Nervous about Video Presentation!


I’m doing my out-of-town BPD group tomorrow.  I’m planning on doing a video presentation on Borderline Personality Disorder.  I’m so nervous!  I did one in town here last year but no one really seemed that enthused by it.  I’m hoping that it goes over better in this out-of-town group.  I think it will.

They have a Smart TV in all of the Centres in the area.  But they don’t exactly know how to use all of the functions on the one at this Centre.  I hope we can figure it out.  If not, I can always show the presentation on one of their computers.  It would be so much better on the Smart TV though, where everyone could see it much better than crowding around a computer monitor.

Wish me luck!

Thanks in advance,

— Joyce.

A Bad Dream and an Early Visit


The other night I dreamed about my brother.  I don’t remember the actual dream.  All I know is that the dream was about my brother and that I woke up feeling very stressed out and upset.  I’m sure it’s because he’s been on my mind so much for the last month or so.  He was very charming but could be verbally abusive at times, and physically when we were younger.  But he was a really nice guy at times.

Our daughter came over early this morning.  Her and her boyfriend had been walking around town all night and wanted to crash at our place for a couple of hours.  My husband said, “No way!”  They’ve stolen from us and treated us like dirt a lot of the time.  So they went over to the neighbour’s, where my mother-in-law has been staying, and she let them in.  They’ve gotten her cheque and are now staying at a motel, for how long I don’t know.

I’m probably heading out for a bike ride with my son shortly.  Till next time,

— Joyce

Activities Which Promote a Sense of Mastery, Achievement and Joy 👍


Originally posted on Living with Borderline Personality Disorder:

In therapy on Friday I was fiddling with a metal hand puzzle to help manage my anxiety throughout the session. Because I struggle with Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviours, swapping these automatic motions to instead playing consciously with fiddly toys can be really effective for me. With these metal puzzles, you have to try and separate the two parts of a unit. The metal puzzles look like this, to give you more of an idea:


After about 20 minutes, I finally managed to work out how to separate the last and most challenging unit. Regardless of what we were speaking about in my session, I felt a real sense of accomplishment having worked it out, to the extent that I exclaimed a rather out-of-context “YESSSSSS!”, and smiled – much to my therapist’s delight.

Having seen the contrast between my demeanor prior to this “achievement” compared to after it, J…

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Sample WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Plan)


Originally posted on Life after BPD:

I was just sorting through some paperwork at home and came across the WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Plan) that was given to me when I was discharged by my CPN from the care of the NHS mental health teams.

I was given a blank template and a completed version sample to give me ideas and help me complete it.

I wanted to share the sample with you because it contains lots of information and tips which I hope a lot of people will find useful, and they may not have access to this sort of thing.

Here it is, page by page;

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I hope this can be helpful to someone.

Take care all!

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FREE DBT Skills Training Online! Participate in IRB Approved Research!


Originally posted on DBT Peer Connections:

Do you want to take part in a free 6-week DBT skills training course? There is still one week left to get your name on the research participant interest list. All you need to do is fill out the form below. if you fit the study criteria, you will receive a formal invitation to join via email between 09/01/2015 and 09/15/2015. Thank you for support and interest. Please share this post!

Rachel Gill, Primary Researcher

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Another Tired and Lazy Weekend


All I’ve done is lay around all day.  Once in a while, you may need to do that for self-care.  But when it turns into doing it all weekend long every weekend, it’s a problem.  I just can’t drag myself out of bed.  My son wanted me to go for a bike ride with him, but I just couldn’t.  I disappointed him.  I hate disappointing him.  My husband wanted me to pop over to the store and grab him a treat.  I couldn’t do that either.

I hate feeling like this.  I don’t know what’s wrong with me.  I never used to be like this.  I used to go for walks and bike rides all the time.  Now I can barely get out of bed on the weekends.  During the week, I go to my groups.  But when it comes to the weekends, I just feel so tired and lazy.

Just had to let this out.  Thanks to anyone who read this.  Till next time,

— Joyce.

Appointments, Daughter Troubles, and Money Woes


My appointments yesterday went fine.  I had two teeth pulled – the top right ones in the front.  I met with my counsellor for a quick catch-up.  She made me feel a little less guilty about not crying over my brother’s death.  She said that she thought that my tribute to my brother was very good.

My daughter came by tonight.  Her and her boyfriend were kicked out of his mother’s place.  Over some argument.  I’m not sure what it was about.  She wanted money for a coffee.  I told her that we didn’t have any.  So she called Grandma and went over to bug her for some money probably.  She needs to leave Grandma alone.  She doesn’t need all this stress.  I don’t know where they’re staying tonight.  She said before that they were going to go camping.  I guess they’ve changed their minds.

