I have been meaning to write on this blog more but as I’m finding with all planned routines or commitments at the moment I can do them when feeling up to it but as soon as I go down they go down the loo, basically. Does anyone have any advice for this problem? It is a real problem in my day to day life at the moment- how to plan for a mind that is far from stable without constantly having to cancel on people and not sign up for things that require a steady commitment that cannot be flexible- perhaps it is just unavoidable.
I have been struggling more recently and having many incidents that have got me close to hospital admission or emergency services intervention a few times and one day I lashed out at my Mum particularly badly when she was trying to protect me from myself. I have to say I don’t feel the emotion I feel I should when I think back to that, I don’t know why, maybe I’m blocking it but I do get this pit of my stomach feeling of unease- maybe that is guilt or shame I don’t know? Anyway at my next appointment with my DBT therapist he said it had been hard and validated me but then effectively told me to take responsibility and that I’d been unskilful (in terms of DBT) and that was what put me in that situation to begin with. It was a hard pill to swallow. I had been actively suicidal, out of my mind destructive and emotionally unstable enough to take against my own mother and it was my fault.
Taking responsibility or however you’d like to term it, with mental illness is a hard one. It is very easy to take the victim role (and accepted by others once you get to a certain point.) I see images constantly around me saying basically ‘don’t blame me I have a chemical imbalance’ which although may or may not be true implies there is nothing the person can do to help themselves, on the other hand I also see images stating in big cursive letters, usually with a background of people dancing in a field or some apparently ‘normal’ activity, ‘recovery is a choice’ and those make me and many others very angry.
I believe as with everything there is a balance I guess- I don’t know where that point is or where one is being ‘too…’ either way but, for me, as painful as it is to think, my therapist was being fair. There are a lot of things I could and should have done to help the situation, skills I now I have in my toolbox. This said, I only wish I wanted to more- why is it that I still don’t really want to live? I’ve been bumbling along doing what I know rationally I should telling myself all my emotional desires (often destructive or reclusive like going back into hospital) are unwell thoughts and should be avoided and ignored at all costs. However, this only holds up for so long- then I erupt- end up in dangerous situations where I and the people around me suffer extremely. I can’t seem to get a middle ground yet, a way of self acceptance and motivation that fuses the two. Plus, a way of communicating to others and myself that I’m not okay and am desperately unhappy without self destructing to the point of near death. These are clearly areas I need to work through but in the meantime I’m meant to be using the skills I’ve learnt and when I don’t, I get a telling off. And the one thing in all this that I see as positive and only a result of the DBT I’ve been doing is that when I got that criticism after I processed it and thought through it calmly. Instead of thinking ‘oh I’ve done that wrong, it’s all my fault then- I need to die to help others’, I thought ‘Ok I could have been more skilful then and should definitely learn from that and not shift responsibility but I am struggling and everyone has strong days and not so strong days.’
This is what’s going through my mind at the moment. It’s always there, the option of becoming the victim within your illness, is that ever Okay/ necessary? How do you reach a balance when you don’t even really feel you want to recover?
Let me know your thoughts/advice.