The last couple of months have been very hard for me. In part because I’ve struggled to find and use the DBT skills that would help me through this, but mostly because I’ve just been plain old struggling.
I’m not sure what’s wrong exactly. I’ve tried to think on it but admittedly I haven’t stayed on the thoughts for long because they scare me. The feelings have been overwhelming; in no particular order: fear, shame, disgust, anger, and guilt; have all popped up and in to take me over.
For the most part fear is the big one. Although I can’t say exactly what is scaring me because so far I have avoided looking at it. I have suppressed looking at the fear so well that several times over the last couple of weeks or so I didn’t even give myself a chance to recognize that I was feeling afraid I put the emotion down so fast.
I don’t want to think about what scares me. Hello? It scares me. The reason is right there in the sentence. Why would I purposely look at something that scares me? That seems counter-productive and counter-intuitive. To me at least. When the professionals claim that exposure works to minimize it, logically I agree with them but emotionally I think hell no.
I don’t know how to handle the emotions and I feel very helpless. What should I do? How do I get through this? What skills do I apply? I feel lost and hopeless. I feel stuck between a rock and a hard place. I do want to get better, I think. I’m sure I do. I mean the choice of staying in this misery is not all that appealing although it is familiar. And it sometimes feels like better the devil you know right? But as my mood spirals lower and lower I know that this is where bad things can happen.
In the moment the bad things feel good, and like a super-great idea, or at least that’s what I tell myself. And the bad things successfully squash whatever I’m feeling or thinking, so they also feel successful. In the moment, anyway. They feel like they help me cope but my Wise Mind knows better, my Wise Mind knows that they may help me ride out the emotion and squash it down enough not to feel it or think it longer than I have to, but they don’t actually help me. My Wise Mind knows that it’s at best a band aid and at worst an excuse to numb myself to all feelings and thoughts.
And where has doing the bad things gotten me so far? Well, nowhere good. So I sit and think, on one hand wanting to do the bad stuff and move away from my thoughts and emotions, but on the other hand, I know I will regret it. I know deep down this really wasn’t what I wanted. I don’t like how it feels to be laying on the bottom of life looking up and hoping things would get better.
It’s an internal, eternal, tug of war. Do the bad things and have instant relief from myself? Or do the skills and maybe feel better in the moment? But I still have to come back and deal with my emotions. It was a tough call. And for the past couple of months I’ve chosen the bad stuff.
Things are getting out of hand and I want to at least try. I know once I slip down this slope, the wanting to get better may not be there. It may be sedated and suppressed by then to the point of silence, and all the bad things will take me over and take me down until I feel that I am better off dead. And maybe, maybe, I’ll get help before I do anything I can’t take back and I will, again, start the slow process to get back to where things weren’t this bad. I’d at least like to try and get to the vicinity of a better place because right now I’m just barely functioning, and compared to a couple of months ago, it’s A LOT lower than where I was before.
You know that point where you feel like you’re drowning, and you’ve got a life preserver, or a branch or something, and it’s holding your head above water but only barely. It’s on the brink of breaking down and you going under and you know it’s only a matter of time. That’s how I feel right now. I’m holding on, but barely.
I know I hate how this feels. I know that I hate the ways I do cope and what they do to me, emotionally, mentally, and physically. I hate myself when I’m in this place. I hate how I feel. I hate who I am. I hate what I do. And yet…
I just continue to keep a sliver of hope that it will work out.