Hope Triggers

There is a turning point in the vicious spiral cycle of PTSD, Depression, and Substance Abuse where one is less internally and externally triggered by all the things that bring back the nightmarish details of the traumas one has endured. It is at this Turning Point that they begin to become more triggered – or equally triggered and then more triggered – or maybe it’s just that they become profoundly aware of the Triggers of Hope.

And interestingly enough, these Triggers of Hope have ALWAYS existed it’s just that the Hellish Triggers of hopelessness, rage, anger, and entrapment out-yelled and out-waved down your attention – all these years. It’s not your fault, it was the tunnel vision of PTSD that caused you to only see the threats fueled by fear or the hopelessness fueled by that lying Bastard of Depression… but a turning point has occurred, and for the one who is aware of this turning, point, they cannot and will not be convinced otherwise.

But don’t ask them to explain it to you; it can only be explained through the experience of authentic hope erupting within and around the one who reports it along the turns and bends of resilience….

I have observed in others and experienced it myself. A turning point occurs in one’s recovery journey – or life journey for that matter – when one begins to notice the connecting moments when people, places, and things – somethings as seemingly insignificant as a brief conversation, words you say you weren’t planning on saying that help someone else – or help you as you say them, tears that come despite your best efforts to hold them back, a leaf falling at just the right time, landing in just the right place to get your attention, a bird, a spring rain, a song, words spoken from someone that echo the words you just read in a book or heard from yet someone else – I call these connecting dots of hope, unexplainable, yet not even miraculous – what is secretly miraculous about them is the way they resonate with you and stop time for a split second – just long enough to help you steady your feet in an otherwise spiral of fear, anxiety and the intersecting unknowns of this new so-called faith journey. And it’s then that you realize you have turned a corner from a pathway of destruction fueled by anger and fear (as these are connecting dots of destruction, i.e., the cycle of PTSD, Depression, and Substance Abuse, for example) to a pathway of faith, love, and the courage to continue to this new unknown place – the present moment…. without alcohol, anger, and rage. All of these things sit on the sidelines and call your name, but you’ve become bored with them. Bored? Yes, bored. You know what they want to do to you; they have been having their way with your heart for too long now – Now it’s time to turn the corner – and you have. You’ve called their bluff! It’s intensely sobering to say the least and will remain intensely sobering but will one day turn to more intensely profound…

You know you’ve turned the corner because you start to notice things – good, hopeful, daily pleasantries of nonsensible inspiration – smelling the roses – if you will. The scent of the rose in the air, the wind, the rain, the people! Aahhh the people – and these people are new to you – even if they are the same faces you’ve looked upon for decades; they are different now. More beautiful, more authentic, more valuable. And then there’s all the brand new people, conversations, and moments that seem to match up, connect, and make sense. It’s as if every detail of your everyday are lining up with the same message you are pursuing- HOPE, making meaning out of the otherwise meaningless existence called – Life.

I have learned that ALL things work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purposes. I would say that recovery, love, resilience, and connecting with others of the same mind-set are definitely in line with those purposes.

You see it’s a universal law…. I think – that whatever we purpose to seek out, we will find it. If it is a victim mindset, anger, ranger, self-medication (in whatever form: working too much, drinking too much, eating too much, spending too much, gambling, seeking approval from people…. Material things….) every trigger and its cousin to trauma and loss – we will find it  - EVERY TIME, but if we purpose ourselves to look for the opposite of all of these things, miraculously, or not so miraculously, actually, we will find those as well. You see, whatever we are looking for we will find.

I call it God-Moments-Hope-Moments; Life-Giving Moments. True, some will still choose to call them moments of coincidence. I call it turning the corner from hopelessness to Hope and the more we venture in this direction, the more Triggers of Hope we will “happen” upon. How, why, and when it happens is up to you to decide.