DBT DIARY: EMOTIONS AND THEIR MYTHS

In DBT session 3, my therapist helped me look at emotions, the purpose of them and misconceptions I may have about them. The first thing we covered was identifying emotions as positive or negative for example ‘interest’ was positive, anger was negative but surprise could be either positive or negative depending on what the surprise is. I also learned about secondary emotions which are emotions that arise because of the main emotion being felt, for example, you could be angry and feel guilt for feeling that anger.

My therapist and I then looked at a myths about emotions worksheet, she went through the list of myths with me while I decided whether I believed in them or not and looked at how to challenge my beliefs, for example I have struggled with the belief that “negative emotions are bad and destructive” for years, I was ashamed of my anger because I knew the damage it could do.

1_9dctnzz9pxvr6dthunpkfq@2xThe example on how to challenge this belief on the worksheet was “negative feelings are natural” which is understandable but I would often struggle to understand whether my feelings were justified. This reminded me of what my neurofeedback therapist said about anger, she said that anger spurs us into action, if people like the suffragettes hadn’t got angry about the way things were nothing would have changed since the 1900s.

That’s also what we looked at in DBT, the purpose of our emotions and what they can motivate us to do. Anxiety would make us want to retreat to preserve ourselves, Anger would spur us into defense mode to protect ourselves or those we care about and guilt would make us look at our actions and realize what we could do better; the example my therapist gave me of guilt was if you were a parent and you were really busy working, you may feel guilt about not spending enough time with your children thus motivating you to perhaps make adjustments to your work schedule and spend more time with family.

We can also use emotions to communicate and influence others, this can be through tone of voice or body language, consciously or unconsciously we are always communicating our feelings with others and this can influence their behavior towards us.

38875036_288430361751853_4710511974662799360_nEmotions also are good communicators to ourselves and can act as indicators that something is wrong or say something about ourselves and what we like/don’t like. However, people tend to mistake their feelings as fact, especially if you feel so intensely that the objective situation is unclear. This would be where mindfulness skills come in, as it encourages us to look at our emotions with curiosity instead of judgement, allowing us to fully understand what the emotions are there for and deal with them appropriately.

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Thanks for reading ❤

You can also follow me on twitter: @Addict2L (Redefine The Borderline)

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Self Pity or Compassion?

I did some research into what self pity is and, while it is generally seen as feeling sorry for one’s self and something that should not be done because it is “weak” or “pathetic”, it is actually something that many of us should practise in small doses.

You see, if you are as empathetic as I am you have probably found yourself crying at a sad scene in movies or unable to watch the news because of how upset seeing others suffer makes you feel. That is compassion yet we are taught not to extend the same compassion to ourselves because it is “selfish” and self pity

I’ve tried to explain to people many times to try and get them to understand what goes on inside my head but a lot of people who view this as self pity do not show compassion for themselves so how can they show any for me?

Feeling sorry for yourself is okay because it’s a cruel world out there and sometimes all you’ve got is yourself.

Only you can truly understand what you are going through so it is up to you to show yourself the kindness and compassion that others may not have shown you.

That being said it is important not to “wallow” in self pity I think just enough to make yourself cry so you can release your stress hormones and then move on.

It is important to practise the compassion we show others on ourselves. So treat yourself like you would treat another person in the same situation (assuming that would be with kindness and empathy)

How you treat others is a reflection of how you treat yourself so how you treat yourself has a great affect on others, treat yourself with love and kindness and others will feel it too.

Thanks for reading,

NI2M ❤️

Learning to be vulnerable

I used to be a lot more open about my emotions; I could cry, laugh and yell when I needed to, admittedly the crying and yelling was in an unhealthy amount, In hindsight this was probably due to my BPD but my point is I didn’t have such a big guard up around me.

You see this behavior got me singled out as “emo” “weak” and “strange” and I was bullied for it when all I had been was vulnerable and in our world being vulnerable is considered the same as weak and sharks like to take advantage of this “weakness”

This bullying led to me having panic attacks, crying and self harming almost every night, keep in mind this bullying was added to trauma from assault, abandonment and being a young carer for my sister who has autism basically I already thought my life was pretty shit even before the bullying and the exposure to such things gives your brain a right battering, hence making you more vulnerable.

