What are your fertility triggers?
Triggers – we all have them… things that throw us when we least expect it.
Maybe It’s may a friend announcing a pregnancy announcement on socials?
It could be a new shop opening locally … crap! It’s a baby shop. Even more crap you’ll need to walk past it regularly!
Is it another birthday to remind you of both your age and the fact you still don’t have a baby?
You see, triggers can strike at literally any time and it could be absolutely anything – a smell, an image, even a colour. They catch us off-guard – thus the name trigger.
A trigger takes us right back to the world of pain we’ve worked so hard to be rid of. It might lead you to believe that nothing – even you – has changed and you’re still the same. It can prompt thoughts like “I thought I was over that”. Did you really think that emotion wouldn’t appear again?
If only you could have seen the trigger coming … if you had you might not be in a sobbing mess right now or unable to think clearly (let alone work!).
Let me be clear though – it’s important NOT to avoid triggers.
Why? Because avoidance can create deeper, darker emotions to develop. Avoidance behaviours send a clear message to your brain that you can’t cope, or you don’t trust yourself to cope.
By avoiding a trigger you don’t give yourself the opportunity to show yourself that you CAN cope and the trigger loses its power over you.
However … a big however … I’m not saying you need to purposely put yourself in difficult situations and just suck it up. You see, the fact is, that will also have detrimental effects to your self-belief, self-worth and self-compassion.
So, how do you prepare yourself to survive these triggers when they unexpectedly present themselves?
Here’s a few suggestions:
Think about and write down your triggers – they can be absolutely anything.
Think about the stories in your mind these triggers raise for you.
Practice thinking of the trigger purely as a story in your mind to keep you safe so that you don’t fall of the edge.
Practice mindfulness – go for a mindful walk, tune into the sounds of your present, notice what colours/shapes/textures you can see right now
Practice meditation – either a breathing meditation where you watch your thoughts and bring yourself back to an anchor like your breath – try my Body Wisdom meditation (insert link)
Find someone you trust and tell them about both your trigger and the story that goes with it and let them know how they can support you.
Set up a support message system. This is especially useful when you are going into a situation where there is a potential trigger, and you want to feel ok.
Allocate a value ladder to the intensity of the trigger. Some situations may trigger you more than others so allocate them a space on your personal trigger ladder.
Here’s an example of a trigger ladder:
Name the trigger;
Scale the list of triggers – using a scale from 1 (low impact – I’ve got this) to 5 (high impact – get me out of here, now!)
Now you have your list, keep it handy. Then, when you notice a trigger reach out to your support person DURING the event and let them know where the trigger sits on the ladder (with a number) and how they can support you.
Let me show you an example of how the text might look(it doesn’t have to be this):
Trigger 1 – I’m ok. I’m noticing my emotions and holding myself well
Support person: no real action needed – a simple emoji will do
Trigger 2 – travelling ok, but can feel it building
Support person – sends back supportive message – emoji optional
Trigger 3 – not sure if I’m staying or leaving, feeling the struggle
Support person – sends supportive message and checks in again in 20 mins
Trigger 4 – definitely need to get out, but don’t really feel I can. I need help here
Support person – gives you a call, ask how you are, who else is there to talk to, what strategies you have used, reinforce you can do it, but don’t have to
Trigger 5 – help now!
Support person – calls you back and organises to either come and get you or meet you somewhere; or talks you through enough to stay.
Remember though, having a system can be a great support and one you may never have to use. Maybe just knowing it’s there is enough to know you’re not doing this alone. Someone is there in spirit and only a SMS away from being there in person – if you need it.
Do you feel like your fertility is taking over life? Check out this blog for tips on how you can rescue your life – to start living and thriving.