Getting to therapy today was an ordeal. It took an hour and a half to get there on the bus/light rail. The bus was really painful, slightly better than driving though (it’s the vibrations on the floor), but the light rail was good. I wish I could go the whole way on the light rail but they haven’t put it up all over the city yet. Won’t come to my neck of the woods til 2013 they say. I’m not even sure how many people will use it (except me! 😉 ).
I took too heavy of a bag which also hurt. But I made it! Therapy itself was good. I want to go over my goals while its still fresh in my mind:
- Practice TIP skills this week. We talked a lot about how, since my boyfriend left, my threshold where I go into distress and can’t think straight lowered from 70/100 (emotion intensity) to 40/100! I think a lot of the Distress Tolerance skills are still too hard for me to use when I am in this mode (like when I wake up shaking all over and cannot think straight or breathe – first thing in the morning!). So…the Distress Tolerance skill to practice – so I can get in the habit of turning to it naturally – is the temperature change. Something to shock me out of that disassociation. I want to practice using ICE and darting outside to get some fresh air as two ways to center myself. I hear the Ice thing really works, its just weird and hard to remember! (Basically you go splash cold water on your face or get an ice cube and rub it on your face or neck or whatever.) I am going to try try try to remember this when I get distressed and to also practice it a few times when my emotions are going up before it gets too bad.
- Write the following on an index card to use when I wake up shaking like that (and tape it on the ceiling above my bed and also on the wall):
- Do your “In & Out” exercise
- Then: do TIP or outside affirmations (my morning affirmations from last week)
3. And the hard one….try to eat dinner with my family – use mood management as a motivator.
I DID THIS TONIGHT! Yes, I had to have two sips of wine first but then I did it. I have been ONLY eating by myself in increasing amounts the last two months and so this was a big deal for me.
4. Secret one (see notebook)
***Try this at home: ‘In & Out Mindfulness Exercise’ (this is just what I call it, I don’t remember the real name or if there is one). Use it to center yourself anytime you feel your emotions running high, like you can’t think straight, or like your mind is running wild.
Preferably lying on your back, but even sitting is fine, take a few deep breaths.
Then go IN, focus only on the sensations you feel inside your body, don’t think of anything else. Is a muscle tight? Are you hungry? Is your heart beating fast or slow? Do you have tension somewhere? Does anything hurt? Etc.
Then go OUT, focus only outside of your body, using your senses. What do you see, smell, hear? Is the room light or dark? What colors surround you? Etc.
Do back and forth a few times
Realize you were in the moment for a few minutes (what mindfulness is, focusing on just what you are doing in THAT moment).
Continue with deep breathing and take a minute to reflect on your goals for yourself.
Go on with your day and feel centered and focused!