I abilities feel stronger, robust even. My suit of armour has been fixed and polished. Inside the suit I am vulnerable, full of emotions and open to triggers, but now that all the chinks and dents have been smoothed out, I am prepared for the onslaught of emotion, armed and ready with more skills. I feel humbled and so glad that the Centre for Living proved me wrong. It’s not easy for me to say that. I like to be right, but I was really mistaken about the programmes ability to help me evolve in my understanding of DBT.
The most valuable morsel of information I am leaving with today is that my life is never all-or-nothing. Just because I had a bad morning, say I eat more than I planned, it does not mean that I need to discredit all the other good things I achieved that day.
One particular therapist was really wonderful. It’s not that she thought me anything new; in fact at first I found it hard to participate in her sessions as I thought I had heard it all before! But the longer I sat there, the more everything just ‘fell’ into place. It’s about using the DBT skills together, in tangent with each other, it’s about weaving the mindfulness skills into everything I do, not just sitting quietly observing my thoughts for 10 minutes a day. It’s about noticing the grumbles of anxiety before the fear takes over and I loss control. It’s about catching the little niggles of frustration and quenching it with self soothing skills, so that intense anger stays at bay. It’s not about the food, or the behaviours. I need to be mindful long before I get to that stage. It’s always about the emotions. This therapist clawed me back to WISE MIND and is a perfect example of the therapy really working, of it making sense.
I found such great validation in the other service users I met over the last 2 weeks. We were all at different stages of our recovery journey. Most were at the beginning of treatment, just becoming accustomed to the structure of DBT, and still exploring the diagnosis. Some had accepted it, others were still fighting it. Some simply didn’t understand it and hence couldn’t make an informed decision either way! We were all sitting in that room because of a common link. We all in some shape or form lacked the ability and skills to deal with our emotions. I found comfort in being reminded that I was not alone, that there are other people out there going through this hell.