Help me develop a DBT-based parenting program!

This program will be based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. If proven successful there is a high possibility it will be moved online to support moms from around the world!

Here is the link for the survey! Thank you for your help and support 🙂

Experiences of Mom’s with Borderline Personality Disorder/Borderline Traits

 

Join me in learning DBT Skills!

When I get right down to it, if I had not of learned Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) skills I would not have my son. I feared that if I did not get my emotions under control I would not be able to properly cope with the trials of parenthood and not give my child the best version of myself. Before DBT, I felt stuck and worried that I would never have the family I knew I deserved.

Very quickly, I saw that the DBT skills were changing me. Emotion regulation skills taught me about my emotions (to listen to them, not hate them) and how I can influence them. Interpersonal effectiveness skills taught me how to better communicate my needs and that I am not responsible for people’s responses. Distress tolerance skills taught me how to cope in times of stress and how meeting my physical needs helps tolerate emotional distress. Mindfulness skills taught me how to slow down and notice the moment so I do not become overwhelmed in this fast paced world.

Maybe you can relate to my experience. Maybe your emotions and ability to cope with them are holding you back from having a life worth living. I would like to encourage you to consider joining me in learning DBT. I work for an organization, based out of Toronto, Ontario called Dialectical Living. We have spots currently open for our 2017 DBT skills classes. The great thing about our classes is that you do not have to live in Toronto to attend! In February 2017 we are launching our Intro to DBT course ONLINE! Learn DBT with me and my co-facilitator wherever you are in the world!

In the Intro to DBT course you will learn all of the core DBT skills over a 12 week period. The course is cost-effective and one of the most affordable DBT courses out there. It is very important to myself and the staff at Dialectical Living that we are as affordable as possible so everyone who needs DBT can access it.

To learn more about our courses please visit our website: http://www.dialecticalliving.ca/online-skills-group/

 

Motherhood & Madness: How Radical Acceptance is Changing My Life

Motherhood&Madness

 

It has been awhile! So many things have happened aside from giving birth to my son that I have really struggled to prioritize everything that needs to be done.

My son is almost 2 months old. These have been the most wonderful and challenging 2 months of my life. Around the third week after my son was born I found myself feeling very frustrated with the changes that were happening. I was sitting in the rocking chair around 3 am trying to get my son back to sleep. I was finding it very difficult and I sat in the chair saying to myself, “I hate this! I want to go to sleep!” I was coming closer and closer to tears. It suddenly dawned on me that I need to radically accept that the situation was happening. I needed to accept that I would find myself up at 3 am a lot (and I am every single morning without fail) and that my son would be fussy for various reasons. I needed to accept that my role as a parent involves sacrifices to ensure my child is fed, comfortable and safe. Radically accepting this doesn’t mean I’m ok with waking up at 3 am, it means that I am going to accept this is my reality because fighting it will do nothing except cause me pain.

I realized in that moment I also needed to change the narrative in my mind. Instead of thinking about how much I hate being awake at 3 am I decided to start thinking that these are bonding moments. Every moment I spend with my son is an opportunity to bond with him. I can see the positive effects of the hours I spend with my son such as getting his first real smiles and him looking to me for comfort when other people are holding him and he is upset. It’s an amazing connection that is worth the few months of broken sleep.

Radical acceptance and changing the narrative have made the past 7 weeks more enjoyable. I am not always successful since lack of sleep can increase emotions like sadness and anger and I am still successful most of the time as I acknowledge that this is allowed to be hard, I am allowed to be upset and that regardless I am doing the best I can for my son.

My DEAR MAN was great, the response was not: Accepting that I cannot control others

Please check out my recent blog post in Dialectical Living about my first time using DEAR MAN. It did not go over well but I still came away with a very valuable lesson about not being able to control others.

I have found it frustrating over the years that I have learned so much about how to become a more improved version of myself and yet these skills do not always translate well to others due to their inexperience with them. It has always fascinated me that I have learned self-reflection, mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation and interpersonal skills because I was deemed to have a deficit and yet I am surrounded by people daily who demonstrate the same deficit, they just are just not labeled as “mentally ill”.

Have there been moments when you have practiced a skill with someone and it didn’t work out? What about moments of when the skill does work? 

Check out these mental wellness apps

A friend of mine recently sent me a list of mental wellness apps. I personally find technology to be a very useful tool in creating mental wellness (in moderation, I also believe in unplugging from technology). I have used a few apps myself and when you commit to them, which I admit I struggle to do, they are very helpful and can offer a lot of support and insight.  Here are the apps! If you try one or use one I would love to hear what you think about them.

Living Well App for Men’s Wellbeing

For Apple & Android

Free

“The Living Well App is specifically designed to assist men who have been sexually abused in childhood. We know that childhood sexual abuse can have a profound impact on men’s lives and relationships. However, we also know that men who have been sexually abused can live rich, full lives, develop healthy relationships and make positive contributions within our communities.” 

What’s Up?

For Apple & Android

Free

“What’s Up? is a fantastic free app utilising some of the best CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) and ACT (Acceptance Commitment Therapy) methods to help you cope with Depression, Anxiety, Anger, Stress and more!”

