C7. U4. S40. Pros 'n' Cons.
Updated: Jun 18
I've broken my Internet with a pick axe so until that's repaired come Friday, this blog entry is being created on my mobile wix app which I fakkin hate. So if this entry is really really shit, it's because the app keeps crashing. I hate it.
First off as per is the mindfulness exercise to ground us and reduce anxiety which is useful as I am riddled with anx over the past few days. I'm doing all the right things to counteract it but my brain is broken, so I just have to suffer in silence, practice DBT coping skills and eventually it will ebb away.
Mindfulness thing done, shaking, stretching and being all zen and such and so, on with session.
Pros and cons:
The conversations begin ⬆️⬆️⬇️⬇️
I'm not going to go into the actual details of what was said in the session but I will add some of my current SNAFUs and how pros and cons skills practices will and are helping me get through it.
Pros and cons skills are pretty straight forward to most "noooormal" people and aren't even regarded as skills as such as they are hard wired life skills that many people don't ever really reflect on to much and appreciate the fact they learned them from an early age, due to good parenting and environmental factors and the skills of weighing things up in a balanced way just became second nature, hard wired and set them up for a healthier future than if they did not learn and/or got taught those life skills.
That got blown out of the water for me unfortunately and so here I am learning pros and cons weighing up skills in regards to my emotions, judgements and behaviors.
I've been a horrible piece of work what with my inability to find any balance what so ever in my thinking processes. A complete absesne of insight into emotional weighing up skills. Just black or white or all or nothing or dead calm or red hot fucking rage.
Horrid. Horrid for people who had to witness my meltdowns when I'll but I can assure you, it has been living hell for me, stuck inside my mind.
Odd though really because as in other regards, other types of situations like at work, my weighing up pros and cons skills are on fucking point when dealing with engineering or health and safety or storage or even dealing with other people's emotional needs.
But coping with my own personal cluster fuck of inner demons? Oh boy.
That said when I am not ill and in a level head space, I'm a god damn delight 🤔😇😉.
The more I work on myself, the easier I am to be around.
Never give up. Keep trying. Keep practicing. Keep growing and healing and vice versa.
This basic DBT skills exercise is hand in hand with another skill called Surf The Urge which I will talk more about next time and have covered already earlier on in this blog somewhere.
Essentially the crux of these DBT skills are to sloooooow down between thoughts. Stop that cascade of catastrophic negative intruding thoughts and the potential manifesting action one might take as a result of such noisy traumatic mental barrages.
Notice the impulse, take part in the pros and cons worksheet/journaling excersise, slow the emotional landslide down, avoid the negative action and swerve having to deal with both the action and consequence making life a whole lot easier having avoided even more suffering.
And as stated in the above slide, this gives us time and the mental space to see things clearer and for what they are and move on to a healthier path moving forwards.
Those gaps, those pauses, those moments in-between shitty horrible self loathing, red hot raging thoughts are so so important to embrace and use and extend.
Slowing down mentally and physically is the key.
I used these excersise last week to deal with a whole crock of work related shit.
I had a full on panic attack and in order for me not to spiral out of control into a dark, drawn out experience, I tapped into these skills to slow my self destructive go to negative self hating schema down and turn that 360 degrees and around and move onto plan B with full acceptance of my situation.
Our of a full on FUBAR I found the gaps, the spaces, the right DBT skills and the right coping result!
I've applied that same skill set to another personal, emotional and pressurising situation this week too and once again, I slower my thinking and reactions down resulting in an adult, well rounded, level decision that I feel is best for all concerned thus avoiding unnecessary hurt and drama down the line.
I weighed up the pros and cons and the cons came out on top and my impulsive thoughts were quashed.
Again, this excersise worked. On paper, written down, well executed.
⬆️⬆️ This is less and less me but I'm not there yet by a long chalk. I keep working towards improvement though.
Pro's and Con's excersise for keeping commitments:
In a nutshell I really really struggle to stick to commitments, especially social and emotional. I get called flakey in a negative way. I am flakey when I feel pressured. I don't deal with pressure well at all because of my illness, huge social anxieties and up until recently, lack of coping skills to cope with those problems.
Also, hand in hand with my illness, I learned my flakey, "let down" behaviours from my parents and legal guardians after a child and teen and early adult hood of being fucking chronically let down on every level. I have learned some seriously toxic behaviours and I am working super mindfully to challenge that and turn it around.