I understand now that the bullies were most likely going through some shit themselves but instead of letting themselves be vulnerable, they put on a front and took out their issues on people like me who were more expressive with their vulnerability.

After a while I “toughened up” but for me that meant bottling up the tears and the anger; not letting myself be honest about my feelings and this clashed with my values of being true to yourself and being honest, this only encouraged my self harm as I took on the bully mentality and would basically bully myself for feeling like crying for “stupid” reasons.

I learned yesterday how truly unhealthy this “toughen up” attitude is and got me thinking we should be more encouraging for people to show their emotions and let people be vulnerable sometimes. I’ve spoken about this before where I’ve said that schools could do more to help children and young people understand mental health, teaching them how to not only help others with difficulties but themselves as well. There are so many lessons that can be taught on how to express our emotions in a healthy way instead of hurting ourselves and/or others.

Yesterday was the first time I let my guard down in a setting I considered unsafe to do so and nothing really happened; the counsellor gave me some tissues and let me talk things out, I then went to the bathroom to clean myself up and grabbed myself some chocolate and a cuppa tea. So I relied more on myself than I did the counsellor which is empowering but the counsellor helped because she didn’t make me feel judged and I felt safe to be vulnerable with her and that’s how a school, college and busy workplace should feel SAFE.

  • Safe to be yourself
  • Safe to be vulnerable
  • Safe to be honest

I learned that vulnerability isn’t weak, in healthy amounts its good to let your guard down to truly communicate to people your needs. Honestly if I saw one of my bullies cry I wouldn’t hurt them how they hurt me, I would help them and let them know the safety they need to be vulnerable and hope that my compassion would promote their sense of compassion not just for others but themselves as well.

Thanks for reading,

NI2M ❤️

 

 

 

 

MeetMeOnTheBorderline: The Other Problem with BPD

so for about 6 weeks now I’ve been receiving treatment for emotional instability and it does seem to be working, I’m slower to react and quicker to recover from a bad mood but there is another problem with BPD and that is identity.

You see BPD makes me fear abandonment and rejection so for years I’ve tried to fit in with the people I like. I’ve even tried to be different types of people but all this lead to was me feel confused about who I truly was.

Recently I was out with friends watching a movie I told my friend that I really liked it but she said for her it was just mediocre and then… I found myself talking down the movie I actually liked just to be on the same page as her. Not going to lie as I was doing this I felt myself dying a little inside.

I used to do it when I was in school but didn’t feel so bad about it because blending in and agreeing with others what pretty much how we all survived high school but now I’m 20, out of school and mainly on my own so I shouldn’t feel the need to try to fit in any more but I do as I still have that fear of the few people I call friends leaving me.

Also during that day I found myself feeling uncomfortable, sad and anxious but just like I used to plastered a smile on my face, made jokes and pretended everything was good even as they were “roasting” me (although some of the time it felt like straight up insults) the whole time dying a little more inside bit by bit.

When I got home I found myself wondering “do they only like me because I behave the way I want them to?” if I started being more honest about my thoughts and feelings would they turn on me? would they say I was “overreacting” “being dramatic” or “over sensitive?” I don’t know and that worries me but if they were true friends they would at least try to understand right?

I’m just so tired of compromising myself and basically lying for other people’s benefit just to have me feeling hollowed out and confused. So I guess its not just the emotions I have to worry about my identity.

Here are the things I know about myself;

I enjoy reading but I don’t know what my favourite genre is

I Love going to the cinema/theatre but can’t often afford it

I like to write but often doubt my work and therefore lack the motivation to actually do it.

My favourite band is Evanescence

My favourite genre of music seems to be rock but I’m also able to enjoy other genres

I love to sing and dance but not seriously.

Everything emotional and social about myself I’m not sure of, like am I introverted or extroverted? Am I really so emotionally sensitive? I have no clue and I guess its going to take time for me to find out and become my “true self”

 

Thank you for reading, NI2M ❤

DepressionDiaries: Out Of Balance

Lately I’ve been experiencing only two moods manic af or too depressed to function.

Today/yesterday I spent most of the day feeling awful especially when I had to go to the doctors for a referral to private therapy.

I was so down and low on energy all I wanted to do was sleep and I didn’t know how to answer the doc’s question coherently (I probably sounded a bit rude, my bad)

I had a nap when I returned home and when I woke up my mood had changed to manic/hysteria I felt like smiling and laughing for no reason but they were hollow and not sincere cheeriness.

