I haven't made it a huge secret that my pain has drastically affected my mental health. I won't get into it too much, but let's just say that I've suffered a lot. Anyway, I've also been fortunate to have some great professionals and friends who've come alongside me and helped me get through the tough times. Now, I'm learning more skills to deal more effectively with life and "building a life worth living".
I've been led to a therapy called
dialectical Behavior Therapy
A dialect is basically when you have more than one thing that is true. For example I might say "I want to write this blog post and the words won't come out the way I want them to." If I let the and be but, I might never write this post. Instead, I convince myself that both are true and I write the post anyway.
DBT is based on the idea of "Wise Mind" the idea that you have your reasonable mind (based on facts, tangibles etc) and your emotional mind (your emotions). Often we get stuck in emotion mind which can get out of control and cause misery. Wise mind is that and, which does't say that only one can be true when both are actually true.
Anyway, if you read the Wikipedia article I linked to, you'll get a more thorough background of the therapy. I just want you to have that background so you'll understand what I'm talking about.
I've been in DBT for a bit over a year now, working with an individual counselor since January of last year and starting skills training group last April. I just graduated the training group on Monday. I decided it's time to share more of what impact it's had on my life. I'm not done by any means, I have a long way to go. However, I have come a long way. If I had to sum up DBT's impact on my life in one word, I'd say awesome!!!
DBT has a slogan of "building a life worth living". Through skills and hard work, I've been doing just that. I've been reducing behaviors that are unhealthy and increasing so many good things. That's not to say that I've escaped my life, or that DBT is a magic wand that removed my pain, depression, anxiety or PTSD. It hasn't completely changed my circumstances or anything. It's fair to say, though, that DBT has changed my life.
I have resources I never had before. I understand myself better. I can tolerate a whole lot of awful stuff that I can't fix, and fix the things I can (well, not always). If I'm feeling strong emotions, I know what they are, how to check the facts, how I can "regulate" them, what's making it hard to manage them and how to make myself less vulnerable to the negative ones in the future. It's really quite life changing!
I do think that this does help build a life worth living. Yet, I've also come to see that my life was already worth living, it's just even better now!