the cloud has lifted

August 10, 2013Karen Courcy

The_Storm_has_Passed_by_Spot53I don’t even have words to describe what I have been through in the past week when I was hit with a serious trigger Monday early evening; the only word that fits is “PURE HELL”.

I woke up this morning and the cloud lifted. I woke up this morning and I felt like I lost a whole week and don’t even remember details, but I knew I felt better.

I grabbed my phone and texted my therapist and said “OMG ANDY, I woke up and I feel no doom, no feeling of hopelessness” and his text back was something alone the lines of “doing a happy dance”.

It has been a hard hard hard week for not only me, but for my therapist as well. He told me that he was in a position where he cares so much about me and works so closely with me that at times when he saw me going through such a hard time, it was hard not to lose objectivity of him being a therapist but instead a person just wanting to make whatever I was going through stop and go away.

I have never felt so depressed and hopeless from a trigger as I did Monday after it happened.

My writing has always been about sharing with others my trying times, my good times, my healing times, and even the hardest times, but this trigger was so bad that I can’t even write about it in fear I will get re-triggered.

My therapist and I shared texts this morning and I said “can I ask you something, why can’t I remember much about anything that happened this past week?” and instead of texting back he sent me an email explaining what happens to the brain when you are severely triggered, and I am going to share his response with you because it could be helpful. I don’t normally share private emails, but this one was felt important enough to share with others who have also experienced being re-triggered. This was a part of his response today

Hey Karen, to the degree which you were triggered, your brain reacts to protect you. The brain goes into protection mode and shuts down everything that’s not necessary other than to keep you alive. Your brain was reacting as if the threat was present each and every moment. Remember one of the ways the brain reacts to trauma is to fight, flee, submit, or freeze. The words that you uttered when you had the trigger was “I give up”. That is submitting. I know you’re not going to like that but that’s what happened. So the brain began to adjust to only those things that were necessary to keep you alive. So short-term memory is affected by this and that’s why it’s difficult to recall the past week. I am so glad that the day continues to be good for you ….. I am doing the Happy Dance! 

My body had the right response by shutting everything else off so that i wouldn’t be overwhelmed, and just concentrated on staying alive, keeping me going until I moved through it and my brain adjusted back.

My husband was on business and it was extremely hard to run things around here by myself, but I did it, and even though I can’t recall, my body did the right things by shutting parts of me off to live, or move, to breathe.

The hardest part for me was feeling so sad that It physically was hard to push myself to each session, to each dr appointment, to each thing I needed to do through the week.

When I woke this morning and felt lifted and better, the first words that came out of my mouth was “THANK YOU GOD, THANK YOU”.

Triggers are pretty serious, and I have never experienced it to that degree before. I started doing more and more research on it today since my therapists email, and sure enough, people are hospitalized for serious triggers like this, and I was lucky I was able to function through this trigger, with the help of my therapist and my own inner wisdom even though I didn’t know it. I am SO blessed for him who helped me SO much this week. HE is a god send.

I am smiling, and I am relieved, and I am BLESSED.

I ate for the first time today since Monday evening.. I lost a few pounds, but at least I am back to eating and even bought myself a small pint of cookies and cream ice cream for tonight while watching a movie.


There is healing to be done in this trigger, there is something that needs to be healed to keep me from this trigger from happening this way again. All day today I was on the edge of my seat afraid of the aftershocks, or the slightest little thing that could have set me back off, but I honestly think just knowing what happened, why it happened, and what it meant is helpful to keep me from  going that far into it again.

I don’t wish this on anyone…. and I am so blessed that the cloud has lifted and I am back to my happy hardworking self.


  • Gel

    August 11, 2013 at 9:28 AM

    I’m so glad to hear that the clouds have lifted!

    About what your T said about your being triggered so bad….I’d never heard of “submitting” as being part of the fight -flight – freeze reaction. That’s very interesting. ….and this part: …”the brain began to adjust to only those things that were necessary to keep you alive. So short-term memory is affected by this”. I didn’t know that. That helps me to make sense of what happens to me when I’ve plunged into a depression or had triggered reaction to someone. For me it’s more that I can’t think as clearly. It’s like I have a tunnel with less access to better thinking and that includes memory. It’s very hard to function in real time. Thanks for sharing this.

    Once again I’m really really glad you have such good support and such a wise and compassionate therapist.

  • Steven Sawyer

    August 11, 2013 at 3:19 PM

    So grateful your cloud lifted.

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