I still felt tired but my brain was too wired to sleep so I spent the night/early morning eating whatever I could find while pacing around the room. I feel a bit sick now.

I’m not sure if I would say that this is the worst I’ve ever been I mean as I’ve grown I guess my depression and disorder affects me differently as my personality changes. I’m not so fearful about this breakdown as I was last year I guess now I’m just confused and fed up with everything.

NI2M ❤

DepressionDiaries: My Stupid Heart </3

I don’t really want to be writing this but I think I need to. I was scrolling through facebook when I saw that the guy I went on a date with a few weeks back (the guy who claimed I was a ‘sweet angel’ and said he would do anything to make me happy; even though we barely knew each other) Well he set his status on Facebook as “in a relationship”, not with meas I’d made it clear I did not want to be his girlfriend at least until we got to know each other.

Well if you read my previous post you’ll know that this did not go so well. I hate to admit this considering I found this guys quite creepy and a bit threatening but when I saw his “in a relationship” status. I felt hurt, angry and perhaps a little heartbroken even though, like I said, I wasn’t his girlfriend and didn’t want to be.

I guess the fact that he’d showed me some kind of love and attention that my BPD so craves just to take it back and find someone else not long after set off that good ol’ feeling of abandonment. Also what’s frustrating is that I was as nice as I could be to him because I didn’t want to make him feel bad then he goes and pulls this sh*t making ME feel bad, remind me why I give a f*ck about others these days? Below are quotes of messages I sent to my friends about the situation;

“I guess I just feel kind of used and abused for some desperate whim”

Why can’t someone ACTUALLY love me in a non creepy way?”

“Why do they (past admirers) have to stalk or threaten me?”

by now I was feeling depressed, worthless, on the verge of tears and trembling from the intense emotional reaction I was having of wanting to cry, fight with the guy, and find someone else to make myself feel better but 1) Like I said I wasn’t interested so crying is futile 2) He technically did nothing wrong, I was not his girlfriend 3) would just make me as bad and as desperate as him.

In the end I opted to shut down my phone, have a refreshing wash and rock out to rebellious angry music until I was ready to go back to talking to my friends for some humorous banter about the situation.

To be honest that part of me that feels abandoned and depressed about the situation will be there for a while I’ve got to accept that but I have other things to focus on; friends, family, my youtube channel and finding a paid job… Yes I’m taking the right steps towards adulthood, wish me luck.

As for the person who’s now dating said guy. Good luck, don’t let him pressure you and thank you for taking him off my hands.

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NI2M ❤

DepressionDiaries: Feeling the Pressure

Him: Hey you free to meet up I need someone to meet feeling lonely right now and just wondering upset atm

Me: Where and when?

Him: Today if possible please. Feel like crying 😢

Me: Okay well I’m already meeting up with a friend. Is it all right if he comes to?

Him: No sorry just might jump off a building sorry

This is a conversation between me and the guy I went on a date with a few weeks ago. Bare in mind we’ve hardly spoken and we don’t really know eachother well.

I actually lied about already meeting up with a friend. I was on facetime with two of them when I was getting these messages and honestly I felt uncomfortable meeting up with him alone so I begged one of them to come with me but then you saw that last message. When he sent that I felt threatened like if I didn’t meet up with him… alone and at night he would hurt himself. I told my friends what he said and immediately alarm bells went off for them as well. So I ended up saying that I couldn’t meet him and my mum never wants me to see him again and I don’t mind that honestly.

He has since apologised for his behaviour but I still don’t trust him, I can feel the colour drain from my face as the dread rushes over me whenever I get a message from him. He wants to see me but I don’t want to see him and I don’t know how to tell him that…

NI2M ❤

DepressionDiaries: Group Therapy Part 2- Distraction Techniques + Wise Mind

This session we discussed distraction techniques so when we have distressing feelings we can briefly escape them and calm down, returning to the difficult situation thinking more objectively. Distraction is different from avoidance because avoidance involves never going back and confronting what has distressed you, distraction is where you allow yourself time to calm down before going back to the situation to solve it.

