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Addiction and Relationships: Find Yourself Feeling Triggered By Media?

Updated: Jan 27

find yourself feeling triggered by media

I’ve been watching this show for a few weeks now with my partner called Designated Survivor, and while I didn’t think I was a fan of political dramas, this one hooked me. Now, the reason I felt like writing about this won’t give the show away or give any kind of details that will ruin it (I’m on season 3 and it doesn’t seem like a major plotline, although I could be wrong), but I’m just giving you a heads up ahead of time.

One of the characters on the show has a wife with a pill problem, and the ending of the episode I watched last night was him dropping her off at rehab. Which is interesting in that they didn’t outright say she was an addict, but alluded to it by showing a large hospital-like building and having him say he would see her in 28 days after having an altercation at a pharmacy over her prescription. Apparently his wife had been there a few times, too, so this was almost routine for them.

As the show wrapped up, I turned to my partner and said, “Wow, that would suck to have a partner with issues like that. Sounds stressful”.

Ha. I like to keep it cheeky sometimes.

But the point is, we both laughed at it, and it didn’t bother either of us. And that’s what I wanted to take this time to write about.

However, you see, it wasn’t always like this.

About a year and a half ago, I was watching the new version of A Star Is Born with my family, and (ok this one is kind of a spoiler so heads up) there was a scene where Jack goes to rehab and Ally comes to visit. She gets led into a meeting room with him, and she asks how it’s going, while also wanting to know when he’ll be home and if he still wants to be with her.

Keep in mind, at this time, things were definitely not the same with my family as it is now. So this was pretty awkward for me, given that I had had similar situations with my partner and rehab many times, and they were well aware of it.

Fast forward a few months and I was watching Euphoria while my partner was in rehab, and we weren’t exactly on the best of terms. I had heard about it for awhile and the buzz around it made me very interested in watching it, but what I was not expecting was how real it was for someone like me to watch. The tricks with urine tests, lying, program meetings, how the different characters responded to different levels of addiction and alcoholism in their own lives and in relation to everyone else, and with a special appearance of a long-lost dad coming back to just to try to find heirlooms to sell to fuel his drug habit, complete with his fresh track marks. I did not expect to find myself bawling my eyes out with that show.

Good times.

But what makes these experiences different to the one I experienced last night, is that I definitely wasn’t laughing through those. And last night, I was.

Now, I’ve laughed a lot more in the past years than I might let on sometimes, but my point is that nowadays, I laugh a lot more often, and I’m much more comfortable poking fun and making light of the whole addiction situation than I once was.

I saw some posts on social media recently (which is a phrase I say a lot, so I’m sorry for that) where there was mention of a product on a discount site with drug references on it, and how they were very upset and triggered by the product.

Now, I saw the product, saw that the wording made it seem like whoever wrote it was not aware of what they actually wrote, and it was most likely a mistake by someone who didn’t understand what they were doing. And to me, it was funny.

I’ve also seen posts about different shows and movies that detail drugs, alcohol, and addiction and how uncomfortable it makes people who are in similar shoes as mine, and while I definitely get it, I now have the benefit of my different perspective and so know that being upset by it isn’t getting us anywhere.

This goes for all things in life, but also here for sure.

I don’t mean to come across as rude or uncaring or abrasive, because as I’ve said I totally get it and understand what it’s like to be upset and triggered by uncomfortable things like this, but I’m here to tell you now that it’s not as bad as you think it is.

We can do all we can to boycott and demand that these things are righted, but it all comes down to a differing of opinion. In the case of the aforementioned product, it was seemingly just a bad joke or an attempt to be controversial. In the case of media, it is a person’s job to tell a story and evoke emotion and a good drama. And the same for anything else we see: it’s an individual’s attempt to convey something inside themselves, and while it may not work for one person, for another, it does.

My point is, just like with a lot of topics, our goal and mission in life is not to bend the world and others to our will. We cannot make it our life’s priority to be affected so much by outside influences that we allow our minds and emotions to be brought down.

Instead, see it for what it is, and if you can, laugh about it. Laugh because it is good for you, and because it’s a reminder to not take life too seriously. We all have issues and things that we are dealing with, but there is nothing bad that has come from laughing and making light of a situation. Even if addiction is involved, and no matter how intense it is.

Of course, being positive or lighthearted won’t immediately make anyone change or a situation disappear overnight. But it can change your emotions and your feelings and your responses to these outside situations. You have the power to decide how you will feel and how you will let these things influence you as a whole, and you can either let them drag you down, or show you an opportunity to grow and change how you perceive them.

Life is all about the lessons we can learn and the clarity we can receive. Sure, we will encounter things that are less than ideal, but they can also be positive because they show us where we want to go and how we want to feel.

So, instead of being upset by a product or feeling triggered by media because it’s just too real, try to laugh it off and catch it before you feel yourself feeling down.

That’s where your power is.

Just laugh it off.

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