Where has the year gone? I seem to ask myself that every November! Once we celebrate Halloween it seems the year accelerates and the next thing you know we are eating turkey and decorating for the holidays. For many reasons I am not sad to see this year end. It has been a difficult year for me personally, having lost several people who I love and have been important in my life. In some ways, with time, the pain has become even more intense and the tears of grief still come readily at the strangest times. It has given me a greater insight into how difficult it is for our clients as they work through their pain and all their traumatic experiences in order to heal and move forward. It has also given me greater insight into the term I have heard many times since I started working here – namely “trigger”. I don’t think I ever really understood that until I found myself all of a sudden reduced to tears because of something that reminded me of one of the loved ones lost. Not something I could avoid since you can’t really anticipate when it will happen! While this is a trigger brought on by the sudden reminder of a loved one lost, I imagine the physiology of a trigger that invokes a painful and hurtful memory works in much the same way. It can affect our clients in seemingly random ways, making them appear irrational and unpredictable. Much as the grief process takes time, so does healing from deep and hurtful emotional pain. Just as we must be patient with ourselves, we must also be understanding and supportive of others in order to help support them through their healing process. In particular, during the upcoming holiday season, it is good to remember that not everyone is able to enjoy the perfect family celebration that we see portrayed everywhere. That can lead to heightened tension and emotions. Remember to take care of yourselves and others by slowing down this winter and really being aware and present in all your relationships. Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving and hoping that you can celebrate the things that you are grateful for with a joyful heart.