Distraction techniques are especially useful for handling self destructive behaviours. For example I have had anger management problems for years so I have a tendency to think and behave aggressively. Knowing that it is wrong to actually smash someone’s head against a counter because they’ve pissed me off I would often suppress those feelings and push away the thought of wanting to do that but the anger is still there and I feel a craving for violence therefore I self harm thus satisfying my anger without hurting anyone else. However this has had a detrimental affect on me in the long run. What may help me is distracting myself from aggressive thinking by instead  thinking of something calm and happy (easier said than done)

Another way besides positive distracting thoughts is action, something that I believe does work better for me. For example last night I was having particularly bad intrusive thoughts so what I did was spend about an hour reorganising my bookshelves (I have a lot of books) this helped by diverting my attention away from the thoughts on to deciding which book should go where on which shelf; I do this whenever I’m really stressed out making my bookshelves the only organised and neat part of my bedroom.

We also looked at something called “the wise mind” which is a mental state where you are able to balance the demands of the rational and emotional mind. A way of remembering  the wise mind distraction method is ACCEPTS.

A = Activities – Taking your mind off stress by doing an activity such as Arts & Crafts

C = Contributing – Doing something like helping a friend or volunteer work.

C = Comparisons- Comparing your life to someone who has it worse than you ( to be honest I don’t agree with this part, you shouldn’t  really compare the suffering of anyone it’s not a competition)

E = Emotions- triggering different emotions by listening to music or watching something scary or funny to change your mood.

P = Pushing away – leaving a situation physically or mentally until you are ready to return calmer.

T =Thoughts- concentrating your mind on counting or something you like

S= Sensations – Using the sense of touch to take your mind off the distress or “ground” you. E.g. holding an ice cube (commonly used by self harmers)

My Therapy home work is based around ACCEPTS so I’m going to try out each category during the week 🙂

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NI2M ❤

DepressionDiaries: Group Therapy Part 1 – Waves and Radical Acceptance

Today was my first session of group therapy. Now obviously I can’t say too much about what was said and done but I believe I can give an outline of the session and what I learned from it.

I arrived late because I overslept (great start) but I hadn’t missed much. It was mainly an introduction session. Getting to know one another, what the group was about and stuff like that. 

The thing I wanted to talk about is Radical acceptance. For some reason to me the “radical”word put me on edge but what Radical acceptance means is acknowledging the situation that has caused distress, not judging or criticizing it.

This is because trying to fight or control distressing feelings actually makes things worse for yourself so learning to accept your emotions or past experiences as what they are and riding with them like waves.

The way I see it is building a sandcastle with a wall and everything to protect it from the sea but no matter how thick the sand wall is the intense waves will still damage your sandcastle. So putting up barriers or trying to push the sea (your thoughts/emotions) away is pointless because it will still affect you. 

So accepting and working with the emotions actually makes them (and the sea) calmer causing less damage. Hope that makes sense.

After the session I was already tested on what I’d learned today. My autistic sister started yelling and throwing her toys. An occurence that happens less often these days as both her and I are older but when it does happen it is paricularly stressful. I felt like crying or even hitting her then I wanted to hurt myself for wanting to hurt her it was so bad.

I did stop and think though… I’ve done things like this before when having a meltdown or panic attack. She’s not acting up to purposely ruin things she’s stressed out because she doesn’t understand, if I were to snap or yell back at her it would only distress her more like with me when I have a public meltdown. Didn’t stop my own feelings of distress though; after a while my mum took her out of the restaurant to the shops and while they were away I tried to distract myself by looking through my notes from the session and beginning my draft of this post.

When they came back a while later my sister had calmed down and we could finally order and eat our food, after eating I did feel much better. For some reason my bad moods get worse if I’m hungry.

So if I had responded to my sister’s distress with my own it would have made things worse and would have taken myself and my sister longer to calm down, distressing our mum more in the process (she started crying a bit while my sister shouted her disdain)

So what I learned today is to not judge others or myself harshly on how they deal with difficult situations and emotions because it’s natural and denying it, supressing how you feel can make things much worse in the long run.

NI2M ❤
 

I Try My Hand At Being A BookTuber 

This video I didn’t feel like talking seriously and have got back into reading with a vengeance so thought I would make a video about the books I plan to read over the summer. Let me know if you want me to do a video review of these books 🙂

Thanks for reading/watching

NI2M ❤