Last night I was unskillful when B said something I didn’t like. I yelled, swore, made judgments and ended up crying and feeling guilty. Today, with a clear mind, I can reflect on why I didn’t use my skills (this was a DEAR MAN situation for sure).
I have been tracking emotional events over the past few months and making note about what happened, what I felt and how I reacted. I realized this morning that one thing I didn’t take into account was the predictability of each emotional event. If an emotional event happens often, such as the anxiety I feel when B is not home, I can use skills because I know it is going to happen. But, if an emotional event is new then it takes me by surprise, therefore making me feel confused and vulnerable, such as B saying the opposite of what I thought he would say. Unpredictable is scary because, well, I don’t know what is going to happen. My fight kicks in as my first response so I can make sure I stay “safe” in this new moment I have found myself in.
Now that I have identified this barrier to effective skill use I can incorporate the reminder that new things will happen and I can deal with them into my daily thoughts.
Around this time last year, I was starting DBT with DBT Path. The change I and others have seen in myself is astounding. I never thought I would get to the point in my life where things could hurt less and that I could create a life worth living and being my true self.