Last week, I gave the Tuesday DBT group a second chance. Given how badly I felt when I went to the first meeting, it would have been horribly unfair to judge it based solely on that experience. The second meeting went much better than the first. When it came time to share my diary card, I explained details of how I used the skills. Another group member said, “This is only her second time?”, clearly impressed. Sierra ruined it by pointing out that I’ve been going to a different group prior to this. I forgave her, however, when she told me during the break that I did a good job with sharing. It’s the first time she’s ever thought I shared appropriately.
I also participated in the rest of the discussion. We spent the entire time going over the Pros & Cons skill, filling out example worksheets. The first one, Pros & Cons of having drama & stress in your life, was the first DBT worksheet I did with Sadie, back in September. I happened to have that completed worksheet in my binder to refer back to and was able to share several pros & cons that others couldn’t think of. This particular example seemed to confuse the rest of the group, so we did another one. Pros & Cons of self-injury vs. Pros & Cons of using the ACCEPTS skill for distraction.
Sierra mentioned a pro of self-injury being that it gets you out of responsibilities. She asked me to repeat my follow-up comment when the group didn’t hear. I said that I used to injure myself at work and my boss would allow me to leave early. That wasn’t why I did it, but after a few instances I sometimes felt the urge to do it simply because I didn’t want to be there anymore. I fought that urge, knowing he would eventually stop letting me leave, but the temptation came back time and again.
All in all, I felt very good about my participation in the group that day, and my philosophy is that if life isn’t working, do something different. So that afternoon I notified Sierra that I would be permanently switching to the Tuesday group. I had previously warned her that I might miss group on the 21st due to a physical I had scheduled, but I worked up the nerve to call and reschedule that for a different day a few weeks later.
Despite group going well, life in general was not. I was still having suicidal thoughts, which led to Sadie requiring me to sign another Contract for Safety. Fortunately, after 4 days on my increased dosage of Wellbutrin XL (now up to 450 mg/day), I awoke in a fantastic mood. I tackled a rummage sale that has caused me extreme anxiety in the past and spent the rest of Saturday hanging out with a friend. The next day I awoke in the same fantastic mood, went back to the rummage sale for their $3/bag day, and came home to clean out my entire closet to make room for my new clothes.
I am not typically an ambitious person, and I have a tendency to quit in the middle of projects. Somehow I managed to wash 4 loads of laundry while simultaneously cleaning out my closet and encouraging mom to do the same. I ended up throwing away a stack of clothes that were too worn to donate, and putting a huge box full of donations in the back seat of my car. My closet is now full of clothes I actually like and want to wear, and I hung the hangers backwards so I’ll be able to see if there are items I’ve never worn by the end of summer.
Productivity has continued into today. I wouldn’t say my mood is quite as fantastic, but I’m still up and active. I’ve read nearly half of The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. I was surprised by a comment she made that most writers do not enjoy the actual writing part of the process. That’s my favorite thing! I dread doing research and making notes, but once I know what I’m writing, the words flow out. In fact, I managed to struggle through the note-taking process for chapter 3 of my book this morning, so now I’m all set to write.