Thursday, October 20, 2011

The conclusion to the matter...


An update on my last post. I did the responsible thing and I chained my experience with engaging in Target Behavior. What I found was astonishing. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Failing Well

So I engaged in Target-Behavior yesterday. I thought this would be a good post on how failing well, responsibility, purpose & chain analysis can be. 

What I wanted to talk about first is responsibility. Part of living a life that is worth living is making a commitment to affect change in your life. This commitment should not be taken lightly. However, once you have made that commitment you then move into having a purpose and obligation. Why is it that you want to change? What does a life worth living look like to you? 

Friday, August 5, 2011

Monday, July 18, 2011

Happy Happy Joy Joy

Well Folks, I haven't forgotten about all my wonderful friends here at My DBT Life.

I have been, however, very busy in life. Nothing out of the ordinary really, just life. It is going very smoothly and I am happy to report that over-all I am living and breathing my skills and my life that I have built that is worth living. 

The reason I haven't posted much has nothing to do with things not going well or relapses, rather it is because I have been reflecting on why I started this peer-support endeavor to begin with. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Shame, Shame, it knows my name.

So we were visiting a friend. 

We were casually talking about various things and the conversation turned towards today's youth and all of the immoral opportunities that abound for them. The three of us all come from a similar time, being that we are all in our early to late 30's, we each were expressing what was readily available to us when we were in our teens. 

We all also had similar backgrounds, all of our homes had a strong biblical influence. Allowing for vague personal experience it became obvious that I was more sexualized as a young teen than the males present and it was presented in a question form as to why that was so. No one rudely looked at me and said, "MJ why in the world were you like that?" No, it was more of a, "Hmmm, I wonder why . . . with so many similarities, what would be the factor to that outcome? Was it a matter of society influence..."  

This is the moment of truth. This is the exact moment that each of us have found ourselves in. Perhaps not the specifics as I have outlined here, but each of us have ended up in a conversation that we either shamefully admit to not wanting to discuss the topic further. Which we know would add weight to the obvious answer. Or we skillfully turn the subject elsewhere, still abiding by the unspoken law to never speak of it. OR....

Monday, May 16, 2011

Hellooooooo world!

Daily life is certainly happening.

I have had plenty of opportunity to practice skills. 

Ups and downs, side-ways running and down right flabbergasted at times. I have been semi-following the Casey Anthony Trial. I say semi, because I don't watch it or listen to it, but I do check out my favorite blog from time-to-time, just to see what is happening with it. I sometimes like to compare and contrast, you know, when I am really down in the dumps about my mothering abilities. Ms. Anthony and her frightening clan supply a lot of reminders of how "not bad" I am.

So here is what I have been up to and the skills that I have been using:

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


Anniversary's are days to reflect, reminisce, cry, celebrate and look forward to. Obviously the nature of the anniversary would depend a lot on whether you would cry or celebrate or do both! Because we must remember there are tears of joy, even if we haven't experienced them in a long time. 

For me, I did a little of all, except maybe some looking forward. Oddly enough I typed "looking forward" because I know that certain anniversaries we do very much look forward to, yet I also realized in that moment, that I never do. I don't ever look forward to this particular anniversary. Although it is one that for every year that goes by is cause for celebration, you would think that I would look forward to it. Every year is proof of accomplishment. For this I do feel proud. Or at least, "should" feel proud. 

Weird that I don't.

Friday, April 29, 2011

May the force be with you!

Talk about the energy boost this whole working out thing is giving me! Whew. I am getting stuff done like crazy. Well, I am sure it has something to do with the sun coming out more lately.

OK, so it is the two combined, certainly.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Round and Round I go, where this stops? Is anybody's guess!

What it is to be me. 

I have found myself in a vicious cycle. I get the energy to work hard at my current mountain. I go for it with a massive amount of gusto. Then...

Not so much.

I engage in behavior that undermines my efforts. The behavior isn't "that bad". I mean it isn't like it falls into the traditional self-harm categories. Although, if I were being honest with myself it truly is self-harm because it does one of two things, A) in the long term it is harmful for me and B) it manifests and breeds behavior that over time is directly harmful to myself. 

So what do I do about it? I have been chasing my own tail trying to change it. Honestly, I still don't have the solution formulated fully. It all is still a bit fuzzy.

