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Past hobbies triggering?? Unexpected Reaction To Escapist Activities From My Past. Anyone Else?


Ceridwen again

So this is kind of odd…but when I was in the thick of things, painting was my go to hobby: I would completely escape into my own world.

At this point in my life I had all the “grounding” hobbies but none of them really grounded me: yoga, art, etc.

I remember feeling almost manic, high energy, etc.

Well since then I’ve been putting in a lot of work and my life is far different and I am usually pretty grounded (at least relatively). But I recent remembered that feeling I had when painting: of just disconnecting entirely and having that amazing almost manic feeling again. I tried to recreate that last night while painting and it was so jarring…I felt insanely ungrounded and my Garmin watch, which can measure stress levels, kept alerting my to try and calm myself…I kept holding my breath and just felt SO off and almost threw up after…Felt disconnected from my boyfriend whom I live a bit in that moment too…(which was highly unpleasant because he’s the best).

I don’t know it was just very strange and I guess I kind of asked for it because I was chasing that feeling…but I was NOT expecting that….I felt strange and almost guilty after the whole thing.

Has anyone else experienced something like this before when trying old hobbies that allowed for escapism (maybe a little too much)??
I don't know if this is similar,
But since therapy when I run in the heat, it is triggering. To the point that I sobbed in the street once and had to stop running. Used therapy sessions to talk it through and come up with strategies to cope. Particularly because I was training for a marathon in the middle of one of the hottest summers on record, and I didn't want this to get in the way of my goal.
Previously, before therapy, I just did whatever and it was fine (numbed with no feeling).

So, is there something stirring for you currently that is bringing this up?

Is there some sort of connection to the feeling of painting and the impact of trauma? (my T thought for me it was the strain on my body making parts of me think the trauma was happening again in the moment).

And then how can you ground yourself, re-orientate yourself to the here and now to allow you to do something you love? (I did things like write 'power' and 'control' on my arms to remind me I had this now if I was triggered, and various other things that really helped).
Thank you for your response!

I think when I was going through the worst of things, painting kind of helped me dissociate to cope. I also think it was a time in my life that I was very self-critical, untrusting, and overall never really felt safe…I think trying to occupy an old mind-set, even if it was for the sake of a hobby, kind of took me back to that feeling and I don’t think I’ve felt those emotions on that level in a while and had zero expectations it would happen while painting, so I think it was just extra jarring.

Right now, I have recent left a crazy high-demanding job for something more reasonable and have also begun prep work for EMDR sessions. I think the combo of relearning how to work with free time in conjunction with a lot of self reflection and remembering of negative memories has probably stirred some things up.

It’s so interesting that you experienced something kind of similar while running in hot temps, I love running too.

I’m glad you found ways to work through it and thank you for sharing!
Has anyone else experienced something like this before when trying old hobbies that allowed for escapism (maybe a little too much)??
i haven't thought of it in this context before, but it is resonating loudly. sewing is the hobby which springs to mind for me. by the time i took my first home-ec class, i could already build a 3 piece suit without a pattern. i have a lifelong (i'm 69) love/hate relationship with sewing. on the love binges i am a gifted designer. on the hate binges, it carries me back to that need for escapism. i bet i poked my fingers with allot of needles and pins on those days i sewed to escape the then current reality. i might have even poked myself on purpose in childish attempts to escape greater pains.

i just ride the waves of it. it's just a hobby and i like to keep my hobby pot well-stirred.
Anything can be a trigger. Sight, smell, holding a pen, a brush, your art stand, the colors of your paints/pencils/whatever.

Sometimes its a bubble just moving through and sometimes there is something there. I just had one last week where writing in my journal here set something off.

Best way I know to work through it is with my T. Don't poke around memories and stuff, I just lock it in my PTSD therapy box until my next session.