Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Life Worth Living



I was born with a biological predisposition to emotional dysregulation, which means I'm highly sensitive, highly reactive and slow return to baseline. Then, my invalidating and inconsistent family environment lead me to have difficulty tolerating stress, poor communication skills, and irrational thinking. Now I don't trust my own judgement. I have low self-esteem, identity crisis and don't know how to self-soothe. Everything is mood driven - the moment is what counts. NOT the overall goal. I never learned that “Thoughts are not facts, emotions are not facts”.


One example of an invalidating environment is when I told my step-mom about some of my private experiences of abuse, she said that her dad did it too. She explained that my father had repented and cried a lot. So I should be able to forgive him and move on.


I invalidate my own experiences, thoughts and feelings based on the idea that I am over-reacting. I was always told that I was over-reacting. I still am.


I have a lot of distorted thinking. I look at things in absolute, black and white categories. People in my life are either on a pedestal or in the depths of hell. 


I also dwell on the negatives. I discount my achievements, because all of my failures outweigh them. They don't count.


I often think others are reacting negatively toward me. Even though I have no idea what they are thinking. If somebody's having a bad day. I just know it's something I've done.


When I make a mistake I tell myself that I'm a loser and an idiot. Rather than admitting that I simply made a mistake.


There is always somebody to blame. I know that it's either me or somebody else.


I'd like to learn DBT skills so that I can learn to live rather than react to life. I want to be able to feel "normal" and good about myself. I'd like to be able to go into public without dread. I'd like to stop harming myself so I can appear "normal". I want to be able to have a good reputation. I want to be somebody that people can trust and have a long friendship with. I want to be able to hang out with friends and family.


Behaviors to decrease

1. I'd like to not have such a chaotic relationship with those in my life.
2. I'd like to be able to label my emotions and moods.

Behaviors to Increase

1. I'd like to be able to relate to people in a positive and smooth manner.
2. I want to be more flexible and approachable
3. I'd like to be able to regulate my emotions on my own without turning to self harm or other destructive behaviors.
4. I'd like to be able to be mindful on a regular basis.

References: 

SP, DBT Classes
David Burns, M.D., Adapted from “Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy”
Skills Training Manual page 107
Alec L. Miller, Jill H, Rathus, Marsha M. Linehan, “Dialectical Behavioral Therapy with Suicidal Adolescents”, pages 311 and 312