Let me outline some of the finer details in this case, so this can all make a bit more sense:

Monday, April 25, 2011

What do I do now?

Stop. Breath. Reflect. Choose.

This skill is quite handy. It is simple, straight forward and easy to remember. It can be jotted down on a note-card or post-it and carried with you. 

It is useful in a variety of settings, perhaps your stress level has reached a peek and you are on the border of crying, yelling, screaming, or any number of 'bad' behaviors. But....(there is always a but) you still have several items on your to-do list. 

You can either plug your way through and hope that you don't do something you'll regret later or you can: Stop, Breath, Reflect, and Choose.

Monday, April 11, 2011

SKILL of the ...

Week, month, or however long it takes me to get to another skill! Ha! I crack myself up. OK, so I am really trying to get  back into the swing of things. 

Start with Structure...Rely on Routine.

I understand how critical that is. So, onward and upward. 

The skill:

How many perfectionists are there out there? 

I suspect many, many, many of you have this trait. It sort of walks hand-in-hand with mental illness in a lot of ways. In a world of so many uncertainties and triggers, in a mind that is so out of control we grasp at any bit of control we imagine we have. However, as there are many of us out there, this Lane is still quite empty because of one fundamental one is perfect.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Advertise, Advertise, Advertise...

Did you notice something? Most bloggers take advantage of Google ads. This isn't a surprise. It makes sense really, especially when your blog or website is for a purpose that isn't making money anywhere else and you spend the kind of time on it as if it were a part-time job. No big deal right?

Or maybe it is a big deal...

Thursday, March 31, 2011

To bond, or not to bond... that is the question.

Through my many therapist sessions over the years there has always been a piece to this Borderline Personality Disorder that I had always heard and filed away. Knowing that it was important to address, but not sure I really wanted to look at it. It was dark and ugly. 

Monday, March 28, 2011

Do I have the skill????

When we are faced with a problem our automatic response is to get rid of it. Either by ineffective shut-down and avoidance or problem-solving it. Ideally we will want to problem solve in order to be sure that it doesn't return like a pesky rash or something. Otherwise we are increasing our pain. 

OK, so let's problem solve then!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Did you pick your nose?

Compulsive behavior can be difficult to handle. Especially when you add the ever foreboding "obsessive" to the term. Then you are really in some trouble. Now, I certainly do not take this disorder lightly. I have two persons very dear to me that suffer horribly from it. I do count it as a blessing that, among so many things that I do carry around in my Samsonite that have become part of my daily life, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is not one of them. Whew. If that were, boy I don't know how well I would fair.

I have read that this disorder, if gone untreated, tends to worsen with time. So that means, as you struggle through your life with many issues, you can look forward to this one growing in intensity. Of course that is if you do not treat it. But my question is this - What if you start at the age of, say... 5? What then? Does that mean by the time you are 10 it will be unbearable for you? 

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Cat got my tongue?

I have been putting this off, in a really sad way. Something snapped a few weeks ago. I just didn't want to do this blog anymore. Period. 

No rhyme or reason to this overwhelming feeling. It was just there. I told AJ that I wasn't sure whether I wanted to continue with My DBT Life. He listened and told me that I didn't have to decide right away and that whatever I decided he was going to support. Which was very loving. Then I let it go from my mind. Every time it crept in, I pushed it away, not wanting to deal with it. Until...

Thursday, March 17, 2011

What is red, angry, and puffy - and still cute as a button?

MJ's nose after WEEKS of a terrible cold!

Hey guys, its AJ.

Just a quick note to let you all know that MJ has been out sick for the last week and thats why she hasn't posted on mydbtlife, but she is getting better. She will be back up on it soOn!

She has been feeling a bit down and hasn't gotten much feedback or traffic on the site this week, so if you have missed the mydbtlife posts, it wouldn't hurt to send her an email and let her know that.

hint,hint,hint! ; ^ )

(She is going to KILL me when she sees this post! hehehehe!)


Please share this post with your friends!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

March 7th, 2011

Group Chat will be held @ 11:30 AM PST tomorrow; March 7th, 2011.

You can find the chat room inside of our Forum. Link to this post for more details.

Hope to see you there!


