Monday, 27 January 2014

DBT PLEASE Skills - my latest challenge


I've got myself into bad habits - again. My Therapist even admitted to having a 'judgemental' thought when I told her my average sleep over the past three weeks has been between 3 and 4 hours. I know, I know, Churchill and Thatcher - but I'm a definite 7-8 hours a night woman myself. When I don't get enough sleep everything starts to go 'weird'. My emotions and thinking become befuddled - not unlike the sensation of being drunk or on sedative drugs. This would be fine if I wasn't trying to manage the emotional instability of BPD. Why? Why is it so hard for me to look after the most basic of my needs? I would think judgementally about myself too - I mean I'm one appointment away from discharge! And I've been doing really well.

I don't have a definitive answer. Except that my mind has been so free from negative, circular, black and white thinking that I have been 'buzzing' off a fresh creative surge which usually emerges around the end of the Evening News. This I am beginning to recognise is also part of my BPD. Part of the swing in moods between negative and positive. The other, deeper and therefore avoided reason is my lack of basic self care. I am still working on believing that I am worth looking after.

So, just as I would apply DBT skills to managing negative thinking I need to use the same skills to manage my more 'manic' phases. They too come in waves, and they reach a crescendo before receding. If I can manage the 'ups' without self destructing, then I will have learned even more about a balanced and stable life. Above all other skills the emotion regulation skills are needed right now. I need to manage my sleep patterns, have routines and eat regularly. So basic, but so necessary.

So this week I will be mostly working on my PLEASE skills. (P&L - treat Physical ILlness, Eating, Avoid mood altering substances, Sleep and Exercise)