DBT#5: The Rebel and The Rabbit

I was absolutely buzzing this morning. I hadn’t slept much. My heart pounded and my thoughts raced, tripping over one another. Yesterday I had received two pieces of outstandingly helpful information and I was flying on the boost. A friend from work came round and just chatting to someone really helped to settle me. The extra propanolol possibly played a part too!

I cycled to DBT. It was a clear day and a pleasant ride. Unfortunately I’m currently experiencing the venlafaxine sweats so it doesn’t take much for sweat to start pouring out of me. I had brought deodorant with me to DBT and sprayed liberally before going in but I still had to apologise to the lady next to me. Sweat dripped down my brow, my hair was damp, my palms were yuck! 

In our beginning mindfulness exercise we had to accept the non-judgemental kindness of the chair we were sat on! Bit weird…errrr thanks chair? The group seemed more motivated today. People spoke about their TIP skills homework. Confession: I hadn’t really done it. Not properly. I talked about how I’d used paced breathing, how I’d been too lazy to try paired muscle relaxation and mentioned that I’d done the ice thing before. That seemed to satisfy the facilitators. All good. Oooh what a rebel!

Break was fun. We realised that many of us share a psychiatrist. Poor guy. Ummmm yeah. You might imagine a bunch of us struggling with our mental health and on various medications aren’t too complimentary about our nasty psychiatrist and you’d be right. I know it’s a bit childish but it was fun. I’m led to believe that psychiatrists are generally unpopular with their patients given the nature of the relationship. To be fair I’m not sure how I feel about Dr D. I hated him first time and liked him second time. I shall reserve judgement until I see his letter which he still hasn’t sent (huff!). We shared med stories. That was good too. 

Back in and we were still on Distress Tolerance. The first bit was about methods of distraction. The acronym ACCEPT was used here. Google it if you care enough. I think the acronyms get annoying to be honest. Quite unexpectedly my anxiety level ratcheted up. Some of the things in ACCEPT seemed stupid to me. For example ‘Contributing’ held suggestions like texting a friend to say hi. Why would I text a friend to say hi if I’m at crisis point? I’d just freak even more that I’d said the wrong thing, or what if they didn’t reply? Pffft! I thought. Stupid. There was also something about ‘Pushing Away’ as in smother the thought/feeling. This got to me big time. I felt the shaking begin. You see I’m a master at pushing the thought away. That’s how I’ve ended up here. I have so many repressed feelings that they’re spilling out uncontrollably and overwhelming me. To be advised to do the very thing that was contributing to my situation made me so mad. What a lot of crap! I really wanted to walk out. I mulled it over – what would happen if I walked out? Nothing. So, if I wanted to walk and there was no consequence then why not do it? So I did. I grabbed my bottle of Pepsi Max, stood up, murmured “2 minutes” and walked out. Rebel. It felt good. I sat in the conservatory at the back of the building. I did some paced  breathing and mindfulness and tried to calm down. I went back in before I was ready really but I didn’t want a facilitator coming to find me.

When I went back in we were on to Improve the Moment. I’ve written about this before. I was still upset. I felt like I could see things that weren’t there out of the corners of my eyes but whenever I looked there was nothing. I now had a little blutack ball and I fiddled with it endlessly. We got on to the idea of a self-soothe kit. I was quite excited by this. Monica had asked me to think about what would go in my kit at my last one to one. I had been thinking about it and enjoyed hearing other people’s ideas. I’ve realised that I adore my daughter’s favourite cuddly rabbit. I slept with it in bed the other night and since then I’ve deliberated on getting my own. I mean it just feels wrong. I’m a 36 year old woman. A cuddly rabbit? Well after today’s discussion on self-soothing I decided I was definitely going to purchase my own bunny. Job done. I am ridiculously excited about this!

I may name her Rebel

To finish off today’s session our last task was some mindful colouring. I started doing it properly – like the good girl I always am. Then I looked at it ruefully; I wanted to destroy it, to scrub it all out with black. Oh hello here’s the rebel again! I did it. I destroyed it. Damn it felt good. I explained to the facilitators that one goal for me was to find healthier methods of rebellion. With that in mind they were quite happy when I then tore the colouring into shreds. I felt a kind of cackle inside me and I said aloud “screw your colouring. I’m going to destroy it”. 

I can’t decide if this awakening rebellion is a good or bad thing. Although why judge? DBT says just accept it. And perhaps it’s about time I showed people just how rotten inside I am. I am bad. I will show you just how bad I am.

Says the lady who has just purchased a soft toy rabbit.

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