~ March 6th - 13th, 2011 weekly skills posting will post after the group chat ~

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Nostalgia and what it can teach us

Our grandmother that passed away in January left some items behind for our family and among them were these:

The really precious thing about these dolls is that Grandma made them. Every bit of them. The clothes are incredible! You cannot really tell from the pics, but the detail is just amazing. I can't even imagine how much time that took. I'm not skilled that way, I am all over arts and crafts and I can come up with a project for a tribe of children of the top of my hat. But this kind of skill is a whole different ball game. 

I am simply in awe of it. I guess Grandma had 30-ish dolls that she had made and she bequeathed them to various family members; they are all gorgeous and amazing in detail.

Grandma was a neat woman. She and Grandpa had been married for 60 years, just this last November. I can't even begin to wrap my mind around that. I look forward to the time that I can brag that accomplishment, but until then I will just remain in astonishment. Of course it stands to reason then, that Grandpa is hurting badly. He's feeling as though he has lost a limb, and in a metaphorical way he has indeed lost an appendage. Again, his experience right now is something that is so foreign to me. As an adult I often times reflect back on the way I percieved the world as a child. Then as a teenager, and compare it to how I looked at the world as a young adult, gradually bringing my thoughts to how I look at it now. I can conclusively say, that I feel as the years have gone by and the experiences in my life have done their job, I am more mature and I "get" things on a deeper level than I did before, say at 24. However, in comparison to what Grandpa is experiencing, I am still a babe. What my life looks like right now is a mere fragment of that mans life experience. It really puts "a life worth living" into a different perspective.

Friday, March 4, 2011

What other kind of beard is there anyway?

Urgency has the beard of a Hebrew prophet and the eyes of a medieval alchemist. He reads history books in the middle of the night. He stands behind me when I am at the typewriter. He is brilliant, and his thoughts leap across great startling distances, but he expects me to go back and fill in the missing pieces. He is impatient with my tendency to avoid strenuous exercise. 

Urgency hates to be late. He runs up the stairs racing the escalator. He works for a messenger service on weekends. He is always on the lookout for allies. If urgency thinks you may be able to help him, he will sit you down and ask you for your life story. First, he wants to find out what motivates you, and then, he listens for what fascinates you. - The Book of Qualities - J. Ruth Gendler

Although a sense of urgency is appropriate at times, we must remember that it can also reduce our effectiveness and get us into trouble - Urgency will find out what motivates you....

and then use what fascinates you to fuel itself....

Without mindfully befriending Urgency you may find that slowing down is near impossible,

Ultimately, you can soar without Urgency and just a little well used energy can give you wings!


Thursday, March 3, 2011


Has anyone seen Fantastic Mr. Fox? Well, I feel a lot like him when he eats his french toast.

For some reason YouTube had the embedding disabled, so I couldn't bring it straight over, but I did get the link for the trailer with the scene in it. Check-out his eating habits. He is so sophisticated, yet.... hmmm. That is definitely how I feel I eat.

For as much as I preach about assessments and reassessments, I figured I had better get to it myself. So I decided that it was time to check out how well I have been doing on my goals.

At the beginning of the year I had decided that since I had worked hard enough to get the weight off, that it was high time I started teaching myself to eat mindfully. If we are being skillful about P.L.E.A.S.E.; then it would stand to reason that at some point I would indeed need to know how to eat mindfully.

OK, so how well as that been coming along? I mean it is March now, I have had two solid months to work on it.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Make the amends we can... for our KIDS!

Meet McKay and Logan. For most of you, you already know McKay, he is my eldest son from my first marriage, but Logan is a new introduction. He is McKay's brother from his dad's side. He is 2 years old and a bundle of cuteness.

What does the littlest orphan say on Despicable Me? "He's so fluffy I'm gonna die!" 

