Monday, June 11, 2007

partcipating in the wave

Many Sunday nights still evoke that "haven't finished all my homework," feeling, and I was filled with a pretty good amount of anxiety last night. I was with my family (my brother was home from California!), trying to relax while watching television and sewing a book. (I was already weepy for various reasons -- none of them particularly relevant -- so I decided to go upstairs and have a good cry.

So I'm upstairs, splayed out on the floor, somewhere between a weep and a sob, and I'm thinking, ok, when I leave my folk's house, there's got to be some way I can numb out. Of course, on a Sunday night at 9:30 p.m., there's only one place to go for the "wander around and look at things to buy" drug: Wal-Mart (dun-dun-da-da). So then I think/say, with no small amount of desperation: "Don't make me go to Wal-Mart!" and then, out of me came something between a sob and a laugh. And then more laughing.

Part of this whole Dialectical Behavior Therapy thing is the idea that emotions are waves -- that you can experience them, but at the same time, step back a little and say, ok, whatever I'm feeling will crest and subside. And that's what happened. And what I'm noticing today is that I am feeling so much better. I was able to get out of bed, and get going, and turn in the work assignment that was days late without too much drama.

What I'm seeing is the quantatative effectiveness of DBT. The time taken last evening to have a good cry, to endure the wave, and make myself laugh, is having a multiple effect today. Very time effective.

Part two of all the angst this weekend is that I'm noticing the exhausting effects of my endless busyness. I fell asleep at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, and didn't wake up until the next morning. I'm guessing I'm not more busy, but my craving for quiet and presence is growing stronger, and I'm more aware of the distance between my chronic business and what I'm striving towards. (Can one strive towards less busy?)

The drawing is my interpretive attempt at conveying both the waves and my sprawled body on the floor of my parents guest room.



Anonymous said...

Sitting here and drawing as it's 500 and remembered I didn't check your blog. Great pic of you splayed out on floor. made me laugh. And great that you could ride the wave and not wipe out.

Anonymous said...

Yesterday my psychopharmacologist suggested I find a new therapist - one who is trained in either Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or Dialectical Behavior Therapy. Never heard of dialectical 'til yesterday and today "here it is". Has it been out there long?

Jennifer said...

Hi bipolar girl,

I'm also on DBT, since last September. And I just found your blog tonight after doing some searching about DBT.

I wanted to say, your blog has been really helpful to me tonight. I'm having a bad night, with plenty of urges -- it's a 5 on the suicidality and misery scales on the diary cards, you'll know what I'm talking about. :) But reading your blog has encouraged me. It's been a good "distract" skill tonight (another DBT term, yay!) so I just wanted to say thank you. And I've bookmarked your blog, so write more!!c