The credit card company is hassling me again.  Actually it’s a credit recovery company.  I’m so tired of it.  I don’t need this.  I’m trying to pay what I can when I can.  I’ve mostly only used it for groceries, nothing frivolous.  I won’t bore you with the same old story.

I didn’t sleep a wink last night.  I didn’t take my meds yesterday.  I took them first thing this morning.  I had to pick them up yesterday.  I was totally out of them.  I’m so tired!  I hope I sleep tonight!  I’m gonna try going to bed soon.

I talked to my sister on the phone for a little bit tonight.  They’re doing all right over there.

Thanks again for listening.  Till next time,

— Joyce.

One Month Anniversary of My Brother’s Death Today


It’s been one month today since my brother passed away.  I still haven’t cried for him.  I feel a little guilty for not crying.  I feel kind of like a bad sister.  I’m hoping that, through my tribute, I can be a better sister and make up for not being there for him when he needed me.

I’ve been talking to my parents and sister on the phone almost every day.  They’re not doing too badly considering.  I talked to my sister tonight.  She seemed in good spirits.

I see my counsellor and the dentist tomorrow.  I’m kind of nervous about seeing the dentist.  I have to have some teeth pulled.  They’re all rotten and broken off.  I wish I’d taken better care of them when I was growing up.  I never really brushed them.  I tried to as an adult but I think it’s too late.  I think that some people just have bad teeth.

My daughter came by tonight.  She grabbed a bite to eat then wanted me to go to the store with her.  She said she needed some personal items.  I bought them for her, plus a few treats.  I think the personal items were just an excuse for me to buy the treats for her.  I should have known better.  Hopefully, I’ll know better next time.  She’s so smooth!

Thanks to anyone who actually read this.  I hope you aren’t all snoring right now.  Lol!  I’ll let you know how my appointments go tomorrow.  Till next time,

— Joyce.

Another Example: DBT Worksheet Observing and Describing Emotions


Originally posted on Marci, Mental Health, & More:

So this is one of my favorite DBT skills and I actually use it more than just the one time we had it assigned for homework.  Here it is and to my new followers, I’ll attach the blank worksheets at the end.

Name: Marci      Date: 8/25/15

Primary Emotions:  Anger –> Sadness    Intensity (0-100): 95

Prompting event (for emotion, who what, where, when):

Show up to French class and it’s a brand new teacher.  She also tells us we need to buy a brand new book ($200) that we won’t even be able to use next semester.  Was initially told the book I bought would be used for all 4 semesters (by prior French teacher).

Interpretation (beliefs, assumptions, and appraisals of the situation):

This is wrong.  This is not fair.  That’s not what I was told.  The school website even said we were using the old textbook.

Body…

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DBT Skills: Accumulating Positive Emotions


Originally posted on Pride in Madness:

I am lacking in the positive emotions department right now. How fitting that my Monday DBT class spoke about how we can get those positive emotions in our lives. In class, we talked about how accumulating positive emotions can help us when we begin to feel negative emotions come on. By building positive experiences and events NOW we can add positively into our daily lives or have a lot of positive examples to call upon in moments of emotional dysregulation.

Positive Experiences/Events I Can Do NOW!

  • Read a book
  • Listen to calming music
  • Use my anti-stress body spray/pillow mist
  • Call/text a friend
  • Invite a friend over or go out with a friend
  • Watch a favourite movie
  • Go for a walk
  • Make my favourite meal

This list is similar to what I would do to distract myself, but the difference is that these experiences and activities are done all the time. We…

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A Beginner in the World of BPD


Originally posted on BPD and Bikes:

I’ve been living with depression for some time and the latest episode has been with me for almost four years. Alongside this I have been doing some pretty extreme things in an attempt to escape the constant din of negativity and self-hate in my own mind. I’ve spent lots of money on clothing, drank gallons of alcohol and generally been erratic. Stupidly, I’d hidden quite a bit of this from my psychiatrist who had been pretty bemused for some time as to why I hadn’t recovered from what she thought was simply depression. I’m still not sure why I did this but the best explanation I have is that I didn’t want to let her down.

A few weeks ago, I’d reached a new low. One of the worst things about depression I’ve discovered is that there’s always another level of hopelessness to which you can sink. This level was…

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A parent with a mental illness? Yes!


Originally posted on LYPFT Planning Care Network:

I started writing this piece a while ago but recent events have caused me to re think things.