That is how cute this kid is. Or at least, I think of this quote when I want to squish him! Speaking of a gaggle of cuties - these take the cake:

I will introduce you to this adorable bunch the same as I did the above: Most of you have met Terrick, AJ's eldest from his first marriage, the following are his brothers from his mother's side: Ken Kai, Tevon, Tayden and Briaden (not sure on the spelling of that last one, pronounced "BR [long I] den") Whew! and I thought I had a full house, could you imagine? Here's an average day at homeschool for these boys: (and yes, they are all boys, she gets kudos for what it must take to keep them all on task!)

pssst - Terrick's mom also has her brother's two kids kicking about from time to time; plus a friend of hers 3 or 4 kids. Personally? I lose count and I would probably lose children too, not her though...she is tough as nails when it comes to what these kids can dish, and they all seem to be smiling all the time, I suppose I could write an entire blog about her secret, if I knew it!
Could you image what it must be like to go on a road trip with this many children? Well, we don't have to, she obliged me with a sneak-peak of what that looks like too!:

I'd call this a bus, not a van!Just look at them all!
Right....the point, when it comes to this many adorable little smiles and pudgy, squishy cheeks I easily get off topic, please bare with me! 

Question: What would most people say is the hardest part of their lives when dealing with a mental illness? 
Answer: Interpersonal Effectiveness.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Feb 27-March 6th, 2011: Skill of the week - Take (2)

Clearly I was not awake during my skills post last week because I dated for this week and not until I went to write this weeks skills post did I realize that I buggered it, we shall have a second go of a skills post for the dates of February 27th - March 6th, 2011.

I wanted to take a bit of time today and discuss, in detail, how one would fill out their chain analysis worksheet. It really doesn't matter much what "form" you use, rather the importance comes in the information you provide for yourself. 

First-of-all, what is the purpose of a Chain Analysis Worksheet? 

Saturday, February 26, 2011

No wonder I can't get out of bed!

If this is what were to happen to you within 5 minutes of you laying down in your bed, would there be much motivation to get out of bed and stay out of it?

No joke, I lay down and these two lazy-bones are in position within 5 minutes. Those are my legs on either side of them! OK, so they are very good snugglers, and yes it is hard to get out of bed when I wake up with them like this too, which is usually the case. I wonder, whatever happened to the black one being the kids' cat? Hmmm.

Moving on... With each day that passes, I gain a little more strength and I get outside a little more. I did something with my daughter yesterday that I really treasured. I reflect back on it, and it makes me wonder why it is that as adults we forget simplicity. We forget innocence, granted for many innocence never existed.

So here's what I do, when I am really emotional and have pent up energy, watching a movie is just not going to cut it. Doing laundry or house-keeping is out of the question because I will just work myself into a frenzy with perfectionism. I will wash the same spot on the stove over and over until I am shaking and sweating, nervously glancing around the kitchen chasing phantom smudges. Leaving me more overwhelmed than when I began. So, I sing. Loudly.

But this time I sang with my daughter and I learned something. At first I felt a little self-conscious. But I soon realized she couldn't care less if I was off key, nor did she even know if I was, or at least she didn't cringe when I did! She watched me so intently, just soaking it up. I kept singing as if I was serenading her. She watched even closer until she caught the words to the song too, then before you know it I was letting it all out and she was singing along and we danced around like we were in a music video! Kids are so care-free that it amazes me.

It was a wonderful moment, so I stretched it into many moments and I intend on using this one again. It burned all of my nervous energy, I was able to get back to the simplicity of the many moments I do have in my life, and I am grateful for them all!

Thank-you Bradyn, for the wonderful experience!


Friday, February 25, 2011

Frigid weather ~ Frigid insides

It has been COLD here the past few days. OK, so maybe not what some would consider to be cold, but certainly cold for what we are used to here in the Pacific Northwest. We usually see various colors of gray with rain. The way we know what season it is, is by the temperature of the rain. Cold rain means it is winter, where-as mildly chilly rain with lighter or brighter shades of gray means it is spring.

O.K., so it really isn't that bad. The corner of the world that I live in is quite colorful to tell the truth. It just rains... a lot. 

We just had some snow, which is fun for us because usually when it is cold enough for snow it is the one time that we have no precipitation; but when it is precipitating all over the place it isn't cold enough for snow. So at times, several winters will go by with just very cold rain. 

The kids love it when it snows, especially when they get a snow day out of the deal, which seems to happen here even if there is just a small dusting of snow. I think either the powers that be who decide to call it a snow day are really just giant kids at heart or they are chickens in the snow! Anyways, this is what we did this last snow day:


We will be holding a group chat on Monday, March 7th, 2011 @ 11:30 a.m. PST.

This is the #1 question:  "What time does that make it for me?" Which of course is a very important question to have answered, correctly. 

