We all have places, some darker than others, where we are pushed sometimes. Or we retreat to them by choice, as a way to deal with the world. Sometimes entertaining those dark thoughts can make us remember that it’s not actually that bad, at least not always. A little bit of wallowing, and back into the world we head, relatively unscathed.
Other times it drags us in deeper, I’m thrown in by a slight rejection or miscommunication. And I’ll stay there a little too long. Long enough to start forgetting how to get out of it on my own steam. And forgetting that it’s worthwhile fighting my way out.
There are side doors in this dark place, out into little rooms of light. But you’re only allowed to stay there for a limited time, then they switch off the lights and put you back in the dark place. These little side rooms of distraction are just that – distractions. Reminders of why you want to get out of the hole, but not the way out. That is a long journey, best done with some hands to help pull you over those rough patches, the parts where you slip and fall back a little into the hole. two steps forward, and 1 or 3 back.
A little bit like the fall in the Labrynth, except some of the helping hands are holding razor blades.
But I’m going to try to fight. Even though I’m not a great climber, and get fooled by the distractions.
So, my psych has started me on a DBT Diary Card (click to view) to get me tracking how I treat myself, how I feel about it, and any strategies I put in place to stop myself carrying out any urges (such as self harm, drinking etc). Interesting to sit there, only on day one, and rate from 0-5 “How strong was the urge to use, suicide, self-harm”, rating emotions such as shame and fear, and matter of fact things such as alcohol and prescription drug misuse. There’s even a place to rate how much you felt like dropping out of therapy!
I’m not yet up to knowing what the strategies to use are (aside from a little self soothing and distraction!) and won’t learn them all until I get off the waitlist for the more intense program in a few months, but I like having direction. Something concrete, so I can’t fluff about so much. Seasoned at the “oh yeah things are fine at the moment” because, honestly, when I’m in a good mood I can’t even IMAGINE what it’s like to have those negative feelings and do those things to myself.