The blog is back. I’ve been dipping in and out the last few weeks, and not too sure about where I was going with it, but for now, I need it, because I will very soon be facing into 8 long months during which I will have access to no therapeutic support of any kind, so I have to become my own therapist. Writing is without doubt the best way for me to do that, but unfortunately, unless I know there’s a possibility someone else will be reading it, I won’t think things through enough, so you get to be my co-therapists by default.

This time though, I think it will be a little different. I’ve pulled right back from everything that was a draw on my time this last month or so. Now is not the time for me to be trying to influence the national mental health agenda, or change how people think about mental illness. I’ve lost interest in chasing writing opportunities. The next few months are going to be tough, starting with finishing with Therapist in a few weeks. I need to keep things down to the bare minimum of necessities in terms of what has to be done, and also make room for what needs to be done to keep me well. And obviously, hold down a job, look after my kids, make time for Hubby, friends, family………I cannot begin to describe how much I don’t want to have to put in this level of effort. An hour ago it felt beyond impossible. Now? Still pretty impossible but at least I’ve stopped crying (more on that in a bit).

I met with the hospital psychologist again today, we’re two thirds of the way through the pre dbt assessment. Today was mostly to tell me about what will be involved, to ascertain any obstacles that may get in the way of partaking in the programme, and to establish my commitment to seeing it through. It’s a big commitment – one full year of weekly group skills sessions of two and a half hours, plus a weekly individual therapy session. In between there will be homework, lots and lots of homework. A diary card will need to be kept daily, and will be the focus of discussion in each session. It doesn’t matter what else is going on in my life, what’s written on that card, particularly if it’s in relation to self harm, will take priority.

She asked me if I could see the sense in it. I can. She asked me if I can commit to it, to both attending and completing the work between sessions. Assuming the timetabling works out, I know I will attend, that won’t be a problem. The work in between will be more challenging, although I think I’ll be able to do it. Whether or not I’ll want to do it is a whole other question. Right now, I don’t, because right now I’m back in the land of ‘I don’t have borderline this is all a crock of shit’. While I was with the psychologist I was a model of calm and togetherness, as it wasn’t the appropriate time or place to discuss anything that’s been going on. When I got home? Meltdown of epic proportions. Ugly, gulpy, incoherent, snot fest.

When I feel like that, the sheer volume of work that I’m facing combined with a ridiculous level of emotion feels absolutely insurmountable. The whole point (or at least one of the points) of dbt is to to help me manage those kind of intense emotions. But what am I supposed to do with all that before I get to do dbt? That’s not a question I can answer tonight. I’m exhausted, and thankfully, emotionally wrung out so there’s no feeling left.

I’ve been getting a lot of fun the last couple of weeks out of photography. Well, not photography in the strictest sense, more whatever I can capture and play with on my phone. Either way, it’s given me something to focus on and distract with, which is good. A couple of images have caught me by surprise, both in how they’ve turned out, and in how people have interpreted them. This is one:

A friend said this of it…….’I thought of ‘life’….in places it’s straining. In places the cracks are showing. In places it’s bare and exposed. Ravaged, torn. But in places still thickly protected’


At the risk of sounding corny or trite, I think the aim of dbt will be to get through that thick layer of protection, one that has served a very valid purpose but really isn’t doing me any favours anymore. But, before I can get to the smooth surface underneath, there will be quite a few jagged edges to contend with, and then the exposed surface will need to be treated to prevent further damage. Does that make sense? 
I’m glad to have my blog back. I feel like it’s changed, like I might be heading in a new direction. I didn’t expect to say this after the turmoil of earlier, but it feels good. 

This article has 2 Comments

  1. Distraction is actually a DBT skill. You're already practicing it and didn't even know it! You'll be fine. You can do this! DBT will change your life! It changed mine for the better. Sending you lots of positive vibes.

    1. Thanks so much. I’ve also started a daily yoga practice which is really helping, and photography. Never realised I enjoyed it so much, but it’s really making me slow down and look around me properly, which in turn takes me out of my head……all good!

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