I came across these few images today, produced by Mind, a UK mental health charity. They’re aimed specifically for people with bpd (the images, not the charity). It may be the frame of mind I’m in right now, ie, cranky as FUCK, but they didn’t strike me as particularly helpful in any kind of real world scenario. Before I rant any further, take a look at them and see what you think:

On my average day, I get very little time alone. I’m either with my kids, or at work, or with my husband. Anything can trigger me, at any time. Today was a case in point, my kids pushed every possible button and then some. I was frustrated as hell, and badly needed to find a way to calm myself down. But flick back up to the first image……………..how are any of them helpful when two small people are slamming various doors and shouting at me? I can’t exactly bring them along for the paper ripping, pillow punching, ice smashing escapades (that’s assuming I was calm enough to think of these strategies in the first place, which, if I was, would mean I didn’t need them!!!) How is that modelling good coping strategies? Or is it? I get that they would work, kind of, but I also think that anything so aggressive might fuel the anger further before calming it down.
I’m not going to go through each list but you get where I’m going. These are all helpful strategies, yes, but in an ideal world where one can just take a step back to engage them. How many of us can do that? Wrap up in a blanket and watch my favourite tv show??? I cannot begin to describe how much I would love to do that, but it’s not realistic. If I were to take a shower every time I got mad our lovely new water bill would rapidly hit second mortgage levels. Counting to ten just plain doesn’t work. I tried, multiple times today. I tried deep breathing. I tried rationalising what I was thinking. I tried taking a step back and asking the kids to leave me be for just 5 minutes. I got 30 seconds. 
I’m sorry, rant over. I think. It’s been a long, tedious, angst ridden day. I don’t want helpful, well meaning advice. I want a means of coping, long term. Oh yeah, that would be dbt, wouldn’t it? Except there’s the small matter of that pesky 8 month wait. So till then? I guess I’d better stock up on ice cubes. 
I’m still cranky.

This article has 4 Comments

  1. These suggestions are right from DBT. I have the same issues as you are mentioning….fortunately they (DBT)have a super long list of things to do in difficult situations so it is possible to find a few that you can use without having members of your family (any age) look at you sideways. For me, if I can at least first remember to breath, then there is a good chance I can move on to a second option. Usually wind up sweeping or cleaning, or cooking/baking. There are more…but at different times of the day some are more possible than others. 🙂 Colleen

    1. Thanks Colleen 🙂 It’s definitely about taking back some sort of control, isn’t it? Any time things get really bad for me I paint a room in the house. A little extreme I know but the rhythm of it takes me out of myself. Bonus is that the house looks better!

  2. I understand your frustration. With severe PND, the standard advice for self-care (plenty of sleep, regular exercise, balanced meals) drove me crazy. How, exactly, does a breastfeeding mother of a newborn manage any of those things?

    1. I used to get that with the kids, drove me absolutely demented. That and ‘sleep when baby sleeps’. Both my kids had chronic reflux and never slept!!!!!! I get that people mean well but it’s profoundly unhelpful advice.

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