Wish I Had a Hiding Place

If I had the money I would build or buy a place where I could go and just lay on the floor (with cushioning) or a bed or a couch and just stare at the ceiling and be left alone. I would also put in a huge skylight so I could watch the sky at night or the rain or the snow falling down. 

I could lose myself in the darkness and shadows and the vast nothingness of the sky and the ceiling and no one would have to worry about me. I could put a little mini fridge beside me so I could have something to drink and the only time I would have to get up would be to go to the bathroom (which I would leave at a distance since I am losing myself in the sky not unsanitary conditions). 

And I would have blankets and pillows around me like a little fort and I would just stay there. And I wouldn’t be questioned or frowned upon. I wouldn’t be judged or criticized. I would just be. 

Me and the big sky above. 

If wishes came true…

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It’s Not Looking Good

So my downward spiral continues. And this past weekend it got very very bad to the point where I physically felt it. But I also don’t really care. A volatile mix that may lead me to a very dark place. It’s only a matter of time. 

I’m already starting to feel like I don’t think it will matter if I wasn’t here. Really, would it matter? I doubt it. 

I’m not totally delusional that no one will notice because I think they would but I also think they would move on and they’d be okay. And I wouldn’t have to struggle with my emotions or my thoughts. 

I could be free of this. I could have it finally quiet inside my head. Ah, peace. It might be worth it. 

How great would that be? Quiet. Silence. Sigh. 

The Spiral Continues Down…

I am struggling. I don’t know why and a part of me doesn’t care. 

The last few weeks I’ve been spiralling down and it’s continuing into the upcoming week. I am torn between thinking I should do something about it and feeling like this low, dark place where I don’t really care to care. 

In moments of lucidity I can see how bad things are getting and I think in those moments I should probably intervene and stop the spiral from getting lower. But then the moment passes and most likely because I suppressed it and avoided it, and I just sink into the depths of numbness and suddenly it’s no longer an issue. 

I hope the space in my head doesn’t spin into a really bad place but I make no promises. 

Here’s hoping I can climb out before it’s too late. 

We’ll see…

When the Bad Stuff is So Good

The last couple of weeks I have been struggling. I have turned to my destructive habits and tried to squash everything I was feeling, and quiet all of my noisy, bad thoughts. For the most part, this has been extremely successful. As it normally is. The bad stuff is so good at what it does. It’s so good at squashing all the emotions I feel overwhelmed by, and it’s extremely good at distracting me from the bombardment of negative thoughts that take me over, and take me down to a very lonely, dark place where despite how bad it is, I still feel somewhat comforted. 

I know that it’s the familiarity that comforts me. Well, I mean, my Wise Mind knows this. My emotional mind would argue that the familiarity is an effective mood quasher and thought silencer that allows me to function. Sort of. 

My Wise Mind believes that my Emotion Mind is not thinking clearly. And if I was in Wise Mind I would have to agree. But I’m not. I’m on Emotion Mind’s side and believe that Wise Mind is not giving the familiar stuff a fair chance. 

I feel very low, very helpless, and very hopeless. My world is shrinking day by day to a very small circle of one and a place where I only consider the bad things to help me when the emotions become too much. There’s a part of me that’s okay with this. Every day that I stay in this world of one I get farther and farther away from almost everything that doesn’t serve to keep me numb and isolated. It’s hard to want to be better when your mood is low. 

I’ve been stuck in this spot long enough now that the skills are not even on my radar. I have barely thought of them let alone applied them. If I didn’t have weekly appointments and lessons I highly doubt I would think of them at all. And my attendance, though uninterrupted thus far, has been barely for decorative purposes the last couple of weeks. I haven’t done any of the homework assigned, and I’ve even managed to stay mostly silent while in group. Not so much in my individual sessions though. Kind of hard to be silent when there are only two of you, and she’s asking you questions. 

Despite my lack of enthusiasm for DBT of late, I actually was looking forward to my individual session this past week. I’ve now been low enough long enough that it’s affecting what I do or don’t do during the day. And it all mostly falls under what I’m not doing. But because ther are still slivers of the “not-so-low me” hanging around and that me wants to find a way out of this. The proper way. There are slivers of the me that wants out of this mood, and wants a bigger circle than just me, myself and I. That me is getting quieter and quieter with each passing day, and each time I do the bad things that help me avoid feeling or thinking anything. 

