'Riding the wave' of painful emotions

*This post mentions self-harm and suicidal thoughts* I am writing this from the middle of a wave of extremely uncomfortable emotions. I feel the emotional equivalent of wanting to physically throw up. I have a grim concoction of disgusted, ashamed, angry, alone and upset churning inside of me. I am having thoughts of self-harm because I want to 'rid' myself of this intense unease I feel. Instead of hurting myself like I used to in the past, I am doing what I have been learning to do in therapy: 'sit with' the painful emotions, rather than acting on them. In terms of DBT skills, this is called 'riding the wave'. The theory is that an emotion is like a wave; its intensity will rise then reach

DBT skills my way!

*This post mentions self-harm so please take care* There are many (possibly infinite!) ways to do DBT skills and most, if not all, DBT skills can be personalised in some way. For example, I am a huge Harry Potter fan and I have been able to customise quote a few of the skills to fit around my love of the boy wizard. I also love nature and have also found numerous ways to tailor my skills to that too. Mindfulness: Observe & Describe I do this skill lots when I am walking or travelling, especially when I have said good-bye to a person or have left a social event. This is because at these times I tend to ruminate on what I have said or done which tends to activate a lot of anxiety and embarrass

BPD in the festive season

I am in the best place I have ever been with my BPD. I have an understanding of what works for me and what doesn't. I have supportive relationships and an amazing therapist. I am almost a year into DBT (Dialectical Behaviour Therapy) and I have learnt how to use skills to help me cope with overwhelming emotions and distressing thoughts. Lately I have been spending time in my one-to-one therapy sessions looking into my past and finding out why some things trigger me and activate a strong desire to self-punish and self-criticise. The aim of looking at my past alongside doing DBT skills is to help me understand why I feel, think and act in such ways and to have more compassion for myself. Altho

Chronic physical pain

I don't talk about it much, but I am often in physical pain. This is due to tension and it feels tight and painful across my upper back, shoulders, neck and face. My jaw is constantly hurting. In the last few months, this pain has been particularly bad. It feels as if someone is pulling at the muscles in these areas, particularly in my face. I feel like I want to let go of this tightness, but I just don't know how to. In the last few months, I have felt tense almost all of the time. It's as if my body doesn't know how to relax. It feels as though my muscles are being stretched and that I am holding them in a position that they don't want to be in. I wonder if it is because I almost constantl

Not being able to get a GP appointment

For the last year and a half, I have not been able to see a GP when I have needed to. That is not an exaggeration. Not being able to get a GP appointment has been a huge source of stress for me. It has made me feel anxious that I am going to run out of medication and end up, quite likely, in a mental health crisis and at risk. I have tried every method I can to get a GP appointment and to no avail. The practice at which I was registered (until today, when I signed up to GP At Hand) only allows you to book on a Monday morning for the week ahead. You can't book two or three weeks in advance, for example. I have called many Mondays in a row at 8am and have not managed to get through on the phon

Emotions on full volume

[TW this post mentions suicidal thoughts] Sometimes everything feels too much. This is because my emotions are always on full volume. I rarely feel a mild sadness, instead I feel crushing devastation. It's the same with happiness; often this for me is euphoria. Since I started on this combination of medication however, my emotions have been ever so slightly muted. Just a tiny fraction. This is not a loss to me, but a gain. It means that I can cope in my daily life much better. Instead of swinging from euphoric to suicidal in minutes every day, only every now and again do I have such deep troughs and high peaks of emotion. This usually happens when I am triggered by someone close to me: I swi

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​© Talking About BPD

Rosie Cappuccino 2020

Please note that this site is not a substitute for professional medical/mental health advice.

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