Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Encouragement from One Another

I wanted to share this post with everyone! Recently one of our group members expressed her feelings of discouragement. She made the point that following through on DBT skills feels, at times, like the skills set just "doesn't work" or that, "it's never going to get better" - and another group member had this to share:

"I just read what you wrote on the Saturday's DBT life thread. So beautifully articulated I could relate to all you wrote. I too fall into all to familiar behavior and negative self talk and thinking when distressed. I find myself back to a bad place and I have made it worse by all the self loathing and sabotage. Everything gets thrown out with the bath water when feeling out of control or helpless... as if trapped in the emotion. Falling into "black & white" thinking my reactive emotional mind takes over.  
"Nothing will work" ... "Nobody could understand" ...... "I can't do this"....
But it is what we do next that is important. How I handle the next moment after I am aware that my emotions have got away from me.. I realize I am not functioning with my wise mind. I put all my concentration on my breath... relaxing mindful breaths .... I look around, use self soothing skills.. enter wise mind.... accept the present moment as it is and am grateful that change is possible. 

Judgmental self talk and habitual negative self sabotaging behaviors are just more reactions to feeling wounded and helpless.. Wounds need TIME to heal ... Self Care, Mindfulness, and DBT skills are like beautiful herbal salves that cover and protect old scars and new wounds against negative invaders and abrasive salts that burn. If the salves grow thin as they are absorbed,  it is time to reapply, not tear the wound open and think it won't heal.It is important to be kind to ourselves and realize the salve will need reapplying .... it means it is being absorbed ... it is a natural part of healing. With healing ourselves we grow confidence in the salve to handle any future injury that might arise.

I tend to intellectualize a lot ... but it is the walk and not the talk as we know that is most effective. Understanding is important ... but practice in real life application and role playing makes the salve really sink in. So basically learning how to make all the beautiful healing salves in the world will do no good without applying them consistently with tender loving care and patience. 

I still slip much of the time .... but what I have noticed through DBT and Zen practice is awareness and shortened recovery time/ less suffering and ruminating. I get triggered  ....but have more skills and mindset to stop the escalation of emotion once it arises. Studies show that habits take a minimum consistency of 66 days to see more permanent change. And from there it becomes a lifestyle..... Yay to rebooting :) "
                                                                                                                                                                   


Thank-you, to our dear group participants for their questions, offering of experiences and sage advice. You are making this adventure worth every moment! Many thanks!

~MJ