I hate what my thoughts do to me. I hate that I feel worthless and useless. I hate that I feel helpless and hopeless. I hate that I feel alone and lonely. I hate that I feel like a nobody and I often wonder why I’m even here. I hate thinking. I hate thinking these thoughts. I hate that I believe them to be true. 

In my individual session my DBT coach challenged these thoughts, and if they are true. At first, this felt like a lost cause for her because I was pretty sure they were. But she really challenged them. She challenged them enough that I not only started to doubt it myself, but I also caught a glimpse of being able to actually handle my thoughts and being able to challenge these so-called “truths” myself. It was an odd feeling. Very odd. Too odd, in fact. And that night I did the bad thing instead, I was scared of this odd feeling and what it could mean, so I squashed it. 

Probably not what my DBT coach had in mind, but I couldn’t help it. 

I feel very lost. I’m not sure if I want out of this. I am so tired. I’m tired of the bad thoughts. I’m tired of the bad things. And I’m tired of the cycle that picks me up and drops me down, over and over again. 

Is it better to just stay here? Maybe. Maybe staying low is better. You can’t be dropped when you’re already at the bottom. 

How Can I DBT My Way Out of This?

Today is a really hard day for me. I feel sad and somewhat defeated and very much like I want to cocoon myself in a blanket and stay there for the duration of the day. I’m not sure if I’ll want to come out by the end of the day. I’d have to let you know then.

As I felt the sadness envelope me I immediately felt uncomfortable. I didn’t want to feel sad. I didnt want to feel sad symptoms. I didn’t want to cry. I didn’t want to feel the ache in my throat and my chest. I didn’t want any of it. I wanted to avoid it all. My first response is to suppress it and avoid it. I wanted to avoid it in my cocoon. But I knew that would probably lead to further rumination and potentially turning to my destructive behaviours when the sadness got to be too much and the cocoon wasn’t providing the suppression I had hoped for. I felt a little lost and unsure. What should I do?

Should I lay here and wallow in the sadness and just let whatever happens, happen, no matter how bad it could get? Should I lay here and wait for the thoughts to get worse and worse until the feelings become so unbearable that I will do whatever it takes to not feel the sadness, or anything else?

As I stared up at the ceiling feeling like nothing really mattered and that I would somehow end up screwed in the end regardless. I thought of DBT. It passed through my thoughts for a brief moment as if to remind me that it was there, but I almost immediately thought I don’t know if I want to “skill” myself out of this. I’m not entirely certain that I don’t want to just lie here and wallow in my sadness.

But it was starting to get hard. Really hard. It was starting to grip my body and my mind. And I wasn’t feeling so cool about this. Despite not being certain I wanted to “feel better”, I didn’t want to feel this either. The sadness was gripping me tightly, and I don’t like it. I feel stuck.

The DBT crept back in, and poked me again. “You have skills you can use.” But which one. Which skill could I use?

The truth is, when I first thought of using a DBT skill, I didn’t think of what skill I could use to help me work through this. I thought of what skill could help me suppress and avoid this emotion. I asked myself, how I could DBT my way out of this emotion?

So then I immediately thought of Opposite Action. Yes. Opposite Action would be good right? I want to hide so I should go out. I did actually want to go out but the pull to the cocoon was winning the tug of war. So this could work. Perfect. Problem solved.

Except…my problem wasn’t solved. Something about what I was doing felt wrong. It almost felt too easy. I sat up on the couch and thought of going out but then minutes later I laid back down again. No, I didn’t want to go out, I feel too sad.

I sat up again, but Opposite Action will help. Yes, do it, go out, be opposite. I will be skillful and do Opposite Action. But then I laid back down again. I didn’t want to do Opposite Action. I didn’t want to go out. I wanted to lay here. Didn’t I? I didn’t know. I didn’t know what I wanted.

I wondered if this was a good time to call my DBT coach/therapist for some help. Maybe she would know what skill I could use to help me avoid this unpleasant feeling of not knowing what I wanted to do, and maybe she could offer me some advice on how to DBT my way out of this.

So I texted her, and she was available to talk. I told her I felt sad. And I had no idea why. And that I wanted to go out but I also wanted to cocoon on the couch. I told her how I had considered Opposite Action but that something felt wrong using it. And that’s when she pointed out that it probably felt a misfit because Opposite Action is used when the emotion doesn’t fit the facts, or when acting on the emotion will be ineffective.

Hmm. Interesting.

