I have Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and have a difficult time in dealing with stress and intense emotional situations. The last twenty four hours have taken a toll on my battered soul as emotion after emotion washed over me, threatening to drown me. Things are still at a crisis mode, but I’m relying on my coping toolbox to help get me through this storm. Which skills are helping the most?
1. Radical Acceptance – for me this means being able to accept my emotions for just that – emotions and a part of being human. Emotions are the body’s way of telling us that something is happening and to pay attention. I’ve learned to keep practicing at not judging the emotions or myself for having them.
2. Emotional Regulation – being able to sit with an emotion is excruciating for those of us who live with BPD sometimes. We feel things like a third degree burn victim – raw and painful to the most sensitive of feelings. Again, by not judging the emotion, I’m finding that while my emotions are all over the spectrum and rapidly changing in response to this crisis, I’m finding that I’m able to tolerate the emotion and let it go as easily as it came.
3. Reaching Out – I have not hidden my crisis from those that love me because I know that while I need to be strong during this crisis, I also need to be supported. I’m not afraid to tell others what I may need from them and expressing myself during this time. I remind myself to try to remember to speak with kindness and compassion during this emotional storm.
4. This Too Shall Pass – it’s true. This crisis will end and I have survived everything in my life so far up up this point and I will survive this. The storm will recede and it won’t last forever.
5. Self-Care – I being careful to make sure that I take care of myself so I can make it through this time. That means eating properly and taking naps or time outs when I can. I’m not worrying about the household chores or small errands – I’m just getting through moment by moment.
Using skills to cope through a crisis makes dealing with the crisis more bearable. I will have the strength and courage to see this through and help my loved ones during this time as well.
The skills I’ve talked about are part of what I call my “wellness kit” – tools that help me cope. If you are interested in these skills you can google DBT ( Dialectical Behaviour Therapy) and WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Planning) which are both “therapies” that I have taken to help me manage my BPD.
One moment at a time…..this too shall pass.