Optimism Mental Health Apps for Self-Tracking

For Apple, Mac, Windows & Web

Free

“…self-tracking applications, designed to help you increase your understanding of all the things that affect your mental health. The apps act as a springboard to detect patterns in your health and develop strategies to proactively manage depression, bipolar disorder, and other mental health conditions.”

TruReach

For Apple & Android

Free

“TruReach is mental wellness on-the go. We’ve broken down cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) into quick, 5-minute lessons and packed them into the TruReach app…TruReach includes 18 CBT lessons that cover the following topics, all of which are important in the treatment of anxiety and depression…”

DBT Diary Card and Skills Coach

For Apple

$6.99

“DBT Diary Card was created by a Ph.D. psychologist trained directly by Dr. Marsha Linehan and at the Duke University Medical Center; we are experts in DBT, providing consultation to many in our community.”

MoodPanda- Mood Diary and Mood Tracker

For Apple, Android & Web

Free

“MoodPanda is your Interactive Mood Diary. MoodPanda helps you track how you’re feeling, with personal analysis, visualisations and interpretations of your mood, and a lovely, friendly and anonymous community of people there to support you if you need them.”

buddhify- Mindfulness and Meditation

For Apple & Android

$2.99

“Mindfulness & meditation for wherever you are…With over 11 hours of custom meditations for 15 different parts of your day including traveling, being online, taking a work break and going to sleep, buddhify will help you de-stress, sleep better and bring more awareness and compassion to all parts of your life.”

MoodKit

For Apple

$6.99

 

“MoodKit is a one-of-a-kind app designed to help you apply effective strategies of professional psychology to your everyday life! With four integrated tools, MoodKit helps you to…Take action to improve your life, feel better by changing how you think, rate & chart your mood to monitor progress, develop self-awareness & healthy attitudes…MoodKit draws upon the principles and techniques of Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), one of the most effective and scientifically-supported methods of psychotherapy.”

MoodNotes

For Apple

$3.99

“Capture your mood and improve your thinking habits through an innovative approach to journaling! Moodnotes empowers you to track your mood over time, avoid common thinking traps, and develop perspectives associated with increased happiness and well-being.”

iMood Journal

For Apple & Android

$2.62

“This beautiful app is an ultimate mood journal, personal diary and charting tool. It will help you discover causes of your ups and downs, and get surprising insights into yourself!”

Stigma- Personal Journal, Gratitude Diary and Mood Tracker

For Apple & Android (Coming soon)

Free

“The personal journal is a lost art…journaling enhances self-awareness and helps us grow. But we still don’t do it.
There are two problems with the traditional journal. First, it is a difficult habit to keep (we hold the expectation we must write out hundreds of words). Second, it is impossible to reflect on and grow from the thousands of bygone experiences trapped between the unread pages. Stigma solves all that. Take 15 seconds to add a journal entry. The app organizes your entries into word-clouds to make self-reflection simple and meaningful. In short, Stigma is the personal journal, reinvented.”

 

Vision Board 2016: Update

Back in January, I created my first Vision Board for 2016. Seeing as we are now in middle-ish of July I thought it would be a good time to see where I am at in meeting these goals. I can already say that I am not meeting most of these goals but I do have a good reason 🙂

  1. Relationship: Find calm when B goes out. I have improved in this area. I’m not entirely sure why but I have found ways to occupy myself and B has been improving at balancing my needs, his needs and our relationship needs.
  2. Reading: Read 50 books. I changed this goal as I found myself falling behind for awesome (but lame) health reasons. My new goal is 20 books and I have read 16 books so far for 2016. If I hit 20 books I may increase to 25 books.
  3. Physical: Do yoga 3 times a week. Ya…I was doing that and then I felt too sick. I am doing more walking so that is helpful for my physical health!
  4. Friendship: Go out at least once a week. Not really doing this either do to health reasons. I have gone out more at certain times depending on how I physically feel. Friends are also being accommodating by coming over to see me. I could still see my friends way more!
  5. Family: Become pregnant. I DID IT!!!!! Today I am 30 weeks pregnant 🙂
  6. Education: Complete at least 1 online course. I haven’t found any courses that interest me. This is still a goal of mine!
  7. DBT: Use DEAR MAN at least twice a week. I haven’t been very conscious about whether or not I have been doing this but I am trying to say things in a calm and clear manner.
  8. Cat Fostering: Foster a minimum of 2 cats. Naevia left in January and Ophelia left in March. I personally only count Ophelia has my 2016 foster because I had Naevia at the end of 2015. B didn’t want to foster anymore so we decided to stop. I am very proud that I was able to find homes for 3 cats (one of them with me).
  9. Work: Go to work unless I am physically or emotionally unwell. I missed a lot of work due to pregnancy issues. When I have been able to go to work though I have gone. Work has been a good distraction from some of the unpleasant physical symptoms of pregnancy and my co-workers have been amazing!
  10. Blogging: Write a blog a minimum of once a week. Didn’t really do this. I felt very sick and also have found that I have been running out of things to say. My focus has shifted greatly on making sure that I am taking care of myself and not stressing myself out. I appreciate those of you who have stuck around 🙂

In the end, becoming pregnant is the only goal I really care about and I was successful!

Did you set any goals that you have met or are having difficulty meeting?