She told me that another skill I could try is “Self-Soothing”. Just let myself sit with the emotion, and maybe have a hot cup of tea, or another “self-soothing” tip that would be taking care of myself. When she said that I immediately felt resistance. I didn’t want to sit with the emotion. It was already making me feel uncomfortable. I didn’t want to sit and have a cup of tea with it. But she did make a good point. I hadn’t realized until she said it that I was actually mis-using the skills. I was using them to avoid feeling anything.

When she told me that there were a few skills I could mix and match with to get through this, I felt relieved. She told me I could try self-soothing for a bit, and then maybe do Opposite Action, and come back and do self-soothing, or distraction, or the TIP skills. I suddenly felt like maybe I could do this.

I was honest with her that I didn’t want to sit with the emotion because I was afraid it would take me over and take me down. She understood, and that was why she suggested maybe just trying the self-soothe and see how it goes. And then maybe try a different skill like Distraction or even Opposite Action after. I felt a little more in control by the time we said good bye.

And when I got off the phone, I felt afraid. I was still concerned that self-soothing would turn bad, and without another thought, before I could do anything else, I started crying. My throat ached and my chest tightened and the tears fell. I almost tried to stop it but instead I decided to just see what happens. I felt comforted knowing I could call her back if i needed to, and so I just let the tears fall.

I don’t know how long I cried for, it felt like only 5 or 10 minutes but then the tears slowly stopped and the ache in my throat eased. I don’t know why I cried. I tried to think of what was making me sad but it didn’t come to me. It felt just out of reach but whatever it was it made me cry. How it didn’t occur to me that it really didn’t matter what the cause was, I don’t know. Because all that I know is that I was sad, and so I cried.

And I hadn’t even had the chance to plug in the kettle.

But you know what? I felt a little better. Don’t get me wrong, I still felt sad, and I still felt a little low, but I also felt like I would be okay for now. I felt like now I could go out. Now I wanted to go out, not as Opposite Action but because I wanted to go out. I don’t know if when I get out I may want to turn around and come back home. I may come back home and have the sadness still sitting there waiting for me, but in those few minutes of crying I had at least released some of the pressure.

When I had asked my DBT coach/therapist about picking apart the sadness to see why I was feeling the way I did, I thought it would help. She said that even if I picked it apart I would still feel sad. And sometimes it’s not about the why, sometimes it’s about what is right in front of you that needs to be addressed. Instead of trying to sort out the why, why not try just dealing with the tears pooling in my eyes, and making my throat hurt. Why not let the moment just do what it needs to, and then we’ll see about picking it apart.

It was a surprising moment. I’m not used to this. I’m not used to letting the moment be and not picking everything apart to understand why. I’m not used to just letting myself cry without knowing why. I needed a reason to cry, didn’t I? I needed a reason to justify my tears, didn’t I?

Apparently not. Because I did cry, and I don’t know why, and for the moment, I feel better.

I guess sometimes it’s better to not know why. Sometimes the sadness just needs a release, and the only thing to do is release it. I hope I remember that the next time.

Thank you to my DBT coach/therapist, for being there, and for showing me that I actually already knew what I needed to do.

DBT Group: Week Eight – Part III – Taking Care of Your Mind by Taking Care of Your Body

Module: Emotion Regulation

This is the third of three parts for Week Eight.
Covering the P.L.E.A.S.E. Skills (Treating PhysicaL illness, Balanced Eating, Avoid Mood-Altering Substances, Balanced Sleep, and Get Exercise.

The first two parts of Week Eight covered the ABC Skills, (B) Building Mastery (click here for post), and (C) Coping Ahead (click here for post).
Week Seven was split into two parts as well for (A) Accumulating Positive Emotions – Short Term (click here for post) & (A) Accumulating Positive Emotions – Long Term (click here for post).
I think each of these skills deserves its own post in order to more fully explore how important these skills are towards managing our emotions, helping us to reduce vulnerability, and towards living a more fulfilled, positive life 

Homework Take-Up:
Handout:
Emotion Regulation Handout 20 – Taking Care of Your Mind by Taking Care of Your Body
Worksheet:
Emotion Regulation Worksheet 14 – Practicing PLEASE Skills

