the verbiage and the negative diet dialogue and other people in your life. Try to tell you you're something different gesturing member really who you are. Even if you don't know if you believe it quite yet, even if you don't feel like you're valuable or worth it. Just try to pretend even just imagine what if I was worth it? What if I was valuable? What if I deserved goodness and light and love? What if what I'm in is abusive? What should I do then, as you tap out things like this talking to yourself about your value and your worth, and that you're strong and capable and good enough the way you are. You'll feel it. There's a strength that wells up in your insides.

When you tap something like that out. When you say these affirmations to yourself, they're good for you, you might not notice those stories that spin in your head right away. If you haven't had a lot of practice with it. If you haven't learned the tools of what to do with that, or notice how to stay present and actually decide what kind of situation you're actually in in the moment. You may not catch until later. That's okay.

When you finally realize, oh, my goodness, I was making up all these stories, or Wow, those were some crazy thoughts that were popping into my head. As soon as you notice, just so Oh, okay. I'm aware, I just became aware. What that does is it'll take you out of thinking about the past or the future or spinning and things that aren't true. And it will bring you back to the present so you can actually deal with what your reality is.

Maybe the stories that are popping in your head are actually true, and are what are happening, then it'll be your job to figure out boundaries and how to make decisions. If they're not, you could say Oh, good, okay, those were just stories. Those were just negative things popping in my head. I need to take care of me, what do you need to do to take care of you. If you are in some sort of trauma right now, with these last couple weeks of Christmas, or you are stressed or have a lot of anxiety with what is to come. It's important to take extra time for self care if you can.

And self care can be something like tapping, it can be going on a walk or on the drive. It can be sitting in the bath it can be going getting your nails done, it can be any of those things. It can also be journaling out your thoughts, meditating, yoga, prayer, exercise, anything that feels like you're doing something for you that will benefit you. That will give you some sort of uplift or reprieve. Make sure you take time to give yourself reprieves during these next couple of weeks, because what will happen is, when you give yourself a reprieve, or when you talk yourself out of going through the stories that aren't true, you will be able to show up for yourself.

You will be able to get the things done that you need to you will be able to have a smiling face on for your children. You'll be able to keep resentments and bitterness away from your spouse or parents or other family members because You'll be able to keep it in check of what is actually happening. If you have a stressful life right now, this doesn't mean that Christmas time or Christmas Day won't still be filled with some of that stress, it might.

But what I'm wanting you to do is create some balance with it, some pieces of goodness where you can go, okay, that did not turn out as bad as I thought it was going to, I actually created some really good things for myself, that I could feel good about, that I could be grateful for. For, that I could be feeling a lot of peace about, your mind is going to want to win the piece inside of you the fearful piece, the one that says we need to notice all of our threats, that piece of you is going to want to make up the stories, it's going to want you to stay in that place.

Because it thinks that it's protecting you. That person creates walls, it creates distance, it creates a negative energy and bad feelings. There's a separation in that person in you and other people around you, when you let that person win. There's a way to notice what's happening. Notice that your body's body is seeing the threats, discerning if it's true, or isn't, and then even if it is true, learning what to do with that reality so that you can still function so that you don't still spin off and spiral in the what ifs.

That's the idea of healing it's to be able to navigate through and manage and cope in a healthy way when things come up that bother you. There's always going to be things that come up look at I'm years out of doing this, my journey started in 2012. And here it is almost 2021. And I still had an incident like this. Now that doesn't mean that you should feel hopeless that I will never get over this. Really, this is going to traumatize me for the rest of my life. It doesn't on a regular basis, just every once in a while. And it's only because I've had experiences, you can forgive people all you want, I can forgive all the things that happened with me and my ex husband. All the trauma, everything I can forgive it.

But forgetting it is a little different. I can forget some of the harm. And I can even forget the resentments that I had, because of all the work I had to do that part doesn't really even harm me or bother me or take place in my mind or heart or in my thoughts at all. But I still know what happened. I don't forget what happened. I just don't let it hold any energy for me. I don't spin it every day. I don't think about it every day. But being human and not actually getting to forget things. Our memory is intact. our body's capability of keeping us safe and protected, is going to keep going. And sometimes it's on high alert.

And just because for me, it happened to be a new gym, and I have anxiety around certain things like that. Now, that was one of those things that I got, being the spouse of an addict going through betrayal trauma, I have that now. I can go to other gyms but I almost have to do some pre work first, to get myself ready to go there. Oh, we're gonna go no gym, these are the possibilities. These are the tools I have. And that I can go same with the mall or the swimming pool or any of those things, I can do all those things. Now, you've heard me say that before. But sometimes it does take a little pre emptive work if I've never been there before, because I don't know what to expect.

And that's just one of those not so great gifts that I got from betrayal trauma. But the good gift is I learned how to cope and I learned how to heal and I learned how to navigate. If I wouldn't have done the work, I wouldn't have learned those things. I don't want to spiral anymore. I don't want to have something take me down to where I'm just a disaster and I'm in my bed for days. I want to be able to have something happen. Use my tools, cope with it, manage it, take some time to ponder and meditate, figure out what I need to do. And then be able to get through it and move on. That's what I want for you.

I want you also to be able to cope and navigate and move on. I want you to be able to figure out how to get through the things that you're experiencing. If you need help. Even in this time, even if you just need an hour session to talk about coping with what's coming up for Christmas. I have times available this week. I would love to work with you even for an hour so we can kind of come up with just some some strategy or you can talk things through and we can give you a little bit of a guide so that you can have peace during Christmas so that you can have a little bit of happiness and joy so that you can feel a little bit of a sense of relief like okay, I think I'm going to enjoy this this year.

This is going to be okay even though there's still stressful situations even though Maybe your situation hasn't changed, you can still create some positive things that are going to happen. I would love to help you do that. So if you need me, please go to the website, RoxanneKennedyGranata.com. Go to the mentorship page and book a session, and then I'll get right back with you and we will get that scheduled and I will fit you in this week so that you can be ready for Christmas. Enjoy your season enjoy everything that it has to offer and all the peace that Christ has given us because he came and I'll see you next time.