I absolutely love psychology and how far we’ve come through the decades of research. What breaks my heart is that a lot of people take all of this beautiful research and completely throw it out the window. One of the primary examples of this is the culture of avoiding triggers that has been so prominent in recent years.
Yesterday, I was catching up on YouTube and I came across a video discussing the “proana” (pro-anorexia) community on TikTok that was previously an issue on Tumblr. This is absolutely an issue that needs to be discussed, and the creator did a good job with a brief trigger warning at the beginning of her video. As I kept watching, what troubled me was the half-dozen other trigger warnings throughout the video.
I’d Have a Terrible Life if I Kept Avoiding Triggers
Over seven years ago, I was able to overcome my addiction to drugs and alcohol. My addiction started out with alcohol, but then I found prescription opioids. After almost dying after years of slowly killing myself, I moved from Las Vegas, NV, to Fresno, CA, to get sober. I was sober for a little over a year in Fresno, but then I decided it was time to move back to Las Vegas and start being a father to my son again.
My friends in recovery lost their minds.
“You can’t move back to Las Vegas! There are so many triggers there!”
Something I learned when I got sober was that I’m an addict through and through. Everything triggers me. If I’m sad, nervous, angry or even happy, I’m triggered. If it’s daytime, I’m triggered, and if it’s night time, I’m triggered. I’m the type of addict that you can put on a deserted island, and I’ll sniff coconut shavings to get high. So, living in Las Vegas isn’t a better or worse situation.
I’ve been sober in Las Vegas for over six years now, and I haven’t picked up a single drink or a drug. My entire life is still a trigger, but I’m able to deal with them because I haven’t been avoiding them.
How could I be a father to my son if I decided not to live in Las Vegas because of triggers?
Due to my sobriety (and being the ripe old age of 34), I don’t have much business hanging out at bars…