Yesterday was a better day.
This roller coaster I’ve been on seems to be slowing down. I’m not off the ride just yet, but the slower speed is a relief.
I’m proud of myself for one thing at least. Instead of doing what I would usually do, which is self-medicate with my benzo’s (more than what’s prescribed), I used the DBT Distress Tolerance skill of Urge Surfing and Riding The Wave. Just allowing myself to fully experience the urges for self-harm, medication, and alcohol, and feel the emotions that I so desperately wanted to numb.
I managed to cope with those intense feelings and urges by doing some physical activity right in my room, such as push ups. Something I find really soothing is lying stomach down on my fitness/exercise ball and slowly rolling back and forth, stopping for about 30 seconds every now and then to just breathe and feel the pressure and support against my stomach and upper body. It may sound weird, but it helps. I had to use a lot of my coping skills and tools, and I realized again just how important it is to have those.
Another urge I’ve had is to quit therapy (next session and the first of this year is next week Wednesday). Not because of my therapist, but because I’ve been wondering whether therapy in general is still worth it for me. Feeling like I’m sick of doing the work and still having these bad mental health days, to this extent. But I managed to avoid sending those emails and messages.
My main goal during times like these is to get through these moments in less destructive ways as far as possible. And I think I’ve managed that quite well so far.
It still catches me by surprise how quickly my emotions can change from one minute, hour, week, to the next.
When I wrote my last post I was in a pit of despair which had rolled over me while doing some movement and muscle exercises (sensory integration stuff). Everything just suddenly seemed pointless, and didn’t have the strength or energy to stop the spiral leading me down a dark road.
Once I’m in that dark place, most of the time I can’t even summon up the thought that it will be over soon. I forget that our emotions are like waves, they come and go. You know, the stuff we’re taught in DBT. In those moments it feels like it’s never going to end. That this is it. This is life. This is me. This is how it’s always going to be and there’s nothing I can do about it.
When I’m not in that place where suicidal ideation is so strong, then I remember that this too shall pass. Then I can see the waves and am more able to cope with the emotions rising and falling, crashing and calming.
Here’s to riding the waves.
Group was lovely tonight. So different/weird-but-nice. It felt like a combination of time spent in a spa, and therapy. D, the OT, had lit candles in the room we were having the group in. There was even a light vanilla scented air freshener thing going on. Very romantic! We spoke about self-compassion, self-soothing, and the ACCEPTS DBT skill (Distress Tolerance). D passed around a variety of hand lotions, and showed us a hand massage video, which we had to follow along with, using whichever lotion we had chosen. Now do you get why I said it felt like I had spent time in a spa?
As usual, we ended off with a meditation/visualization, before we were sent on our merry way.
I’m linking to another video that D had shown us tonight as well. I found it so cute!
Now, I’m off to go roll myself up, and follow the video’s instructions.