November 28

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Have you ever been triggered by a person, place, or thing? Of course, you have, we all have. We will get triggered. Sometimes we will get triggered and not even know we are triggered. That’s the hardest because you have no clue why you are reacting the way you are. 

I have said many times in my life, “I have no idea why I acted so harshly about that” or “I have no idea where that rage is coming from.” I used to get filled with the most outrageous rage and not understand why. Well, I was triggered. And rage and anger was my response. Why was rage and anger my response? Great question, right? It took me years to find out the reason behind these types of responses. Logically, I know I have a choice of how to react. That is true mastery when events happen and we choose how we react to them. It sounds easy, but when I was seeing red, it was like that part of me (I call her Diana, and thankfully she is on sabbatical) would yell and be full of rage. 

I am obviously not proud of this behavior, but what baffles me is why? Why was that my choice to yell and be angry? It is not an easy answer, and of course, the environment we are brought up in definitely plays a role. But I am not a victim, and I do not want to blame my behavior on anything but me. I am responsible for my actions. I get to decide how to behave when things do not go my way. It is a choice. There are a lot of things I could blame it on. But instead, I wanted to start with myself and understand why I behave in certain ways and why in the past I would mostly react with rage. 

This is where recovery comes in—the real growth. I wanted to take the time to find out what pushes my buttons, what triggers me, what my character defects are, what is behind my reaction, why yelling is a choice I choose, and what is behind it all. For me when I go deep in my recovery and look at my trauma, abuse, and experiences, they all have one thing in common: fear. And behind the fear was feeling like I had no voice, so yelling was my way of having a voice. And beneath that was the feeling of being shut down and that my feelings didn’t matter. 

I know it seems obvious, but it was not for me. I lived in fear for way too long. It wasn’t until I got into recovery, and specifically trauma recovery, that I began to realize a lot of this. I had never looked at my childhood trauma until my forties, and even then I just took a peek. In my fifties, I finally went on a recovery journey. That’s when I decided to write my book. I wanted to write and share my story to help and inspire anyone who is suffering quietly like I did. 

Today I have a twenty-four-hour rule. If I am upset about anything, I do nothing for twenty-four hours. I mean nothing. I do not text, call, email, look at social media, or make a major decision. I wait. 

In the past, I would have knee-jerk reactions, and 99 percent of the time they were the wrong reaction. So today the twenty-four-hour rule is nonnegotiable. I might even stay in my room during that time. I can tell you from experience that everything looks different after twenty-four hours. If it doesn’t look or feel different, I give myself another twenty-four. Most of the time, those twenty-four hours will make it look and feel different, and usually, I don’t even want to react anymore. 

This is by far the best practice I do. It saves a lot of heartache and misunderstandings. If you suffer from knee-jerk reactions, please follow the twenty-four-hour rule of doing nothing! These twenty-four hours could save you from making the worst mistakes of your life. 

Debsxo

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About the author

From her start as a Playboy Centerfold and Covergirl to her life as a Screen Actors’ Guild member and later, achieving the Top 5% in her industry as a member of the Million Dollar Roundtable, Deborah Driggs has had to clear many hurdles in life. While it may seem like Deborah’s success came easy to her, nothing could be further from the truth. Rather, she has had to overcome a number of challenges in life to get to where she is today. What is true - and a part of her character - is her willingness to take risks, maintain a positive attitude, and never take ‘No’ for an answer.

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