Day 27 of 30 Days in June,
A PTSD Poetry Project Poem with original post from 2014
“Out of the Comfort Zone”
The bull’s eye stared at me
I stared back
Yellow equaled comfort
Green equaled growth
Red equaled panic
I’ve overstayed in the comfort zone of yellow
The green of growth began with choice
It was the first venture into the green
Yet I fell into the red
Retreat to the comfort zone
Am I sure I want to play this game?
Three difficult months of growth
And back into the comfort of the yellow I flew
Panic at the touch of the red zone
And back I went
Yet this time anger flared
My trust is a zero
It had been crushing work to allow
Any semblance of trust
This trust allowed observation
Trust meant I could be called on my shit
Trust meant I could hold nothing back
Trust meant a venture into the red
But to learn red could still mean the green of growth
Was a gift beyond belief
To no longer be pushed when I was unready
To be allowed to choose to step lightly into the red
I no longer want to stay in my comfort zone
My choice is the green of growth
I choose to move forward
Sometimes into the red of panic
But to simply step back quietly into the
Green of growth
No longer in the comfort zone
But not into the fire.
Posted by Bree N. on October 26, 2014
“Out of the Comfort Zone, But Not Into the Fire..”
I saw a gif today that was just perfect for what’s going on with me lately. The gif was a bull’s eye target with yellow at the bull’s eye (comfort zone), green in middle ring (growth zone) and red for the outer ring (panic zone). This gif really said it all about the process of moving on. I’ve stayed for far too long in the bull’s eye point, gotten to where I just did not want to move out of it, not even try. Yet, choosing to finally ASK, SEEK, GET help was that first trip into the middle ring of growth.
Of course, it also edged into the red panic zone for me so I quickly headed back into my comfort zone for a solid 3 months. If I’d not had the professional I had who confronted me about my trust issues I’d probably have stayed in the comfort zone. I’m stubborn though. I fully own this one. I am so stubborn that it made me angry at myself at retreating when I had chosen to be where I was, to talk about the PTSD triggers and confront them.
Easy in theory.
In action, wow, much harder than expected. ASK, SEEK, GET help. Done. Okay now what? The first three months were spent in what I call ‘bubble heading’ around my “stuff” because my trust level is so nonexistent. I have my reasons, as do many of us in these fields. So I lingered in there, kept showing up, every so often throw that dart into the panic zone and then basically run. But show up again as if nothing had been said.
Solid work, solid listening, calling me on my, yep I’m gonna call it out…called me on my sh*t. Well how effing dare he! wt?!! Made me mad, yet not at all at the person who called me on it. I got mad at ME.
I’d chosen to be here. Chosen to work on this, to move out of my comfort zone of discontent and grow. Growth means sometimes moving into the panic zone just to see if you can deal with it yet. Then move back into growth when OH MY GAWD it didn’t kill me to get into the panic zone. Yeah, see? I had this mistaken idea that this process would kill me.
I’m betting there are a ton of others out there in the world thinking that facing this stuff head on is going to kill them. Seeing this gif, of all things, today made me realize fully what was going on. I’d not only convinced myself the process of healing was not worth it, I’d also let a choice few convince me it was ‘not worth it’. That right there is a lie.
It’s a lie perpetuated by those who got shoved into the panic zones and were not ready for it. So they nay say big time about facing the triggers for the panic zone. Perhaps that isn’t fair though. I don’t know the enormity of their issues, I only know mine. I am quite blessed to have this professional for whom there is absolutely nothing I can share about which will surprise, repel, or hasn’t been talked about within the walls of their space. I am thankful each and every day for this one.
Moving out of that comfort zone has been trying and small wins sometimes seem just that; small. But they are wins nonetheless. Walking my dog over a mile from my home, leaving a long time doctor who put my health at risk for a new more ‘in tune with the body’ approach doctor have been huge wins for me. Choosing to get fully out of the comfort zone and go on a tour in a new big gym was a huge win for me. Yep I’m going for it now. This is IT. These are the huge steps here, and it’s not killing me.
Staying in the growth zone is key. It’s a process too. Hover too close into the panic zone and I might end up back in the comfort zone. The difference now? I don’t want to stay there anymore. My comfort zone has become uncomfortable. This is a good thing. Staying in the continually growing zone is where I want to be.
Triggers for panic are going to happen. But with work I know I can learn how to move into that zone and recognize triggers for the panic zone for exactly what they are, then face them, learn from the experience, get back into the growth zone.
Sometimes a stubborn attitude wins when it’s bred with an “I will not give up on ME” attitude.