So let's get to it. Follow this link to find out what time it will be for you: 

(fill in the blanks: March 7th, 2011 @ 11:30 a.m. Location: U.S.A. - Washington - Seattle -then choose your location)

The group will meet HERE at the forum's chat room. You will have to be a member to chat, which is easy to sign-up for. Once you have signed in, you can locate the chat room directly below the family of Cheetah's and about 3/4 of the way towards to the right. 

Any questions please feel free to email me.

Remember, part of how this peer-support works is to be connected to one another and sharing experiences! (even if it is through the computer and not real life, we do what we can)

Come as you are, seriously, as you are... no one will see you sitting in your p.j.'s with your hair ratted!

I look forward to seeing you all there. (F.Y.I. - we will be offering different days and times to meet the needs of everyone!)


Sunday, February 20, 2011

February 27th - March 6th, 2011: Skill of the week

Vulnerabilities. P.L.E.A.S.E. Master (you can find details about this by following this link, under skills, distress tolerance)

We have covered this skill many times. However, I must direct attention back to it again. This is the reason why, it will amaze you at how much it impacts our effectiveness when we have physical ailments. 

Honestly, when you are sick how much do you get done around your house? Mothers & fathers out chaotic does your household get when you are sick? It gets crazy doesn't it? 

This week I am going to do something a little bit differently than my typical skills posting. Usually I go over this skill in detail, what it all means etc. This week I am just going to discuss the "P" in this acronym on a personal level. 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

February 15th - 20th, 2011: Skill of the week

Thank-you for your gracious patience with my weekly skills post. I know I said that I would do it on Monday, but you know life happens and I really wasn't feeling all that well. It makes me wonder, which is the lesser of the two evils? The pain meds or the pain? Well, I suppose that would be different for each individual person.

Last weeks skill we discussed self-monitoring. There is an area that is very important to monitor: our relapse. Each of us will eventual relapse. We are not perfect and for us to consider it a failure to relapse would be short sighted.We need to understand how to fail well. Once we have come to grips with the reality that a relapse will happen the next step is to do everything in our power to avoid it and prepare for it. 

Each of us should have a Relapse Prevention Plan. This plan should be kept with your Crisis Plan, Recovery Plan, and your assessments of your progress worksheets. It needs to be handy. I would recommend studying it on a regular basis. It is good for us to keep it close in mind as to what happens to us as a relapse is building up. It gives us many more opportunities to stop the relapse in its tracks. We will get more adept at stopping this relapse mid-stream the more familiar we are with the process and the more comfortable we are with the concept of failing well.

We should consider these aspects when developing our plan:

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Hang tight

I had a procedure done on Friday and I am still a bit under the weather. The pain meds are making it so I don't quite think clearly, and my wise mind tells me that this is not a good time to be posting a skill! Until tomorrow then! Thank-you for your patience.


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Look Ma - No hands!!!

We all get tired. Really tired. During these times what do we do? This last weekend I found that I had switched to autopilot and hadn't even been aware of it. I am not talking about physical tiredness, I mean we get that way too, but I am referring to that mental tiredness that sort of saps every last bit of energy out of us. When there is nothing left autopilot can be blessing. 

For most of us out there that have children we have witnessed this autopilot in action and are often amazed at what can be accomplished when you thought everything was lost. In these cases your kids needed something and out of nowhere there it was and you were able to give it to them. I know I am still amazed at how much I have to give them when I feel there isn't even enough in me to breath. When I was acutely aware of this ability over the past weekend I thought to myself, "why don't I give myself that much when I'm empty?" Well, the first obvious answer that popped into my head equally as fast as the question was that I love my kids way more than I do myself. This is my emotion mind speaking of course, because right along side that thought logic mind weighs in with, "yea, but you can only love others as much as you love yourself" and the two of them start arguing and it gets really embarrassing! Whoa, "MJ, where are you going with this?" Good question:

I have moccasins you can wear!

Change wears my sister's moccasins. He stays up late and wakes up early. He likes to come up quietly and kiss me on the back of the neck when I am at my drawing table. He wants to amuse people, and it hurts him when they yell at him. Change is very musical, but sometimes you must listen for a long time before you hear the pattern in his music. 

~ The Book of Qualities - J. Ruth Gendler

We all are changing...everyday...don't hurt his feelings, embrace him.