Thursday, 25 June 2015

My #DBT Bubblegum Playlists

'Bubblegum' for the Brain is the undemanding pieces of entertainment whether in the visual, musical or written arts which provide distraction without having to concentrate, in the way demanded by more 'challenging' pieces. I have both televisual and musical DBT Bubblegum Playlists. For when I need a lift and a literal break from life. It is escapist and unashamedly 'unworthy' - except in DBT terms I know that when I enjoy my time watching or listening to my Bubblegum playlists I can do so and must do so without judgement.

One of the things which has been most liberating as I come to the end of my forties is the ability to ignore fashion and issues around 'street cred'. If I find something enjoyable, escapist and helpful, it doesn't matter whether or not it's in the flow of a current trend. All that matters is how helpful anything is in helping me to manage my feelings so that they don't dominate my life.

To give you a better idea here is my current Bubblegum Watch and Listen List. Depending on what is available or what I come across on a daily basis the list grows or shrinks.

1. Midsomer Murders: Predictable, caricature rather than character, not bleak, 'raw', or 'gritty' in any way.

2. Sing (Ed Sheeran) - for the beat & the falsetto.

3. Modern Family Box Sets - I have been laughing out loud a lot at this American comedy. As each ep is only thirty minutes long, it gives me a lift before winding down towards bedtime, especially if I have been 'feeling' a lot during the day.

4. Poirot - absorbing without being demanding, even though I know the outcome the joy is watching, without any sense of threat or uncertainty. Some of my favourite viewing can be gritty and emotionally demanding, so programmes like this help me to find a balance. In the past, particularly when grappling with grief and sadness I would use darker programmes to wallow and almost pick at the emotional scars. It's good to give myself a break.

5. Boom-A-Boomerang (Abba) - in fact any of Abba's output up to 1980, when things took an unexpectedly darker turn! I kid you not....

6. Build Me Up Buttercup (The Foundations) - Mostly for the opening few notes...

7. Britain's Favourite Shed (Channel 4) - Bubblegum Gem that is absolutely current... amazingly creative things that people have done with their garden sheds... George Clarke, the presenter has the best North East accent ever and his enthusiasm for the sheds just oozes out of the that I am really enjoying at the moment.

8. Lucky (Glee Cast) - Again, like Abba both the TV series and musical numbers are so uplifting - this one is a frequent flyer on my playlists.

9. Feels Like I'm in Love (Kelly Marie) - if only for the Disco Bongos (boo boo, boo boo)

10. Holby City & Casualty - I don't keep up with daily soaps, but these weekly staples are a fixture in my Bubblegum playlists.

In managing intense swinging emotions, what I watch and listen to, can either soothe or feed the monsters within. Sometimes I need catharsis, an emotional blood letting, so the visceral heightened emotions of Game of Thrones, The Fall, or Hannibal are useful, as long as I have identified the feelings I am connecting with in the programme. Where the emotions being experienced are exhausting, Bubblegum programmes and music are important in helping me to use my Opposite Emotion skills. The key idea in all things is 'balance' and taking care of myself. I am safer watching Modern Family, when grappling with intense feelings of self loathing than anything which demands a darker response. Bubblegum satisfies the need to chew on something for a while, so that I don't feed the monster inside.

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