Subvert the Dysfunction: Therapy Diary for September 7, 2019

How much of the trouble inside my head is caused — or at least made worse — by bad habits?

My reflexive reactions to things like perceived slights or simple frustrations get blown up into fantastical threats.

I think that it is time to revisit my DBT Handbook and the DBT cards. Now that I have a little distance and perspective, and can see how I might actually use them to learn how to break that reaction pattern, maybe I can get some real benefit from these tools.

Perhaps I can keep in mind this time that DBT or any other therapy tool isn’t a panacea. I suspect that my buying all of the DBT things back in the spring was part of my pattern of wanting to own the right tools. From carpentry tools to knitting supplies, I’ve always wanted the best tools, even when I had no idea how to use them.

However… just because I bought them as part of a dysfunctional coping mechanism, is doesn’t mean that I can’t now learn the skills to use these tools.

Let’s subvert the dysfunction!

I’m struck at times by the banality of my thinking around my recovery.

I hear the voice of self recrimination: “oh, get over yourself!” it says.

But ignoring these issues certainly wasn’t helping me resolve my difficulties, was it?

So, banal or not, I have to write these notes, I have to have my little insights, and I have to forgive myself for my ‘failure’ to live up to my impossible standards of cool, of competence, of confidence, of cynicism.

I can’t change the past, but I can take steps to start down a new path where I do learn the skills I need to stop the unhelpful reactions, to move in a better direction, and to identify my dysfunctional behaviors and thoughts and eventually hurt myself and others less and less often.

My longer term goal is to move beyond merely ‘not hurting’ others or myself. It’s to move toward healthy relationships, good boundaries, honest conversations.

Saying ‘no’ when I need to. Being enough. Being kind. Not being a sucker or a doormat.

2 thoughts on “Subvert the Dysfunction: Therapy Diary for September 7, 2019

  1. Wow, this hits home. Especially buying all the right tools, but not using them. I learn so much about my experience with BPD by reading about others. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings.

    1. Thanks, Leslie! That really means a lot.

      I sometimes have wondered if I should write about my BPD experience, because my ‘version’ of BPD is relatively mild… no physical self-harm, no suicide attempts (not recently, anyway), etc. But I realized that there are probably as many ‘mild’ cases of BPD as there are extreme cases. So I write for myself but also in hopes that someone else will find some value in these diary entries.

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