I wish the mental health system had properly put me through DBT years ago instead of leaving it in the hands of amateurs. But apparently I couldn't commit enough back then! Go figure! You can't commit so we won't help you to learn how too 🤔. Cunts.
Anyway, to get the the "nub" as Alan Partridge would say (funny as you like that man), Pro's and Con's excersise really help me challenge my social anxiety negative thinking patterns and has been helping me to live my life fuller and miss out on less fun stuff that before hand I couldn't face.
These skills are opening my life backup.
That said, I find myself in a rutt right now with a new friend that I adore and I need to stop bottling out on her and keep to plans and go create with her. Art that is!
I need to get some pros and cons work do done this as there are alarm bells going off in my head and I need to get it straight in my mind if I want to perdue this.
That's where I'm at. Real life, real time.
I cringe reading this stuff back to myself but it helps me. Gets it out.
In pretend world:
We discussed this along side other slides. ⬆️⬆️
I stole this:
DBT Pros/Cons are different from mainstream Pros & Cons in that DBT Pros/Cons looks at the Pros and Cons of tolerating vs. not tolerating distress.
Not Tolerating Distress
In otherwords, it's the pros and cons of tolerating the DISTRESS of a situation and the pros and cons of not tolerating THE DISTRESS of a situation.
When examining the pros and cons, you are looking at the consequences of potential actions.
For example, one time, when I was in a yoga class, the instructor said something to me that reminded me of something my father used to say to me in a negative way. I knew she didn't mean what my father meant but I still reacted emotionally and felt those old sensations of betrayal and invalidation. Many times in the past, when I experienced a 'trigger' situation like this, I would let it overwhelm me and I would never even stop to think about the fact that my life was different now. I would let it build up. In the past, I might have tolerated the feelings throughout the yoga class so I wouldn't make a disruption, but by the time I went home, I would be out of control. I knew I wanted to live my life differently and use the skills to help me. I thought about some ideas about what I might do to tolerate this distress:
I could 'ride the wave' of emotions, reassuring myself that my feelings wouldn't kill me, that I was strong enough to feel the emotions without acting out on them.
When I went home, if I was still feeling those triggered negative emotions, I could distract myself by watching TV, playing computer games or reading a book.
On the other hand, I thought about what I would do if I didn't tolerate the distress.
I could stand up, yell at the instructor and walk out.
I could go home and engage in self-harming behaviors.
Next, I began to think about the consequences of tolerating versus not tolerating this distress
Not Tolerating Distress
When I look at this from a distant point of view, the correct thing seems obvious. But when I was 'mired' in the emotion, all options seemed equally possible. Ultimately, I decided to ride the wave of emotion. Nevertheless, it turned out that my instructor had sensed that something was wrong and asked me about it after class. I told her that I was experiencing an emotional trigger from my past and that I needed to go through these emotions and work it out by myself. By the time I got home, my emotions were less intense. I turned on the TV and found a show I wanted to watch. I allowed myself to get caught up in it and when it was over, I realized I had actually forgotten about the incident.
Since it's best to practice in less intense situations, when you're not emotionally invested, write out some pros and cons for things you don't care about as much.
Like right now, I could stomp on the floors or throw my cats in the bathtub. I have no reason to do these things. They really are ridiculous, but by practicing writing it down, I know I'll be better at it when I'm done. Think about a situation from your recent past. Don't go for the big, heavy things like when you were attacked or something.
Think about something like an argument you got in or when you were in your car and yelling at people around you. You already know what you did, but imagine you were still back at that time and the prompting event just happened.
Use the pros and cons to think of some other ways you might have behaved. Ask yourself if the same thing happened in the future, would you act differently? There's no right or wrong. You're just practicing thinking in a way that is different.
The above article I nicked and found helpful from
⬆️⬆️ Example of a pros and cons worksheet above although I have tailored my own that I use in my journal.
Explains a lot though ⬆️⬆️
Dating? I find dating of any sort fucking horrendous. I've been working hard on this side of my life very hard and diligently to be a better man on this front as in not being a wimp.
Confidence though innit. *sigh.
Last few years have been very painful but I need to open up and let someone in somewhen 🤷♂️. Pros 'n' Cons!
Materials for the use of! :
Work in progress ....... TBC. 🔴🔴