I left therapy yesterday feeling icky. Out of our three major topics, one was about a negative urge I had acted on (repeatedly). Sadie suggested that I continue backsliding in these ways because it’s more comfortable to be a mess. She mentioned the DBT worksheet about Pros & Cons of having drama and stress. I shared the same pro that I share every time we go over this worksheet in group: having drama and stress gives me something to write about.
Sadie was careful to say that she wasn’t accusing me of screwing up intentionally every time my life starts to improve, but that’s what I took out of the conversation anyway. I am horrible and manipulative, and she shouldn’t even bother trying to help me anymore.
Things really are better. A year ago I was in a dead-end job, felt like crap physically, and had absolutely no means for tolerating distress. I was fresh out of back-to-back inpatient stays and had no confidence that I could avoid going there again and again. I’m in a good job with good coworkers now. I’ve learned most of the DBT skills and make use of about half of them from time to time. I’m healthier and more energetic. I haven’t been in inpatient in 10 months.
So why do I keep making mistakes? Sadie’s right that it’s comfortable. Mental illness is what I know. I don’t know how to cope with being well. And like I said for the pros: what do I write about when my life stops being a disaster? For now I can keep telling stories in the process of writing my book, but when the book’s done that leaves only this blog, and I have nothing left to say. Healthy, happy me is boring.
Sadie said she liked my post of 50 Facts About Me That Have Nothing to Do With Mental Illness. That it showed there is more to my life. Writing that post was a huge struggle. I could not think of things to say, and although I eventually came up with 50 facts, I feel like I exhausted the pool of interesting things to say about myself. In fact, I’m not even sure if those facts were interesting.