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 Post subject: Identifying your triggers
PostPosted: Sat Jul 17, 2010 3:59 pm 
power lies within

Joined: Sat Jul 21, 2007 12:02 am
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[NB from Spender: I have edited the original post by Recovery Warrier to include this short blog on Triggers, as I think the two work nicely together in terms of providing positive ways of identifying and defusing your triggers, so take another read, and then even if you have done it before, take another shot at Recovery Warrior's exercise, either with the same or with new triggers.]

Quote:
Tips on Handling Triggers

Triggers are tricky to navigate and overcome. How we react to them decides whether we will become stronger or allow them to tear us down. Don’t let ED have control anymore.

Triggers are everywhere. Whether you are going to school or watching television, daily life presents challenges to recovery, and they are often unavoidable. Someone suffering from an eating disorder might even thrive on triggers. But in the midst of recovering and trying to stay strong, having triggers everywhere becomes an obstacle, and one that can be upsetting to say the least.

Learning to look at life from a new perspective can be unimaginably difficult. One of the first things I learned in recovery was that 99% of everything we see in the media is airbrushed, photoshopped, or edited in some way shape or form. Dove brought awareness to this trend in their True Beauty Campaign – you can view their Dove Evolution video here.

Sometimes even more than the media, the people around you can be a source of triggers. Someone might say something regarding your weight, eating habits, or achievements – things that feel like they can make or break the recovery process. It’s crucial to learn to deal with comments and criticisms. I started to carry around a notebook (you could also use a note app. on your phone).

When a trigger occurs, I write down what happened and how it has affected me. Normally after I have it down on paper, the trigger doesn’t stick in my head or bother me as much.

I’ve also used pre-written reminders as a helpful tool. When something triggers you and ED fills your head with lies, be prepared with a list of truths you can tell yourself. If ED tells you “You’re not sick enough.” You can refer to something you’ve written: “Yes I am, I’ve struggled for __ years and lost __ amount of weight. I’ve lost relationships and my life has been a living hell because of you.”

Even with great tools against triggers, I know that recovery can seem impossible – especially with the many “thinspo” sites out there, along with pro-anorexia/bulimia content.

If we surround ourselves with negative images and words, we are setting ourselves up for failure. We become what we surround ourselves with.

So, delete those sites from your life and start or follow a pro-recovery site. Find a good group of recovery buddies and help encourage each other through these times.

Triggers are tricky to navigate and overcome. How we react to them decides whether we will become stronger or allow them to tear us down. Don’t let ED have control anymore. You are in control and you control how things affect you.

Stay strong.

_______________
About the Author:

Hi, I’m Emily Ann. I’m currently in recovery for an eating disorder, self-harm, depression, and anxiety. Life has had its share of ups and downs, but recovery has been the best decision of my life. I love yoga, writing, art, and photography. All I want to do is inspire and overcome.
Check out Emily’s blog: [url]openyoureyestolight.blogspot.com[/url]Follow Emily on Twitter: @emilyannsch

Libero Network


Recovery Warrior wrote:
This is something that I've recently done on a home journal. I've found it incredibly helpfull in identifying my own triggers. It doesn't have to be triggers only to your eating disorder, but to all unhealthy behaviors. I've started writing out my triggers, writing out how they make me feel, and what I can do to change my reaction to said triggers.


What are your triggers?


How do they make you feel?


What can you do to change your reaction to your triggers?

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 09, 2010 7:19 pm 
admin goddess from hell
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After participating in the discussion about trigger warnings, I was thinking that a thread like this either had, or should be started. As I said in that discussion, it is our responsibility to deal with our triggers and to have strategies to defuse them. So, how about I be the first to respond to this thread?

What are my triggers?

1) Going to the ED Unit every week and seeing all the super skinny girls and women there. Going on an NG tube outpatient while they are clearly "sick" enough to be IP.

2) Reading about someone else's meal "successes" when they are peppered with items like low fat yogurt (or other products), egg white omelettes, bagel "thins", things that seem designed to be low calorie. I feel like they could just say they had yogurt, or an omelette, or a sandwich or something, without specifying it any further.

How do they make me feel?

1) I feel like a mammoth when I go to the ED Unit and even worse when I am walking to the cafeteria with my tube feed pole and feeling like all the people staring at me are wondering why this big fat women needs to be on a feeding tube.

2) It makes me feel like it is reinforcing the ED mentality that low calorie or low fat is better, and that a healthy diet incorporates those things, when I keep being told that a healthy diet incorporates all foods in moderation.

What can I do to change my reaction to my triggers?

