Wednesday, December 25, 2013

A time of Crisis

I wanted to take a moment today and validate for many who may be struggling today. While there are many out there that are not fighting for sanity, I wanted to honestly reflect - that during the holidays can be quite difficult for some people. 

There may be a lot of family time with large crowds to tend to, or lack of family may be the injury inside. Simply grocery shopping can be a daunting task with so many people out and about. All of it can be overwhelming and quite frankly there are too many people out there that do not understand why you hurt so badly inside with all the "cheer" swirling around us. 

I am sure many of you have heard that suicide rates go up during the holidays, I did want to point out that the CDC did a study of that concept and found it to be a myth (please see link below.) Not to say that the holidays don't bring more stress and that there is a trend of people struggling with their mental illness more during this time. That part is very real. I have included some links to the Mayo Clinic and NAMI on some tips to help you through it. 

Something paramount in getting through any time of crisis is validation, honesty with yourself about your limitations and not shaming yourself when you need to say enough is enough. This can go any direction.

Knowing your limits may mean you do not have holiday meals with three families over the course of two days, saying "no" to someone and not feeling guilty about it, knowing that you are taking care of yourself and that anyone who loves you enough to want to spend the holidays with you, will love you and respect you enough to know that you know when you need to draw a line and they will respect your "no thank-you"

Or, the other direction. If you do not have family around and you know that your limitation is by the third day of being alone that you call up that family friend of yours and ask to be with them and do not feel ashamed for asking or feel as though you are an extra to a family unit, rather that you can be a part of the world with them, despite how difficult it is to ask for help. 

Know and respect your limitations...

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Skill: Honesty

Specifically let's look at #2. 

This is a skill that takes effort to master. It is easy to perceive a situation and then believe all that your brain tells is real and true about that given situation. Perception is a tricky thing. While it can be dead on, it can also be quite skewed and to not look for areas in your perception that might not be what you want it to be would be ignoring the golden rule of DBT...

There is truth in both sides. In some cases that truth is a nugget, in others that truth is rather large. In either case, there is still truth on both sides. 

An effective, accurate perception of any given situation would be one that takes into account both sides of truth. Without that, the perception will be skewed. 

So, ask yourself, are you an honest person? Honest with yourself?

Monday, December 16, 2013


Finding a way to recall things has always been tricky for some, especially if they find that their emotions are already off balance. As it goes with mental illness, we can be reminded of something over and over and over and still when we hear it a 5th or 6th time, be like,

"Dang, that is great advise, how can I remember that?"


How many of us on the west side of the pond learned that if we wanted to remember the names of the Great Lakes we simply had to go H.O.M.E.S.?

When I was on g+ over the weekend I saw a great acronym and I wanted to share it, plus reiterate to all some great skill building techniques using acronyms!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

DBT Groups

Free - Virtual DBT Groups!

What are the components of an effective Group?

First, you will need participants. Second, flow of useful information and third, resources.

My DBT Life offers just that, and best of all it is free!

How does it work?

Chat - This Friday November 22, 2013

All who are interested ~ Please join us for a chat this Friday, November 22, 2013.

The time is open so far, please shoot me an email, a comment here on Google+ or Facebook, as to who may be interested and what timing is good for you!


"Focusing on you" - continued

So why did I correlate the quote,

"If you don't know your own worth or value, then do not expect someone else to calculate it for you."

with focusing on ourselves and the 3 states of mind?

Part of living a life worth living is that, that worth is coming from you not those around you. You have to see it in the mirror, you have to give yourself that power.

Something that we are all too aware of is that what we say and do, how we behave impacts those around us.

So it seems that it is a natural leap that we try and balance us with those around us. While this is natural, it is also very important to keep the proper understanding of that balance. On one side, yes, be very aware of how you impact the world around you, that speaks to accountability. On the other side, how that impact affects those around us after the accountability factor is on them, not you. So you do not define yourself based on what those around you defines you as.

Does this make sense? Can you see that fine line that exist between accountability and relying on the approval of the people around you? They are imperfect too, so the problem lies in when you put all of your stock into what your mate is feeling about a situation or if you put all of your worth in what your loved ones think about your journey, you are stealing the power of momentum from yourself and are disabling the ability of your three states of mind to function properly and therefore as a result will find that you cannot access wise mind as often or as effectively as needed. All due to the fact that if something is off with your loved one, it will thwart your ability to see your power to over-come you being off baseline. It is also called codependency and is dangerous.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Bring the focus in a little!

