So here we are, officially halfway through this year-long course of DBT self-help pages. I have to say I am glad that I accepted to write these as it was always something that I wanted to do. Even I have self-doubts and don’t feel confidant enough to write a book or anything like that, so I am happy to see my years of advice and training flow into words on these pages and I really do hope you are enjoying reading them even if they are not necessarily making your feel noticeably better.
Let’s start this week by asking you a very important question…just where are you? I am not talking about your exact location, I am wondering how you feel you are coming along with things. We already know that those of you with BPD are not going to ever feel truly cured, but is anyone reading this at least starting to feel a little more in control, a little more grounded? Even if these pages are helping one single person I will be happy that I made them. Even if you feel you are not getting any better, you might not be feeling any worse and that is a good start.
Knowing where you are on the road to self-help isn’t as important as you might think. Much like one-to-one therapy sessions as long as you are getting something out of going then you should continue to do so. Maybe you are just enjoying reading the tips and tricks I have mentioned, but you never do the homework? Or maybe you like the homework and skip the main advice. Or maybe you are not just reading these pages out of habit and not letting anything sink in as of yet and that is OK as well. No one reading these self-help pages should feel they need to be at least halfway cured, you should just be happy with yourself for trying to implement the suggestions.
Much like all those theme-park maps with cartoons images that have a big red spot saying “You Are Here”, they are not much help at all and the layouts can be quite basic, but they do at least give you some rough guidance as to where you are in the park. These self-help pages are much like those maps. Sure, the help in them is vague and might not best relate to your own current life position, but they should be seen as a rough guide to your own mental health success.
This Week’s Homework: This week I want you to spend a small amount of time laid down on your back with your eyes closed. Then, I want you to try and remember the exact feelings you had while on a theme park or funfair ride. Remember the drops, remember the loops and the way your stomach felt. Remember how much fun it was or how scared you were. If you think hard enough you can even trick your body into getting butterflies while on a coster that is only in your mind. If you can gain that level of control and cognitive memories you are well on your way to recover and even more fun times ahead.