1) Increasingly I am trying not to look at the other women IP. When I do, I am letting the thoughts wash over me and just observing that that is how they make me feel, but that I am there for me and no other reason. When people stare at me in the hospital I am trying to recognise that it could be for a variety of reasons, and that my team would not have me on a tube feed if I was not in need of it. Also, realistically, how many healthy people recognise that an NG tube is actually for transmitting nutritionally and calorically dense liquids? They probably just see it as another set of tubes in a hospital full of people with tubes all over the place.

2) Basically, I just need to let this go. Your recovery is not my recovery, and the world will be full of low fat, low calorie products and meals, and I am the one who has to become inured to it. We're all doing what we can.

_________________
Whispered words of wisdom,
Let it be.

~~ John Lennon


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 09, 2010 7:45 pm 
What are your triggers?
my mom! lol, god if she says one more thing about how much I should weigh....ugh

school

mirrors/reflective surfaces

a friend whose always saying, we have GOT to go to the gym



How do they make you feel?
like poo! Guilty, stupid, like hiding until I lose a shit ton of weight


What can you do to change your reaction to your triggers?

Well with my friend I've just been saying that I think she's to hard on her self.
My mom....idk I guess not take it so personally?
School, just because i'm doing poorly in it right now doesn't mean I'm stupid
mirrors--haha don't look! ;p


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2010 7:06 am 
kismetjeska
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Joined: Thu Jul 08, 2010 6:03 pm
Posts: 3364
Location: England
What are your triggers?

Stupid, but... people who are/were sicker than me. At lower BMIs, that eat less, on feeding tubes or weight gain shakes... I don't know why.

Realising that I haven't been sick for very long.

My eating disordered friend/s.

How do they make you feel?
Gahhh! Like I'm not ill at all, and I should be a lot iller.

I can't have had a problem, because it's only been half a year...

Like it's okay, because they're not getting specialised help and they're clearly as bad/worse than me, so not eating can't be that bad...

What can you do to change your reaction to your triggers?

Their life is not my life. I should tell myself this. I WAS ill, I was admitted to a hospital- besides, being healthy is not something to be ashamed of.

It was still a problem- it didn't matter that I didn't have it for very long. I know I would have kept going with it if left alone.

I KNOW it's not okay, I worry a lot about them and I know it's not okay for them to not get help... so it should be okay for me to get help, surely.

:heart:


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2010 10:56 am 
orange is a state of mind

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*Spender - i just want to apologize if my mention of bagel thins bothers you. i prefer bagel things to real bagels. i was never a big bagel fan until i found bagel thins and they are very good to me. it's hard to explain but regular bagels are just too much for me. i don't know why. i've just never been a big fan. just wanted you to know i don't choose them for the 'lower cal' reason. i just prefer them and it's another way for me to get in grains (as i choose whole wheat instead of white).

What are your triggers?
-People who are/were sicker than me. (Been to IP/IOP, tube fed, hospitalized due to low weight, in need of weight gain drinks..etc)
-numbers on my own scale. i have a 'scary weight' that terrifies me and haunts my dreams.
-my BDD when it kicks in and i see things a lot different than they really are and feel like i've grown 10 sizes in 10 mins

How do they make you feel?
-as though I'm not nor never have been sick enough. Like I'm just a 'wanarexic' or that i'm yet again not good enough at something.

- it fills me with terror to see that number or anything close to it. i get a lot of anxiety about it and cry and get very angry with myself.

-terrified...

What can I do to change my reaction to my triggers?
- i need to realize that my disorder/recovery is different from everyone else's and it doesn't make mine any less sever or real than someone elses. I need to stop comparing myself to others.

-well.. i need to stop weighing or figure out why this number means so much to me and get a grasp on it.

-this one.. i don't really know. BDD is something i'm still struggling with a lot. i'd take suggestions here.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2010 10:58 am 
Fame I must say I've been wondering for a while what a bagel thin is as you always say it's a bagel thin.. why don't you just say you ate a bagel? Is the fact it's a "thin" one important?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2010 11:03 am 
orange is a state of mind

Joined: Thu Jul 09, 2009 12:55 pm
Posts: 2530
responding to you via pm k?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2010 4:08 pm 
orange goddess
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Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2010 7:50 pm
Posts: 1697
Location: wonderland with all the animals and flowers
What are your triggers?
Shopping
mirrors seeing my own reflection and how I look
fashion magazines
clothes that my mom buys me that are too small
people policing my food intake
people telling me I can't do things

How do they make you feel?
it makes me feel incapable. It makes me fee angry. It makes me feel to big to fit in society with anyone, it makes me feel worthless.


What can you do to change your reaction to your triggers?
I can make affirmation cards to help me when I'm triggered instead of reacting negatively. or I can do art or something to work towards healing process.

