Reflex… DBT Skill

Today is one of those days that I’m feeling like I accomplished nothing, despite plenty of evidence to the contrary.

I was up around 9:30, and played some Red Dead Redemption 2 for a bit while Lynn slept. After she got up, I caught up on some dishes, vacuumed, and cleaned up the back yard a bit. I definitely accomplished some stuff today, but the overall feeling that I haven’t is connected to my mental illness.

To put it plainly, it is one of the lies my mental illness tells me. And it tells me many.

I’m not good enough.

I will never improve.

I’m not doing enough.

They are all lies, and I know this because the list of accomplishments I have managed to achieve is not small: I’m respected in my community as a reporter, I’m back in school, and I am succeeding in looking after everything I need to.

Being able to look at my accomplishments and refute what the illness is telling me is a skill I learned in Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, and it was a challenging skill to learn: yet, today I find myself using the skill without even thinking about it.

The skills are challenging to learn, and can be even more challenging to use. I remember going through the skills training a couple years ago and thinking that I would never be able to apply the skills in my life, and that I was wasting my time. Then, something happened: After months of work, I started using the skills without thinking about it. They became as reflexive as breathing.

I still find I have days where the lies break through, but I am able to push them back, thanks to the journey I’ve walked.

Kevin

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