Courage is my Default Setting


Courage and bravery are my default setting.  They haves been since I was four years old.  They get turned on when I am in threatening situations.  Instead of getting scared I get stronger, more alert, funny and peaceful.  It is not a way to avoid my feelings, it is just my strong suit.

I have gotten through the last eight months because of my courage and stubbornness.  Damn it! I wasn’t going to let 2 heart attacks get me down.  There was a benefit to all the courage and bravery because they didn’t get me down.

I went to see the movie: Arrival, last weekend.  I went by myself, forgetting that movies often trigger me. If there is something inside me that needs to release, a movie will trigger it!  The movie Arrival did that.  I began to feel anxiety during the trailers and it built from there.  Don’t get me wrong, this is an amazing movie that everyone should see but it held my trigger.

I don’t think I will give anything away by saying what it was.  Watching the crew trying to communicate with the aliens.  They didn’t have the same language and they had to figure it out.  It was painstaking and frustrating.

Watching that catapulted me back to the six days I spent in the hospital in Austria where 95% of the staff and both of my room mates spoke German.  I got in touch with all of the feelings that my strength and bravery put a lid on.  My default feeling is not a way of avoiding what I am feeling but a tool for survival.

Suddenly watching the movie I felt the fear, frustration, sadness, anxiety and feels of being trapped in a situation where I had no control and had to surrender to that.  I felt like my heart was going to explode and it was painful and intense.   It was coming out whether I liked it or not.  At the end of the movie I couldn’t get out of the theater fast enough.   I made my way to my car, called a friend and blubbered my way through a conversation as I hung my head over my steering wheel and cried.  I felt a myriad of feelings for several days and then they were gone.  It felt like a turning point in my healing…

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