Emotion Regulation Handout 14 – Overview: Reducing Vulnerability to Emotion Mind – Building a Life Worth Living
(A) – Accumulating Positive Emotions
– Short Term
– Long Term
(B) – Building Mastery and a sense of competence
(C) – Coping Ahead to better manage emotional situations
(P.L.E.A.S.E. – Treating PhysicaL Illness, Avoid Mood-Altering Substances, Balanced Eating, Balanced Sleep, Get Exercise) – Taking care of your health and well-being physically deserves as much attention as taking care of your mental health and well-being

Starting with:
Emotion Regulation Handout 14 – Overview: Reducing Vulnerability to Emotion Mind – Building a Life Worth Living
Fourth Box (Overview): (P.L.E.A.S.E. – Treating PhysicaL Illness, Balanced Eating, Avoid Mood-Altering Substances, Balanced Sleep, and Get Exercise)
Moving to:
Emotion Regulation Handout 20 – Taking Care of Your Mind by Taking Care of Your Body

When taking care of your mind and emotions it can become all-consuming, and we often forget or neglect taking care of our bodies. We don’t realize how important taking care of our physical health is just as important as taking care of our mental and emotional health.

It might seem like a no-brainer to some, but I can personally attest to not realizing how much gets affected mentally and emotionally when I falter on taking care of myself physically.

For me, I get so lost in my mental health and trying to get my emotions in control, that my physical well-being often is almost completely neglected, or I do a half-ass job. One thing greatly affects the other; my lack of physical self-care brings down my mental and emotional health, and my trying to take care of things mentally and emotionally means my physical self-care takes a backseat.

For example, it was a long time before I realized that when I don’t sleep well, it has a significant impact on my anxiety, and I am much more susceptible to panic attacks.

The P.L.E.A.S.E. Skills cover the basics of taking care of your physical well-being.

PL – Treating PhysicaL Illness
If you are unwell, and are not taking care of yourself, your moods can be greatly affected. Whether you’re suffering with a cold, or managing a chronic condition like diabetes or arthritis, if you don’t take care this can lead to a higher susceptibility to having extreme emotions, or a faster breakdown in not being able to properly use your skills.

E – Balanced Eating
It’s extremely important to watch what you eat, when you eat, and even how you eat, particularly if food is a sensitive issue for you due to disorder, or if food is linked to other conditions like diabetes or IBS, or even inflammation in the body. When we skip meals and don’t eat regularly we can become moody, grumpy, more likely to snap at other people, and have much less patience with ourselves.

A – Avoid Mood-Altering Substances
Avoiding illicit drugs, and alcohol is especially important in being able to keep our emotions more manageable and our ability to cope with them. Mood-Altering Substances can keep us in Emotion Mind, it can lead to poor choices, and lower our inhibitions that can keep us safe.

S – Balanced Sleep
Getting enough rest is extremely important as well. Not sleeping well or enough can lead to a further reduction in maintaining any of the other areas of physicality that help us stay healthy in our bodies as well as our minds. It’s best to go to sleep at the same time every night, and wake up at the same time every day, getting however many number of hours that you personally require. Even one night of restless sleep can negatively impact us and lead to a snowball effect where our bodies then have difficulty with eating balanced meals, if at all, whether we turn to mood-altering substances to compensate for our lack of proper sleep, whether we manage any chronic conditions we may have, and ultimately lead to our emotions and mental capabilities suffering as well.

E – Get Exercise
Exercise is important because when our bodies are in good health this can help us with any chronic conditions we need to manage, but also exercise, when our heart rates are increased, releases endorphins. Which can help with our moods, and even help alleviate some of the symptoms of depression.

Any of these things on their own is important to take care of when we take care of ourselves but altogether taking care of our physical well-being allows us to be at our optimum level to tackling the day before us, up to and including, how we handle our emotions, or not.

Take care everyone!

Bye for now!

Skills, Handouts, and Worksheets from DBT Skills Training Manual, Second Edition, by Marsha M. Linehan. Copyright 2015 by Marsha M. Linehan.

DBT Group: Week Eight – Part II – Coping Ahead

Module: Emotion Regulation

This is the second of three parts for Week Eight. Covering the ABC Skills, (B) Building Mastery, and (C) Coping Ahead.
This post covers (C) Coping Ahead.
The first one, (A) Accumulating Positive Emotions: Short Term (click here for post) and Long Term (click here for post). The second one (B) Building Mastery, click here.
And the third post will be the P.L.E.A.S.E. Skills (Treating PhysicaL illness, Balanced Eating, Avoid Mood-Altering Substances, Balanced Sleep, and Get Exercise.

