Of course after I blog about how things are fine I would get triggered.
I have done my best to remove the trigger but I’m facing the downfall that has come back with my low and that is ruminating in it with no fire to make it better.
I’ll go buy food. That will give my mind something to do.
I’m writing this as a distraction. My pay got messed up so I’m waiting for my boss to call me back so we can sort it out.
I don’t really like counting. It’s math related and I don’t like math. I agreed to try 2/3 of the counting distraction techniques. Counting breaths and counting anything else around me.
I’m finally on to creating a distraction plan. I probably should have gotten to this part a lot sooner but oh well. I will pick which distraction techniques this book has suggested I will try and use next time I start experiencing my overwhelming emotions.
Kristen’s Distraction Plan
- Draw on myself with red pen
- Throw a sock at the wall
- Go for a walk
- Listen to calming music
- Focus on what’s going on outside
- Cat chores
- Take a bath
- Organize my things (ie: books, desk)
- Play with my cats
Now I just need to put that on a little card and I’ll be good to go!
I had my third session with J yesterday. It was better than the last session.
The overall outcome of the session was coming up with distractions to avoid making angry situations worse (for others or myself).
It’s a good thing that I’ve been learning distractions from my DBT workbook. The next step in the workbook was to make a distraction plan so I’ll hopefully do that soon.
J asked me how I felt about not cutting. I started saying that it’s a last resort so I could easily do something else but then as she started talking about I started getting anxious. I told her this, that thinking about not cutting is really stressing me out. It intimidates me. She then suggested we stick with a harm reduction approach with my cutting which is what I have been doing already.
Although cutting doesn’t do for me what it used to (relieve stress, calm me and overall make me feel better) my brain is completely programmed to desire cutting when I feel extremely stressed. I can’t imagine what could replace it despite plenty of options. I know how much it used to work before and I really don’t think anything could measure up and be as helpful as cutting used to be.
I’m going to have to not think about it right now because it’s starting to bother me.
J suggested mediation so I’m bringing in my USB and she’s going to put some music on it for me. As long as I can lay down and chill out to it I’ll be happy.
I need to do this book more often.
Distracting yourself through tasks and chores. I don’t want to do work when I’m getting upset, especially when fights can start because of those chores and tasks but luckily there is a list of 23 plus the ones you can make yourself.
I chose 10/23.
- Wash the dishes
- Make a plan for getting a job/better job
- Clean bathtub and take a bath
- Cat chores
Those are a few examples. I need to do cat chores today actually.
I think this distraction could work.
I don’t feel enthused about this technique. They label is as self care (which includes the home) and they are right, it’s just not my idea of self care.
It’s interesting how some of these distraction techniques seem impossible but others get me really excited and hopeful.
I’m excited for the next part, no, the part after the next part. Eventually I’m making a Distraction Plan. I’ve never made one before.
I AM NOT GOOD AT THIS!!!!
Can you imagine how hard it is for someone experiencing BPD is LEAVE!!!??? The stereotype is “I hate you, don’t leave me” for a reason!
The workbook says that you sometimes need to leave a relationship because you causes you emotional distress. I know from personal experience that when I leave emotionally draining relationships I heal, I become a better person, live becomes easier and more exciting to live. When I’m in that relationship though it can be or feels or is for a certain period of time impossible to leave.
Leaving leads to being alone, being alone leads to self hate, and self hate leads to self harm and suicide! I try to avoid all that by just staying in the relationship! I may feel like shit but at least someone is there to hug me….even if he is the reason I’m upset.
This isn’t the case right now in my current relationship but I don’t want to think that just because I’m in a good relationship horrible habits have disappeared.
I need to work on that.
As for the more low key leaving, walking away, I’m not good at that either. I want to solve the problem so I can’t walk away from it. I literally feel like I’m rooted to the ground and will not be released until I find a suitable solution and I can relax.
