Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Coley mentioned in the newsletter this month that adoption is everywhere.  Lately, I've felt like every TV show I turn on or movie I rent has some sort of storyline about adoption or unplanned pregnancy.  I go to dinner and the people behind me are talking about adoption.  The radio station I work for did an entire two hour program on unplanned pregnancy and I had no choice but to listen.  I'm constantly getting baby-related mail.  Some days, I really really want a break from these emotional "triggers."

On good days, these emotional triggers are frustrating, and can leave me in a funk.  On bad days, they can bring on some pretty strong emotional reactions.

So, how do you handle these triggers?  Here are some things I do:

  • If I'm feeling a strong reaction coming on, I will try to excuse myself for a few minutes.  Bathrooms are great for this.  So are cars.  Sometimes just stepping away from people gives me enough of a chance to calm down.
  • Internally praying, reciting a comforting Scripture or quote, or singing an encouraging song.  Any of these can help to calm my thoughts and focus me.
  • Finding a task to distract myself.  This is especially helpful if I'm faced with a trigger at work.  Anything that takes significant concentration will do.
  • Turning off the TV show/radio, stepping away from the conversation, etc.  Sometimes it's hard... especially with adoption themes in shows.  But, I'd rather miss the rest of the episode than let it drag me down.
  • Send a text to another birthmom.  Sometimes just venting to someone who understands makes a huge difference.
  • Sometimes, thinking about or looking at a picture of my son helps... other times, I know it would just make things worse.  I always keep a few pictures in my purse for times I think it will help.

Unfortunately, these options aren't always available.  Sometimes, I just have to deal with it.  If I do start crying and I'm with people who don't understand, I just explain that I'm having a hard day.  Most people are kind enough not to pry.  I also try to remind myself that it's a normal part of the grief process and, next time, I'll be a little stronger for it.  Each time I face these types of things, I get a little better at managing them and at figuring out what I need to recover.

What do you do when faced with unexpected triggers?

1 comment:

  1. Great blog Brit!!! I know that when I experience a trigger I try to think about the positives that go with my adoption. I too have noticed that a lot of television shows lately have an adoption theme in them, i.e. Brothers & Sisters last season and this new season is dealing with adoption.