DBT in Action… Challenging Myths
Yesterday I hit a rough spot. There was a time not to long ago that a day like yesterday would have caused me to declare my attempts at healing a failure and see myself as weak and broken for getting emotional. But in hindsight, the rough spot only lasted about 20 to 30 minutes, and I was able to remain relatively composed, short of a few tears. A few months ago, I would have probably felt the need to go home and hide away from the world over a similar situation. Once I re-centered myself, I reread my blog entry and noticed all of the myths I have in there… myths that I tell myself and act as triggers, often leading me into a spiral. So I decided today, after I got a little bit of distance between my emotions and the situation, to use a DBT skill I’ve learned to examine and challenge some of those myths.
Myth: I’m afraid I’ve made a terrible mess of my life. A mess that there is no turning back from.
Challenge Statement: Certain aspects of my life might be a mess right now, but there are also areas where I am doing very well. And a financial setback is something I’ve survived before and can get through again.
Myth: I gave up family. I gave up a home. And I gave up my financial stability…
Challenge Statement: I have not given up these things permanently. To be honest, I didn’t have family in Florida either, I have not lived in my “home” for a year, don’t plan on ever living there again (that’s one HELL of a commute), and though my credit will take a hit, taking a loss on the condo will make the other bills I have more manageable and I will be in a better position to pay off other debt.
Myth: All while being alone in this world. No husband. No family. Just me standing solitary as my world crashes around me.
Challenge Statement: I am not alone. Just because my “family” was never there for me, it doesn’t mean that there is no one there to help me though this. I have a support network of close friends who have stood by me through the toughest of times. My boyfriend has been helping out where he can, both financially and emotionally as well.
Myth: I don’t want to trade everything else for this new career. I don’t want to start over with nothing but my job.
Challenge Statement: I may be starting over, but I have more then my job. I still have my friends. I still have my cats. I still have a nice home to live in. And I have healed more since moving here then I ever did back “home”, so I have already gained so much by being here.
Myth: I’m going under and I don’t know what to do. I don’t know how to keep from drowning…
Challenge Statement: I do know what to do to keep from drowning. I have a solid and workable plan for getting though this. I am already building a financial cushion. I am and will continue to take steps to weather this storm… I won’t drown because I already know where the lifeboats are.
Myth: I’m tired of struggling to stay afloat as I watch everything I’ve ever worked for get swept away.
Challenge Statement: I am weary… and sometimes it feels like I’m losing everything, but I have an index card with over two dozen things I’ve accomplished over the past year, as well as pretty long list of all the things I have gained. Most importantly, I have a fuller, happier life… and that can’t be taken away by bad credit.
Myth: Day by day, I sink deeper, and I am afraid that one day, I’ll be pulled under and not be able to, or even want to resurface from the depths.
Challenge Statement: I’ve been through some pretty intense stuff in the past. Things that I never thought I would survive while I was in the middle of them. But I did. I found the strength and courage to make it through. I can do it again.
I’ve finally come to realize that living a healthy life is not living a “perfect” one. There will be times when I struggle and times when I feel overwhemed. But as long as I can learn from these struggles, I will continue to grow. And that is the best anyone can do… learn and grow from the rough times, whether they have BPD or not.