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As some of you know, I am so mentally ill that I find suicide jokes funny and I can casually discuss types of self-harm.
I truly do not mind talking about these things because they are big parts of my experience as a human that sharing them comes with the package. With all the awesomeness that I possess, there is also misery and dark humour that borders on being problematic.
But what I have not talked at length about is how using workbooks helps me stay on the right path.
Besides having a regular meditation practice, I also dedicate a significant time to using various workbooks, such as the one I wrote about last year – here it is.
Since then I invested in many others that I will review in the next few weeks, but I am starting with The Dialectical Behaviour Therapy Skills Workbook: Practical DBT Exercises for Learning Mindfulness, Interpersonal Effectiveness, Emotion Regulation & Distress Tolerance.
My illness does not have a cure and there is no pill to make it better. I will never heal it, but I can manage it – basically, I was born with a brain that is a bit different from average.
The only thing proven to help is DBT.
So when I started treatment and decided to do whatever I can to manage my symptoms, I almost ran to the library in need of books that could help. When I realized there are workbooks, I invested money in about three of them.
What I love about this particular one is that it truly offers so much space for your thoughts to be written down. When you are learning the skills, you must take the time to investigate your brain.
One of the most important things we can do when working on our mental health is being honest about where we are.
It hurts like hell to admit our circumstances and write them down but it is how we move forward.
Truthfully writing about your destructive thoughts and actions, things that trigger you, and how you react when they do… this is the first step in recovery. This is exactly what you need to do to manage your emotions and thrive despite being mentally ill.
Some of the exercises are truly difficult and you will need to return to them more than once. Sometimes you will cry, get angry and really resent what you’re doing.
But you know what? You are doing this because you are brave and courageous. You are opening your heart and exposing your wounds because you know there is light at the end of the tunnel.
No matter your age or diagnosis, you deserve to feel good. Wherever you are, you deserve peace.
Using this DBT skills workbook as a tool to help you manage emotions will help you create better relationships, maintain a healthy self-image, and get better at working with other practises, such as meditation.
Matter of fact, mindfulness is a big part of DBT and when you combine the two together, magical things happen.
You deserve to feel good and this workbook can help your heart be happier.