It's great to be mindful, and in the present. Sometimes its ok not to as well. I think if people who push DBT too hard should stop and look at their "healthy" life and they would discover that everyone spends time in the past. Sometimes its a song, smell or any sense that is triggered to take you to another place and time. For me it can be self soothing.
Maybe I am in my buddy Craig's car at age 19 listening to John Cougar cranked up, arguing about music (he always won lol) while not remembering every conversation but remembering the closeness and depth of our friendship and sharing. Maybe I am back in my friend Dave's basement, gaming on a Friday evening. Perhaps I am on my honeymoon, driving to Wisconsin, wind in our hair and a love in our hearts that is till there 17 years later.
I believe its integral to my recovery to try and remember those good times. It's the one time I feel alive. Memories come flooding in about how happy my HS experience and young adult life was. Because right now all I can see is pain and failure I didn't always view life that way. It really is the trick to "mindfulness" - finding a way to be present when the present isn't very good.
My wife and children bring me great joy. That isn't the hard part of being in the present, rather its the failure I feel. The hopelessness, the enormity of the situation. It overwhelms me. Instead of prodding me it immobilizes me...and that scares the hell out of me because as I have said most of my life I have had a strong resiliency.
Friday, my oldest and probably best friend came into town to give my daughter a gift. We spent the day with my 2 girls, lunch, shopping and video games. The gift was unbelievable. My friend is a writer and had a few years back entertained making her a character in a book. Well it was 3 short stories and she was actually the main character in the 3rd one. He also gave her the 1st copy, the publisher's copy that had been sent to him with a note from the publisher. It wasn't till after he left that I saw the note he had written and included.
It was the combination of the day spent together but really the note/letter had the major impact. It was tender, talked about how close he and I were and how this was a gift of love, not from him, but from me.
I have no evidence that Dan reads this blog but I know he probably doesn't realize what that meant to me. Not even sure I could fully explain it...
It sucks to suffer from a condition where you intensely fear abandonment and you realize you only have a few people that stuck with you. I have about 5 guys I would consider lifelong friends. I am certain this whole process has been hard on some of them. I imagine all can see at least some of it but....I wasn't always that way.
Narcissistic break in moment. It recently hit me that perhaps some ex-bosses I shared this with can't face my BPD and Narcissism as I worked harder, better and more efficiently than some of them. It would force them (potentially) to look inward in a way they were not comfortable with.
A few times I have tried to focus on some happier moments but it feels like a different person, time and place. Almost like a past life.
There was rarely a day I wasn't at least in contact with Dan from Soph year in HS to about age 22. We shared an apartment, went to college together a semester. In some ways I know that I helped Dan come out of his shell a little...I was always attracted to introverts and took it as my personal responsibility to bring them out lol. Now I am an introvert ;-)
As I spent some time in reflection Saturday I began to remember some really good times. With Dan and others. A time where I was a leader, the organizer, the one that could bring people together. If I am proud of anything I have done professionally it is rising to Senior Management without a degree.
So....just because I can't see these attributes all the time, I know they are there. While I wish I had more time to focus on my treatment my life simply does not allow that but...my engine is at least "turning over" when I try to start it up and look for work. All I need now is a jump start....so if anyone is looking for a slightly used but good communicator to help the operations of your business call me :-)
Here is the link to Dan's book