Warning: This post will contain sensitive information regarding suicide and suicidal ideation.
If you are in crisis: 1-800-273-8255 (National Suicide Prevention line)
Over the past year and a bit I have been working hard on recovery and using Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) to cope with and manage in day to day life. As far as I have come, it is still a journey and an on going one at that. Every day I am challenged to use my skills wether it’s asserting myself at work or coping with the demons that tell me life isn’t worth it. And today is one of those really tough days where in the past I would have stayed stuck in my thoughts, given into my demons and acted dangerously and put my life at risk.
Today though, instead of endangering myself I challenged myself to use my skills. It has been tough and exhausting but all day I have tried to remind myself that the thoughts are not me, that I need to fight. I also used a skill called opposite action which is exactly what it sounds like! I felt like staying in bed with my room pitch black and isolating myself from the world. Instead – I made myself get up and I even went a step further by making myself do my makeup (partly because it helped me feel I was expressing myself in a way) and I went to my weekly group therapy appointment. I also fully engaged during group, interacting with everyone there chatting lots and smiling and in some way it reminded me that we have all come together as a group of souls that are suffering and yet here we are laughing and smiling, so maybe it’s not all that bad!
Now, if you are reading this looking for some ideas of support or self help I do have to let you know that skills don’t come easy! You don’t learn them and then use them right away because when your mind is overwhelmed with emotion your mind won’t think of skills if you haven’t practiced them. So, be kind with yourself, if you can do anything to help yourself then go ahead! And if you know skills then practice them! But it’s important to practice them even when your emotions aren’t heightened.
It has taken me a long time to get to this place where I am managing my depression this well with skills. I’ve also had intense therapy as I am on my third round of group therapy and have two individual therapists at this time as well as a psychiatrist so please do not read this and feel it should be simple or a quick fix! But do know that you can get to a place where you will be able to cope! Even if right now it seems impossible.