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!