I think each of these skills deserves its own post in order to more fully explore how important these skills are towards managing our emotions, helping us to reduce vulnerability, and towards living a more fulfilled, positive life.

Homework Take-Up:
Handout:
Emotion Regulation Handout 19 – Build Mastery and Cope Ahead
Worksheet:
Emotion Regulation Worksheet 12 – Build Mastery and Cope Ahead

Emotion Regulation Handout 14 – Overview: Reducing Vulnerability to Emotion Mind – Building a Life Worth Living
(A) – Accumulating Positive Emotions
– Short Term
– Long Term
(B) – Building Mastery and a sense of competence
(C) – Coping Ahead to better manage emotional situations
(P.L.E.A.S.E. – Treating PhysicaL Illness, Avoid Mood-Altering Substances, Balanced Eating, Balanced Sleep, Get Exercise) – Taking care of your health and well-being physically deserves as much attention as taking care of your mental health and well-being

Starting with:
Emotion Regulation Handout 14 – Overview: Reducing Vulnerability to Emotion Mind – Building a Life Worth Living
Third Box (Overview): (C) Coping Ahead
Moving to:
Emotion Regulation Handout 16 – Build Mastery and Cope Ahead

This piece is important because we often find ourselves in highly emotional situations and we get overwhelmed, and we either don’t know how to handle it, or we turn to our tried and true ways of coping. Which is usually negative, destructive ways.

Doing what we can to cope ahead gives us space and time to breathe, and find a more effective way to cope and handle the situation.

Obviously, there is no way for us to see the future and know exactly what situation will come our way and exactly what emotion we’ll respond with.

Coping ahead isn’t about trying to guess the future. It’s about knowing ourselves, and the typical ways in which we have been triggered in the past. It’s about recognizing and recalling certain situations that have led us to feeling hopeless or helpless, or what has led us to our destructive coping mechanisms.

There are patterns to our behaviours and reactions, that we can use to our advantage. We can use the patterns from our past to try and cope ahead for when we encounter the same situation again at a later date. It is by no means foolproof, and what may work one time may not work for another time, but there are times when it can help us, and when it does, it can feel like a lifesaver.

For example: For a long time I was having panic attacks whenever I was in a store. It didn’t matter which store, or whether it was day or night, or if it was busy or quiet (although busier stores did make it worse), and it didn’t matter if I was shopping alone or with someone, I would have a panic attack.

Inevitably, within 15 minutes of being in the store, sometimes less, I would suddenly feel a rush of panic through my body. And I always knew what it meant. The moment it hit me. My heart would race, my hands would get cold, I would hold my breath, and I would feel lightheaded. I was certain I would pass out. I would have to stop in my tracks, wherever I was, and either place a hand on a shelf or a rack or a post, something that would give me a sense of grounding. Something that would help me to feel more stable, and less like the world was tilted.

I would suddenly have tunnel vision, and I would need to focus on something fixed ahead of me. It didn’t matter what it was, a product on a shelf, a tile on the floor, as long as it didn’t move I would zone in on it. Between holding my breath, holding a shelf (or post, or rack), and focusing on one spot before me I felt that this would ground me. I believed that as long as I wasn’t moving, and what I focused on wasn’t moving, then I was stable, and I was safe. I believed this would make the panic subside and I would feel okay. It was almost like staying still meant that nothing bad could happen.

Unfortunately, this was not true. In fact, just the opposite would happen. From holding my breath, I would exacerbate the feeling of lightheadedness, and my urge to run and hide grew stronger by the second. Because I was too afraid to move it wouldn’t be long before it would inevitably turn into a full blown panic attack. I feel like I am going to die, and somehow I need to inch my way out of the store to safety, which would mean a quiet corner or some quiet, secluded spot where I could gather my thoughts and calm down. I would often leave the store without purchasing anything. And it would take me longer than normal to get home as well because I would still feel a sense of tunnel vision.

This became quite debilitating for me because it was so indiscriminate for when it would happen, or if it would happen at all, and how intense it would be. I never knew what store I could go into a be okay, and which stores would set me off. I was relegated to try and get what I needed as fast as I could, or I ended up not going out at all. The idea of going out started to become a terrifying thought, and eventually I would start to feel the panic attack just at the thought of going out. It took a fair amount of time, and progressive exposure with my psychiatrist, that I was finally able to reduce the panic attacks I had in stores. Now I feel a lot more confident going out. I still sometimes have panic attacks but I also have ways to cope with it now too.