Don't let it alarm you! I know that focusing on yourself can seemingly feel unnerving. I mean after-all, isn't that what you have been doing for some time now? Isn't all this therapy, maybe medications, groups, research etc part of focusing all on you? 

To a degree, yes. However, that isn't what I am referencing here. I always consider myself to be "under-construction" - so I don't see a time that I won't be reaching out for skills or to learn something  new about myself. 

However, there is a different kind of focus. This kind is of the self-assessment variety. Or self-discovery. 

Please, read on...

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The impact of words

Here are some great quotes I ran across today. I wanted to share them with everyone because they speak volumes for humanity and that we are all in this together and we share such deep personal feelings with people that we may not realize. Also, in DBT, Radical Acceptance, emotion regulation and failing well are hard concepts to move on, yet these quotes hit on them so eloquently. Thank-you to the folks at!
Enjoy ~

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Comments and Interaction

Dawn , Kasey, & Leah (and any who may lurk and really want to comment :),

Thank-you for your comments recently. I try to respond to all comments, unfortunately we are in the middle of moving our comments from "Intense Debate" to "Google+"  ~ So, consider this my response, as I cannot directly access your specific comments ~ 

Dawn, I loved your two cents and this is exactly the place for those thoughts! That is what My DBT Life is about, sharing and offering ideas, experiences and insight to one another. My hope is that no family has to fight mental illness alone, ever.

Many thanks to Leah for joining me in chat last month. It has been a crazy month since and we have been working hard at getting My DBT Life out for more internet visibility. I sincerely look forward to when we get more participants and we can do it more regularly!

We all know the importance of gaining strength in numbers and that is what My DBT Life's goal is, gather as many people who share a common weakness or disability and gain strength and encouragement to build a life worth living... together. 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Seasons Change

Yes folks, we really do get this much rain! 

So the chat hasn't been that popular. I am still available and I really want to see this aspect of My DBT Life gain some traction. Please consider joining. 

On another note: Summer is truly over and Fall has sunk its teeth in. Especially around the Pacific Northwest. Just since the first day of Fall we have already had 2 major wind and rain storms! It's crazy. So with the rain, comes the gray days. I plan on preparing...

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Join me for a live chat

Anyone interested in joining me for a live chat tomorrow?

Thursday, September 19th @ noon. 

My time zone is Pacific. So think, California.... my time is the same as California's. 

See all who can join me tomorrow, even if you want to come just as an observer, you are more than welcome!


Go to and sign up for a free user account. Under the heading "Group Meets Here" heading will give you instructions on how to join the chat. 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Let's get to chatting!

OK, we are trying out a chat room. We'll want feedback, let's hear what everyone thinks. 

Chat room access will be done by invitation only. Come join Lefora for free at; and follow the directions on the board to receive an invite.. Email me if you any problems @

The chat room should work like this: It will be open all the time, so once you have an invite you can pop in at any time and see if someone else will be there. We will also schedule times for people to meet, and those schedules will be posted on the Blog and inside the forum. 

Again, I cannot stress this enough, please give us your input. This is a new arrangement for us, as the last one was a bit different, and we are determined to create an environment that is safe, friendly, and useful for all. 


Thanks for the pic:


I am begging your forgiveness!

We have at long last opened the DBT forum back up at - just sign-up for a free user account and get started. You can either access this forum by accessing the "Join the Group" tab at the top of the website, or you can bookmark the forum to your browser. 

Plus, as you read this post, I am actively working on embedding our chat room for group chats. I will post another announcement when it is finally in. 

Thank you for the patience! 


Monday, September 2, 2013

Group/Forum Update!

We have not forgotten to open the group! Our family has been on vacation and preparing for the kids to start school. We will have the group up and running by the end of the week. I look forward to meeting all of you that are interested!


Pic thanks to:

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Meeting New People

Meeting new people can be quite intolerable for a person with a mental illness. A lot of factors play a role in the experience. Self-esteem, past experiences, sensory sensitivity, too many to really list here in this brief introduction. However, a commentor mentioned that she struggles with this and that being put in a new job months ago, this is something that she was faced with. So I thought that since this is something that most of us face to some degree now and again it might be a good topic to discuss. 

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Crazy terms...

No I do not believe that any of the disorders that people are afflicted with today mean that they are crazy. The outside world may, but I do not.

The uninformed may, but we do not.

I do have a request. Please, readers, dig up what you can: I am in the process of trying to understand Dissociative Identity Disorder (aka multiply personality disorder - which, if I understand correctly, this term has gone the way of yesterday and is no longer in use)

There is so much to learn and understand about this disorder and I desperately want input. Please contact me personally, or post a comment. I want your insight!


