I went to class today, and when I walked in, I sat down where I normally sit: in front, and as far right as possible. My professor walks in and I pull out my notebook and pencil, and he says that we’re going to review what we covered last week, and then watch a documentary. My heart sank when he said we were going to watch a documentary.
Documentaries, for some reason, have a tendency to emphasize my worst trigger 10 times more than usual: S sounds. I dread watching them for class because professors usually put the volume on very high, which makes it even worse.
So, after the review, we got a 10 minute break. I went to get snacks to distract myself from the documentary. Eating snacks usually helps in taking my focus off of my trigger. When I came back, we were ready to begin. The documentary was about 42 minutes. As soon as it started, I was anxious, and was triggered as soon as I heard the first S sound. But I told myself to stay; that I got this. I thought to myself, “What’s being said in the documentary and what’s being shown is interesting, so I should pay attention to that.”
And guess what? It worked! I was amazed at myself.
It’s not that I wasn’t triggered, because I definitely was several times throughout the documentary. But every time I was triggered, I told my brain, “Nope. You’re good.” And I experienced slight rage and discomfort for just a moment before I shifted my focus. As this kept happening, I got tired, and experienced more rage and discomfort at certain parts, but never had to leave. Normally, I would need leave class for awhile to calm down before going back. But I didn’t have to this time, and I was so proud of what I did.
I told my boyfriend of my accomplishment today. I was really excited, and he replied, “That’s awesome, honey! I’m so proud of you.” It helps to have support from those I love.
I really hope I can do this again. I know there might be some days where I just can’t take it at all, and have to leave for a break. But I hope that I have more experiences like I did today.