I am a mum to my son and have the misfortune of suffering from a long standing mental illness. Over the years I have heard, read and had to experience a lot of judgments and misconceptions around being a parent with an illness.
Frustratingly the judgments didn’t just come from fellow parents in the play ground but more often than not from professionals, medical staff.
Collectively it was becoming apparent to myself that a chuck of society had this belief that you couldn’t be a parent or at least a “good enough” one when battling with a mental illness. That you couldn’t function, care, love or keep them safe and that you were not just a “risk” to yourself but subsequently to them too.
Due to my own diagnoses of ’emotionally unstable…

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It Will Get Better


Originally posted on emotionalgrace:

When in the middle of a storm, it is really hard to see your way through. It’s raining so hard you can’t really see what is in front of you. It’s thundering so loud that every rumble makes you shake. When it rains for several days in a row, sometimes we forget that the weather was once nice. Then one day – surprise! The sun breaks through the clouds, the rain subsides and all is clear and dry again.

Life’s storms are just like that. The emotions are like the rain. They flood over you and make it hard for you to see the sun through the clouds. Your own negative thoughts and the negative words of others are like the thunder and it makes it hard for you to hear the voices of those who are trying to encourage and support you. Nothing seems right, we want to retreat…

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After My Brother’s Service


My wi-fi has been out for nearly a week.  I couldn’t keep up with my blogging and e-mail.  I was getting so frustrated!  We just got a new cable for it and it’s working now.  I hope it keeps working!

On Saturday, I attended my brother’s graveside service.  There were quite a few people there.  A couple of his girl friends were crying.  I didn’t cry.  I felt a little guilty.  I still can’t believe it though.  It feels like he could walk through the door at Mom and Dad’s any time.  I’m still numb and in shock.

Everyone said they could hardly hear the minister.  My sister said she wished he hadn’t gone on so much about how my brother died.  He didn’t actually say the word but everyone knew what he meant.  I think it needs to be talked about more to break stigma, so that maybe less people will feel like their only option is to take their lives.  You never read about the actual cause of death in the paper.  I think it would help bust stigma.

After the service, my daughter and I went over to my parents’ house for the day.  She hadn’t been over in a long time, probably a year or two.  My son and husband didn’t attend the service or visit.  My son hasn’t gone over for a year-and-a-half or so.  My husband never goes over.  My uncle and a few of my aunts came over for lunch then left.  We got a few pictures of all of us together.  It’s good to take lots of pictures because you never know when someone will be gone and you may not have that many of them and can’t take any more.

I guess I’m all caught up now.  Thanks again  for listening to my rambles.  Till next time,

— Joyce.

DBT Skills Group – Emotion Regulation Week 7: Troubleshooting


Originally posted on Living with Borderline Personality Disorder:

When what you are doing in the way of skills simply isn’t working, where do you turn? In the final week of this 7-week module in myDBT Skills Group, this is what we investigated.

The need for Troubleshooting is something I am pretty familiar with myself. Sometimes it is only when I take a step back from what it is I am doing, that I realise there are some more specific areas I need to individually target before I can even attempt to regulate myself more fully.

If you find yourself in a situation like this, here are some things worth checking out before you move on:

  1. Check your BIOLOGICAL SENSITIVITY
    Ask yourself:
    Am I physically ill? Am I due my period? Have I recently engaged in unbalanced behaviours with food, alcohol, drugs? When was the last time I got any exercise? Did I get…

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Getting Anxious About My Brother’s Service


I visited my parents and sister on Saturday.  We exchanged some more pictures of my brother.  He’d gone to a car show with a friend the day he passed away.  He’d taken tons of pictures.  One was of him with some famous car guy.  It was the last picture of him ever taken.  We downloaded the pictures onto my mom and dad’s computer.  We didn’t want them to get deleted by accident.  We copied them onto a flash drive so I could save them on my computer too.  My sister is going to back up their pictures onto a flash drive or CD so they don’t lose them as well.  Between my sister and I, we figured out how to download the pictures off my brother’s phone.  It’s a smartphone.  I’ve never used one before.  I found the manual for it online and copied it onto a flash drive, then copied it onto their computer for them so my sister can refer to it if she needs to.

My brother’s graveside service is this Saturday.  Everyone is getting very anxious about it.  I have no idea how it’s going to affect me.  Will I stop being so numb and in shock?  Will I finally cry for my brother?

My counsellor is off this week.  I’ll see her next week.  I’ll probably have a lot to talk to her about then.

Thanks again for being here for me.  Till next time,

— Joyce