This is where the coping ahead comes in.

I would like to say that I am able to breathe or visualize my way through going out and having a panic attack but unfortunately I often need more than just mind control to help me through. I need to find other ways to cope ahead. What I use to help me is a distress tolerance kit I put together for myself. Those of you who have been to BPD support groups, or DBT support groups, will be familiar with the distress tolerance tools. They are usually baskets or buckets that include ice packs, toys like slinkys or squeeze balls, rocks, or blocks, scented hand lotions, puzzle toys, and even Play-Doh. It’s a wide variety of textures and distractions. These toys and tools are used to help reduce anxiety when it starts to feel overwhelming. They can either distract, soothe, or otherwise reduce the feeling of anxiety.

What you may take from the basket or bucket is entirely up to you and whatever can help you reduce your anxiety. It could be the ice pack that works to distract you as you focus on the cold, and when used at the right time can even shock your system into stopping a panic attack from happening in the first place. Or you may want to fidget with the slinky or a rubik’s cube, or a squishy ball, sometimes it takes a few tries with different textures or toys to learn what helps you calm down, or feel less anxious.

Knowing what works for me, I built my own distress tolerance kit. I hit a dollar store and got a small pouch and filled it with a few toys, like a slinky and a puzzle block, and a rubik’s cube, and I carry my distress tolerance pouch with me in my backpack so it’s there whenever I start to feel anxious. Ice packs and walking are the most effective ways for me to ease a panic attack but having an ice pack handy, or cold water to splash on my face, or going for a walk, are not always options I can use. Like when I’m on the bus or subway. So I have my little distress kit I can turn to. I’ll admit that sometimes it doesn’t help, and I end up having a panic attack, but it helps more than it doesn’t.

This is one strategy I use to cope ahead.

Another way that use to cope ahead is when I know I’m going to be in a situation that has previously triggered me, for example, sometimes when I’m with my brother, and he gets angry at something, I know that there is a possibility that will trigger me. It doesn’t always happen, and when he gets angry, it doesn’t even have to be directed at me, but I know that if it happens, it will trigger me into an emotional state of fear. It’s happened to me enough in the past that I know what signs to look for in my brother, as well as in myself.

By going through the situation in my mind, and considering how I will most likely respond, I can plan ahead to either minimize my response, cope with whatever does come up, or maybe even avoid the emotional response altogether.

First, I need to imagine the situation in as much detail as I can, and what my most likely response will be. I need to consider of there might be obstacles or factors that may interfere with being able to use my skills. For example, if we are out when his anger triggers me, I’ll most likely respond differently than if we were at my place or his. If we are out then I can walk away and let him cool down, or I can go home. If he’s at my place, I can leave the room, but it might be harder to really remove myself from the situation.

I’ll need to adapt or adjust as the situation calls for it, depending on where I am, and how I get triggered, and how intense the triggering becomes for me.

For example, if I’m already feeling vulnerable because of my own mood, and there are some vulnerability factors, like I didn’t sleep well, or I’m not feeling well, I will most likely respond with much more sensitivity than if I didn’t have the vulnerability factors or other obstacles preventing me from being as skillful as I could be.

By imagining how I might respond I can also think ahead of other ways I can cope. I can prepare myself however I need to so that I can handle the situation and minimize how much I am affected. I can plan what I could maybe say to him, let him know that his anger is affecting me, or I could try to say or do something that reduces his anger, although the focus should be on myself and reducing my heightened emotional state. Another way I could handle if I am feeling fear because of his anger is to just walk away, and completely remove myself from the situation. This would give him an opportunity to cool down but it also allows me to ease my own heightened emotional state.

Finding ways to cope ahead for situations that we have been in before, and most likely will be in again, can be a lot of trial and error in finding what works. I highly suggest thinking of as many way as possible to cope ahead with a situation you may be triggered by because it’s hard to say what will work when, and having as many options as possible allows for a much better chance to have some control over the situation and your emotions.

This is the chance to use our past to our advantage. By being familiar with what triggers us, we can prepare for what may happen, and reduce our emotional responses, and actually stand a chance of dealing with the situation and moving past it.

Good luck!

Bye for now!

Skills, Handouts, and Worksheets from DBT Skills Training Manual, Second Edition, by Marsha M. Linehan. Copyright 2015 by Marsha M. Linehan.