Many thanks for the pic to:

Monday, July 29, 2013

I am a Professional Juggler:

Have you ever watched a juggler begin his act? They start out with a giant smile on their face and two to three balls. As they juggle those balls they hold that smile with ease and steal glances at their audience, making eye contact with various watchers. 

The act progresses by the juggler tossing those few balls in tricky styles, wowing the crowd. But what really gets the crowd going is when the juggler adds more balls, and more balls...before the eyes of the crowd the juggler is performing what many consider to be the impossible. 

But what happens to the jugglers face? And what has happened to the eye contact they once had with the audience? Most professional jugglers are quite able to keep a friendly decorum during the most intense times of their acts, but you can see the smile fade to a gentle smile with a lot of concentration behind it, the juggler is no longer able to make glances at the audience because if he were to take his eyes off the ball for a split second tragedy for his act could reign. 

Consider this:

We are jugglers too. Not physical ones (except of course some of you readers out there may very be!), rather we are jugglers in a figurative sense. Like most people we juggle the usual "3" balls, Work, Life and Fun. Again, like most that Life ball usually involves a family. However, for persons with a mental illness and those that live with us, our life ball has spawned into many balls that all need to stay in the rotation so as to not throw us off balance. Our Work ball is heavy. Very heavy, the complications with working a secular job are great for some of us. Perhaps others of us, the burden is too heavy. But the Work ball itself stays in the rotation, because whether we work secular or at home, we still work. For us, our juggling looks more like this:

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Dearest (patient) readers!

I am listening to what the comments are saying and it sounds as though there may very well be a need to re-start the group. The summer is winding down and Aj and I have decided that we will start a new group the first week of September and see how things go.

I know I have been absent for months, but I am listening. I have garnered a lot of experience to share these past few months and quite a few experiences where DBT has saved me and some that didn't work so well, and that is OK too!

Thanks for hanging in there readers. 


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

How many shades of grey...errr or is it gray?

I have always been victim of this folly.

I understand the differences and with the internet I can always readily remind myself of the "rules" - but to be honest with you, I think the English language has too many "rules" that don't make much sense as it is and I opt not to spend too much time on which spelling. I did read that when all else fails, it is grAy in America and grEy in England. 

Oddly enough, I have never lived in England (only visited) and ever since I can recall I have been prone to spelling color: colour, behavior: behaviour, and gray: grey. So I don't know how to explain that, other than it makes things more interesting to do things a different way than a person's typical peers. So, having said that...the real topic for today....

All these shades of grey. 

I live in the Pacific Northwest of the United States, in Camas, Washington to be exact. For many of you readers, if not all, this is as foreign a place to you as any place and I could easily say I live on Mars. Which I am certain would probably fascinate you more than Camas, Washington. In order to give this small little town a reference point for people, I tell them I am from Portland, Oregon, since Portland is probably, technically 9 minutes away, but the actual downtown of Portland is more like 20 minutes away. Either case, I am really close to Portland and way more people know where Portland is than Camas. 

But this gives you an idea of what I am getting at with this shades of grey stuff. In fact Camas' precise location on the globe is 45.596744, -122.399368. What does all of this mean? 

Well, taking into consideration my proximity from the Artic Circle, the Pacific Ocean and the Cascade Mountain Range this all equals:

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Stepping outside of yourself ~ Ownership

I had a very strange experience on this last Sunday. I am not entirely sure yet how to classify it really. Lately, I have been all about maintenance. I have successfully been living with Borderline Personality Disorder for the past couple years. When I say success, I mean I have not been in constant crisis, or even frequent crisis. As many of you already know, BPD is a mental illness that has no cure. There is nothing that will make you "get better" and be done with it. It is a constant fight. At times that fight is hard and tiring and at other times that fight is simply just living your skills. 

Yes, I did use the word "simply" because I can speak from this side of the fence that there is such a thing as something being simple in the world of mental illness. Believe me, I know and have tasted the feeling that nothing is simple and the disbelief that anything could ever be simple again....ever. 

So after living my skills on a regular basis something strange started to happen. I started to be able to develop the ability to step outside myself. 

Don't worry, I am not going down some weird tangent about out of body experiences and what-not... but this experience can be quite intriguing.

Friday, January 4, 2013


Now that looks pretty final! Fortunately for all the readers who do not need any extra reason to be anxious, I DO NOT buy into the whole, "2012 Doomsday"....

But it was very fitting for the point of this post. We all at times feel like that pic, I know we do because I have been there so many times that either I am a one case out of 2 billion, or it is pretty common for persons with mental health issues. 

Let's deal with the point here....