This week I attended my second week of DBT (dialectical behavioural therapy and it was hard). The first week was hard, so I was expecting to feel safer this week, knowing the format, the room, the people and I thought I would be able to be more prepared and dive right in when it started . I was proud of myself for not following through on the excuses I had been planning all week. I had also thought about arranging someone to take me at the last minute in case I bottled it but it was fine. I just went.
The friend I had made the week before wasn’t there and immediately I was on edge (#attachmentissues). I was instantly on edge as she didn’t arrive, we were then in a different room, and there were two new members, as well as two who hadn’t come back. Why hadn’t they come back? I knew I shouldn’t have. Maybe this isn’t for me.
So the group began and for whatever reason I couldn’t speak the whole time, instead I cried. I cried for almost the whole two hours 15 minutes, however much I tried to snuffle and hide it, but it was noticed. I had to leave to cry in the bathroom and then that awkward moment if coming back in with bright red puffy eyes, and knowing that if I spoke a thousand tears would come rushing out. So I nodded a lot and tried to avoid speaking.
You see my coping strategy is to write about how I feel, express it that way. In any situation which could be deemed as awkward, confrontational, even constructive criticism I cry. I have for many ears, that is all part of being EUPD ( emotionally unstable personality disorder), or BPD (borderline personality disorder) as its also known. We are over emotional. The emotion comes from the feeling of a lack of nonacceptance, feeling judges or not good enough. Often this is the story I create in my own mind, its not something that the person speaking to me intends or even means, it’s my interpretation.
My secondary coping mechanism is humour, to laugh at myself and I’m happy for others to laugh with me or at me, the minute they want to help, or try to talk me through how I feel, however mundane, I cry. It makes them feel uncomfortable when we’re in a general work meeting, I feel even more anxious and fearful.
Now I was being asked to concentrate on myself, to think, and I didn’t like it. I wanted to get off and the concentration exercises did more to infuriate and frustrate me rather than encourage me to practice mindfulness. I struggle with concentration, I can rarely zone out to a film or read a book, or craft or carry out a hobby. The thoughts we all have that wander in, distract me, and within moments I’m battling the decision just to carry on the day rather than face finishing a cross stitch, or the ironing or meeting friends. The mole hill becomes a mountain and so I don’t think. I think of silly things and worry for hours on end, anything that doesn’t involve confronting my emotions, but that has to change now.
I learnt a long time ago to dismiss, distract, forget, avoid. Now I have to learn new skills, but I have certainly realised that one session or eve two or three in therapy is not going to cure me. I will most likely get worse before I get better, having more bad days again, but there is hope and while there is hope, anything is possible.