_________________
Recovery is about progress not perfection
I'm thankful for a heart that beats air in my lungs to breathe legs to walk love in my heart
1 2 3 my ED is after me 4 5 6, My ED is playing tricks on me 7 8 9 I've made a good decision my ED has been defeated..


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 6:17 pm 
admin goddess from hell
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I'm bumping this thread up again because I am seeing different people post throughout the site about things that are triggering them and expressing their confusion and frustration. I think triggers are things we need to learn to manage, and management is going to require the development of strategies specific to each trigger. So I'm encouraging everyone to come here and do the thinking and strategising about things that trigger you, and try them out. If your strategy doesn't work, it may either need more practice or some refinement. But don't be a victim of your triggers; grab on to them, name them, and defuse them.

I wanted to add another trigger for me that come up week after week. Before I go to the ED ward for outpatient tube feeding, I have to get bloodwork done. Every week, no matter what behaviours I have engaged in or what my eating habits have been like, my results are almost universally normal. This is stupid, but a part of me feels invalidated because friends of mine who weigh more than I do have abnormal labs all the time, and I almost feel jealous because they have some tangible evidence of their EDs. This is twisted thinking, and I need to work my way out of this trigger as it connects to so many other triggers and ED behaviours.

It reinforces my suspicion that I AM different, that I CAN continue to lose weight and nothing will ever happen to me, and that I am NOT really sick, because other people do the same things and their labs are always impaired.
I feel like a big, fat fraud with a tube coming out of my nose, and while I have been asking for another admission to help me gain some weight and some strength, I am being told that I am "too stable".

I need to remind myself that (1) the labs are not reliable indicators of the state of my health, and that some people only show impaired labs when they are on the verge of death, (2) that it is a GOOD thing that so far, despite the abuse I expose myself to, my labs ARE usually normal, (3) that it is not about the labs, but the behaviours, and the behaviours I engage in are eating disordered and I deserve help in fighting back, and (4) that I would not be doing outpatient tube feeds twice a week if I was healthy.

If you're still reading, I just want to encourage you again to use this section instead of being a victim. Be a victor: disempower your triggers.

_________________
Whispered words of wisdom,
Let it be.

~~ John Lennon


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 6:31 pm 
power lies within
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:clap:

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“If I am not for me, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, what am I? If not now, when?”
- Rabbi Hillel


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 31, 2010 1:01 am 
exploring my potential!

Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2010 1:20 am
Posts: 609
Location: USA
Triggers:
Health/Fitness magazines and corresponding e-mail newsletters.
Clothing stores and catalogs.
Jeans-- I'm terrified to try them on.
Thin people, and people whose bodies are perfectly toned.
Specific foods-- trail mixes and full-fat dairy products.
The size of my stomach and thighs.
Counting calories and pre-planning meals.


How do they make me feel?
Like a failure.
Like I was happier "before"-- when I was super-skinny.
Like I'd look better if I lost weight again so I could go back to wearing juniors' jeans.
Like I'm eating too much and I should cut back.
Like I don't deserve to be happy and healthy and fit.

What can I do to change my reaction?
Delete my subscriptions to the magazines and newsletters (done).
Do not buy "real" clothes until this stage of recovery is over. Track pants and t-shirts are working fine for now. Jeans can come later.
Remember that clothing sizes are arbitrary and mean nothing.
I am 26 years old--realistically, do I need to be wearing juniors' size 1 or 0? No.
Remember that I am eating what my body needs right now. It is reparing and rebuilding muscle mass. If I want to be lean, fit, and toned, I need to rebuilt the lean mass, and I need to have enough energy to tone it up.
Remember that I have an athletic body type, so big, strong thighs are part of that. My stomach will firm up when the muscle mass is finished building and properly toned.
Remember that I am worthy and derserving of life and of health.

_________________
~*Courtney*~

Not all who wander are lost.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 2:06 pm 
stranger in an orange land

Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2010 1:24 pm
Posts: 5
Location: New York
Triggers:
1. My mom
2. My jeans feeling tight rigth after they come out of the dryer
3. friends who are losing weight quickly (doesnt matter how they are doing it)

How I feel
1. It makes me sad to think that the one lady who loves me the most makes me sick. She constantly reminds me how Im overweight and unhealthy. She has eating disorder ways sometimes and makes comments when I dont eat like her. That just breaks my heart that I cant be the way she wants me to be.
2. Fat even though I know the dryer shrinks them a bit my mind twists it to be that i have magically gained weigth in 60 mins (i feel stupid after re reading this, but its the truth)
3. Like i am not as good they are. I have a friend who had gastric bypass and she is constantly losing weigth, I feel like I should be losing it that quickly even though it makes no logical sense.

How I can change it
1. try to take her comments in stride and let them roll off my back
2. Air dry my jeans so they dont shrink
3. Stop comparing myself to others, especially others who are in different circumstances.