I have also had issues with walking away from a stressful situation because of other people. When I have said, “I need to walk away, I can’t deal with this,” I have been called childish for not facing my issues or been followed.
That is my biggest concern, that my efforts will be sabotaged.
This distraction may not be possible, not yet.
P.S. This workbook is so progressive that one of their examples includes a same-sex couple
We can’t control what we think about sometimes. Thoughts can be very invasive! Distraction can help you not think about what is causing you to be upset.
Out of a list of 7 suggestions for distractions I agreed to try 5 of them.
- Remember past events that were pleasant, fun or exciting.
- Imagine sexual thoughts that make you excited.
- Look outside at the natural world around you.
- Imagine yourself as a hero/heroine correcting a past or future event in your life.
- Keep a copy of your favourite prayer or saying with you.
I already have a saying stuck to my fridge to remind me that I am a survivor and that I shouldn’t give up. It seems to work
Yesterday when I was feeling horrible I tried thinking sexual thoughts but it just contributed to the massive power trip I was already on and I ended up punching the person in the face at the end so……I guess I need to work harder on that one.
I feel like this strategy will be a lot harder because it’s not tangible. Since I respond so strongly to the external I think it will be tricky to allow strictly internal thoughts to calm me. Maybe saying the thoughts out loud will make it feel more real?
Luckily there are a few different types of distraction techniques so if this one doesn’t work another one or two or three will help me!
I’m still on Distraction but I want to try each type of Distraction one its own to I don’t feel overwhelmed. I’m trying things out for about a week so I can try and learn it. I don’t want to get ahead of myself.
The workbook suggests that when I start feeling stressed I should pay attention to someone else. I have selected 2/3 of their suggestions and made 1 of my own.
- Do something for someone else.
- Think of someone you care about.
- Go online and comment on blogs (my idea)
I have already done my idea before. There have been times where I have been stressed but I come on and read what some of you have written and I’ll comment back. I have a chance to stop thinking about what’s going on in my head and focus on what’s happening to all of you!
I don’t think I’ve ever thought about doing something for someone else when I’ve gotten stressed. I usually spend that time telling myself not to fall into the black hole and I push people around to make sure it doesn’t. I do like helping people and doing nice things so hopefully I can remind myself quickly next time to try it.
We’ll see how it goes!
After Radical Acceptance comes Distraction!
The first exercise is identifying ways that I would be willing to distract myself. The book listed 10 possibilities and chose to try 7 of them.
- Write on yourself with a red marker, red pain, red nail polish (have done in the past).
- Draw faces of people you hate on balloons and then pop them.
- Write letters to people you hate or to people who have hurt you.
- Throw foam balls, socks or pillows against a wall as hard as you can.
- Scream into a pillow (have done in the past).
- Stick pins in a voodoo doll or other soft object.
- Cry (have done in the past…obviously).
I tried writing a letter yesterday when I was angry but I ended up writing how I can’t change anything because the person won’t change so we may forever be in this cycle and I just became more upset…..
I did not pick any Distractions that require pain. I don’t care if the damage isn’t permanent, I want to begin to train my brain to not respond to pain as a stress reliever. I’ve done the ice cube and hated how all I could think about was hopefully causing permanent damage by freezing something. I’ve tried digging my nails into my skin and just ended up drawing blood. The worst is the rubber band. Fine, the bruises go away but I hate having to look at the welts and the purple of my skin that still take a few days to go away. The pain tactics need to STOP!
I’m not one to gradually go off of something. I need to stop a behaviour right away. I quit smoking cold turkey and took the shit that came with nicotine withdrawal and I didn’t die so not having pain wont kill me either even though it feels like it.
I can’t believe I’ve trained my brain to associate relief with pain. How did that happen? I’ve been thinking lately about how stupid it is that we need to feel hurt and sometimes almost die to feel like we’re alive. Sounds like a contradiction….needing death to feel alive. I guess it’s a reminder but still.
Anyways, this is the skill that I will really need to practice.