Ok, so there was one thing I had hoped to talk about at therapy today and forgot. I have given all my therapists and Dr's the link to this blog but I have no idea if anyone of them has read any of this. Would be nice to figure out a way to do "blog therapy"
Ultimately when recovering from a personality disorder, PTSD and other various diagnosis' there needs to be a re-training of the brain. If you accept the disorder than you have to accept its manifestations and accept that we don't desire to act this way or that way, its how our brain has dealt with things. A few blog posts ago I quoted an article I read and I want to focus on this piece today, to try and illustrate that re-training the brain is not as easy as "Just changing the way you think" but rather carries more emphasis on fixing faulty wiring. I believe there are levels of mental illness, some recover better, quicker, perhaps had a shorter time frame, others like myself went age 4 to 47 thinking one way. Anyway, here is the quote
I think that individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder have tried on their own, so many different ways to cope that fail over and over again, and they often been in many therapies that have failed over and over again. And so they cling to what they’ve got because at least it’s gotten them this far, at least it takes away the pain and the suffering in short term at least. While they are in misery, there’s a safety in that. And I think that general principle is true across any therapies where a person is having to change the way they are dealing with their problems and take on new behaviors.
As a long time BPD I can affirm that statement as unequivocally true for me. There is safety in misery. There is safety in anything one finds familiar. When the pain is so severe that we Cut, quit a job, attempt suicide, lose a friend/spouse/lover our brains on screaming at us on overload. We tend not to be rational. We do what we need to in order to get through each day.
Does this justify the behaviors. No (Mostly) This is where DBT begins to become a part of getting better. We need to learn that we CAN re-wire the bad parts, we CAN heal and we CAN be as productive as we can be. I believe the process is the key.
The last few weeks have been the most stable I have had. I have started to accept where I am at but more important I started to accept my limitations but start focusing on some positives. In the vein of DBT I started thinking a few things, trying to consciously have these thoughts
1- Yesterday doesn't remember me, tomorrow does not yet know me but I own today
2- Stop. Look. Listen
Stop- Just stop, don't respond. Bite your tongue, bite your hand, bite something but Stop. Whatever you feel you must say can be said in 10 minutes or 2 weeks.
Look- Try to look at this perspective from a few points of view of people you trust. "How would so and so respond and more importantly, why?" Try to find reasons why it's NOT about you. Unpack, examine, validate and possibly redirect the feeling
Listen- Listen to body, mind and soul. If you have done the 1st 2 steps you increase the chance that your response will be appropriate and possibly help someone else
It's hard though folks. When I am blindsided or off guard the DBT and Present and all the fun stuff pack up and leave. That's the wiring causing the reaction (behavior) and so my hope is that through time these sorts of processes will allow the wiring to work better.
Have a great weekend