WOW That feels alot better to just admit that those things trigger me


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 4:29 pm 
orange goddess
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Location: Edinburgh, United Kingdom
What are your triggers?
-My partially-recovered-in-denial friend, who eats soo slowly and still has behaviours
-Thin, happy people. Toned/muscular people.
-People who are/were sicker than me
-Adverts for 'diet' food or drink
-My legs, butt and stomach.
-Calorie counting
-My heart-rate increasing
-The thought of returning to a weight I was unhappy at

How do they make you feel:
-Like I failed in not being as disordered as she was. That I failed by recovering more fully than her, in a shorter space of time. That I eat without thinking about it enough
-Like something must've gone wrong for me not to have been naturally skinny
-Like I passed up my chance to be as sick as them
-Like I should eat/drink that, because I 'need' to
-Like I have excess fat - and that I should do something about it
-That I've eaten too much, and need to keep counting to make sure I don't do it again
-Like I've gotten heavy
-Like I don't want to gain weight

What can you do to change your reaction to your triggers?
-I can tell myself that its meaningless to judge yourself by other people, as everyone's different and we all have different issues, food requirements and everything else.
-It's meaningless to hate the fact I didn't get 'as ill as her (or him).' It should be irrelevant; what matters is that do have a problem, and I need to solve it.
-I don't need to eat 'diet' foods, unless it's for the taste (though that's unlikely...). No-one does.
-If I do put on weight, I know that after a while it'll even out more and I'll come to accept it. I can tone, so's I keep my weight and body fat levels up and feel happier with my figure. I can try and radically accept it.
-At the end of the day, it's important that I do put on a little weight in order for my body to be healthy.
-Everyone has a different body shape, and there's little I can do about that. And I do like my body most of the time.
-Fat is not a feeling.

That feels so good to let it out! love this thread.

_________________
"...if you ever hear someone say you are huge
look at the moon, look at the stars, look at the sun
look at the ocean and the desert and the mountain and the sky
say 'I am just a speck of dust inside a giant's eye'."
Frances :heart:


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 8:11 pm 
galactic orange

Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2010 3:09 am
Posts: 918
loneliness I am an extrovert and I don't like being alone. I like being around other people. I guess I could go to a coffee shop when I am feeling lonely or find another social thing to doanxiety
my dad or mom pissing me off Makes me feel like a failure. They hurt my feelings a lot and they never can say anything positive that I ever do..everything is always negative. I guess I could tune them out and walk away and call a friend when shit like this happens.
the scale
seeing somebody sicker than I am---makes me feel that I am inadequate and like a failure...I guess I could reach out to healthy people that can challenge my cognitions.my parents refusal to help me with ed treatment..that my life is going to be ok just as long as I am working. LOL...That is shit..but good one parents. Makes me feel worthless/unimportant/unloved. Stop asking them for help because they are not and keep looking for other resources.intervention sometimes...but sometimes it can be motivating...just not at the end when they say people have relapsed are back to doing their own things. Makes me feel like I am not going to be able to fully recover and that I am doomed for life with this damn eating disorder. Talking to a recovery person would help during this time.food in the house
making food--makes me anxious...try to find other people to eat with.thinking about food..obsessing about it actually...anxiety-provoking..focus on something unrelated to eating disorders...worry about my body image/getting into a certain size pants...anxious/worried...focus on the nice parts of my body..like my eyes.putting on clothes and them not fitting
having people say "you look great".. Or "you have lost weight, wow, you look good" --tells my ED that its working and that I gotta keep going..dont want to fuck it up now..tell myself why I dont want to look like somebody as sick as that..and remind myself why I want to be healthy.Having people say "you look sick..you need to eat...eat a big mac already"...same things as above...but the big mac part pisses the hell out of me...if it wer eonly that easy to just eat a big mac..i would eat and be done with this damn disorder... tune this person out and focus on my needs.depression...lovely depression--makes me feel like hell and worthless..watching golden girls, elf, call a friend, collageno love in my life..nobody showing me any kind of love..makes me feel worthless and unwanted...hug myself.negativity in all forms...makes me feel like shit..focus on the positives of life and things that I am doing well in my life.

Guess are those are the bigs one that stand out right now


Last edited by prettyinpink on Mon Nov 22, 2010 11:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 10:10 pm 
admin goddess from hell
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Listing your triggers is only a start; I worry that just a major dump of al that triggers you is not very helpful or therapeutic at all. However, the thread also asked people to identify how their triggers made them feel, and to identify what you can do to change your reactions to your triggers. I encourage you to come back to this thread and work on those things. You may well find that by doing so, you lessen the impact of some triggers considerably.

_________________
Whispered words of wisdom,
Let it be.

~~ John Lennon


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