Recently, I blogged about My DBT House, a fun mindfulness activity to help you organize the good in your life, what you want to work on and where you want to go. Another resource for My DBT House included processing questions that I would like to answer.
As a reminder, here is My DBT House. Please view my previous post for what each part means.
What was the purpose of this activity?
I believe the purpose of this activity was to analyze my life and identify my values, supports, positive coping skills, what I need to work on and my end goal. The symbol of the house, says to me, that these are all things that make me feel safe (positive or negative) and that these things and people are what make my life what it is.
What did you learn about yourself?
The main thing I learned about myself is what I try to keep hidden from others. I am usually an open book I realized that I do have a few things that I want to keep from others or I only half show. I also learned that thinking of my supports, positive coping, what I’m proud of etc. is really easy for me and makes me very happy to do. I have more of these good things in my life than I think and I know what I want and what I stand for.
Was there any difference between who they wrote on the roof and who they wrote on the walls?
There was a difference and I found myself surprised that some of the names didn’t transfer. I have more people who support me (the walls) and fewer people who protect me (the roof).
What is the difference between the people who support us and the people who protect us? How do we draw that distinction?
I emotionally feel a difference but I do not think I could put it into words the difference between the people who support me and protect. I would like to think that they would always be the same people but they are not. I need to think about this more. The protectors are usually the first people that pop into my head when I’m in distress. Yes, I need to ponder this.
What was the hardest part of the activity?
Writing down the things I keep hidden from others (the door). As I mentioned above, I am an open book and it was hard to think that there were things I keep hidden from others. I think what I listed is what I keep hidden from others but also what I keep hidden from myself. I don’t want to acknowledge, for example, that I am afraid because that makes me feel bad or I don’t want to acknowledge that I am happy because there seem to be unrealistic expectations with being happy that I cannot always meet. Thinking about this was difficult.
What was it like to think of what you would place on your billboard?
This was exciting and I wish I had made the billboard BIGGER! I do like to think of the things I am proud of because I know I have come a long way. It’s empowering to write down the things I am proud of.
Who built this house? Who maintains it?
For now, I sort of feel like a tenant in this house. For a long time, I have relied on others to keep me going so it’s not really my house. I am working to make the house mine because I deserve to have that strength within me. I have always maintained the house. I always have done my best to make sure I’m ok and getting what I need. I just need to work on owning the house. If I’m going to put all this effort into maintaining it, it should be my house!
Talk about the emotions and behaviors that you put into your house. Where did they come from?
The emotions and the behaviours I put into the house came from me. They are things I want to change and I see how changing them are going to make my life more enjoyable. It’s important to me that these are things I want because I have to live in my body and mind, no one else. I also identified realistic emotions and behaviours that I know I can improve on.