• IdiotTheWise

Check The FACTS ...... II, revisited.




 

Rambling:

Straight into it then, I skipped the mediation bit as I was already mellow and it would have sent me to sleep! I have done this mindfulness practice before anyway and I use it still to a fashion, in my own way.

This week we discussed and looked at in some depth the life skills, the emotional skills needed to get facts right when in an emotionally challenging state of mind. As in triggered. The idea is to not get to that dreaded, hellish melt down point. Something I've not been good at. Very bad at in fact when unwell. I've been an awful human being. Broken amygdala's and things or not, it's had (has) to be addressed.

I wrote a huge long intro about this session and how it resonated with me. One big ahha moment in DBT speak, as the lesson turned out to be. But scrapped the ramble as it was boring and badly executed. But the point is this session was important the first time around and even more important on revisiting this session for the second time.

It highlighted for me, once again and it feels very close to the knuckle, just how ill I had become and in error I've been about so many things and how I've done people wrong, largely due to the fact that I had lost insight and lost touch. I really dropped some clangers.


The fact that those who were "responsible" and were meant to teach me these most basic of human social skills didn't and did the exact opposite, still really needles me and this session bought up some of that red hot messy anger despite the progress and leaps forward I have made in these areas over the last two years particularly. Some very specific anger that needs addressing deeper and more directly, soon, in some one to one DBT sessions. I'll make that happen. It's these session though that highlight this for me and point me in the right direction.

I'm angry but forgiving at the same time. it's very confusing. I am still but looking for those missing jig saw puzzle pieces in order to find peace. Not answers or people being "sorry" but things that I can't place on my own. Things inside of me. Some pennies are yet to drop.

Now, at the age of 40 something years old and having battled to get this far, I really want to find some peace and forgiveness and healing. Take actual adult accountability and responsibility. I was never taught how to be a "good" adult. I've been quite immature. I need to implement some adult changes and practice more damage limitation in my life. For myself and for others who I come I to contact with in my life. If I can squeeze another 30 years out of this life (being optimistic) that seems to go far to fast and be happier and not be the cunt I can potentially be to other people, then I will die content with that. That's all I need.

I owe this to people and I owe it to myself. Morally, if nothing else.


Anyway, these are just some thoughts.




Into the session then.....







We did the conveyor belt mindfulness exercise thing, well, they did, i didn't. However I listened in and it's a exercise that helps us to practice the correct observation of thoughts and the art of identifying the correct corresponding emotion. It's all about identification of thoughts, feelings (including physical) and assigning them to the correct corresponding emotion. 


This particular exercise isn't for me at the moment. Another one is though that does the same thing.

To the well emotionally rounded and adapted people out there (the lucky ones) this all seems a bit silly looking in from the outside but I can tell them that these exercises are essential practices and really are a gateway to mindful thinking. So ignore the dickheads who sneer at this stuff. I've come across one or two lately and they really are very blinkered. This is good stuff.


To the likes of me, sometimes with a head full of war and unwanted noise, having these skills taught to me in order to quieten the internal hellish din is almost quite literally a life saver. I wish someone had pointed me this direction 20 years ago or more.

These skill practices and mindfulness sessions are a god (there are 500 Gods or more, take your pick) send. I kid you not. 

I'll be practising these mindfulness skills more and more as I move forward.

It's all about the rewiring. These skills are all about rewiring the neural pathways, literally. Really quite amazing.  






Anyway .....



The next bit of the session was as relatable and poignant as ever and on point. Always hits those nerves. Stings a bit.



Discussions:

(and slides other notes 'n' stuff)




Note to self: I need to get this book Debbie spoke about ⬆⬆ 🛑


We spoke about ......


Trauma

How trauma creates negative patterns of thinking and forming patterns of unhealthy emotional and physical responses, otherwise know as schemas. Theses schemas present themselves in our triggers and that's where the shit show begins, right after a trigger. The skewed thoughts. The manifestations and horrid sometimes damn right abusive to others, kick offs, verbal and physical and sometimes very violent, all of which I am guilty of. Trauma is the root of these horrid traits. Trauma damaged my neural network. That IS a medically confirmed fact. Not an excuse.




Thoughts vs Facts. 







Why Check The Facts?



Check the Facts is a DBT skill that helps you change your emotional response and make healthier decisions as a result. ... Check the Facts encourages you to think before you react on your emotions. It allows you to step back, assess the situation, and determine if what you're feeling is appropriate given the context.



Check the facts.


It is quite literally what the name is, checking the facts is taking the time to check the facts of the situation you are trying to digest and/or cope with. This can come in handy especially if you struggle with those mind-reading traits. People with BPD tend to focus on one fact of a situation and throw out all the others, this is because of our tendency to make everything into a black or white situation. By taking the time to check the facts we can learn the entirety of the situation without making rash decisions or harsh judgements and kicking off and its all going to shit. We want to avoid this. I want to avoid this.

Our need to discern between perceived emotional "fact" ( which quite often are not facts at all, they are just feelings) and actual stone cold hard real fact, reality is at the core of DBT and what we need to get better at, good at.



Reactions




Our reactions to emotionally stressful situations colour our life. I has mine and I feel ashamed.


If we react appropriately our lives will be far less dark and bleak and far more colourful and hopeful. We can reduce suffering in our lives by choosing the right type of pain to cope with to a large degree.


Right type of pain you say?

A simple distinction between clean pain and dirty pain.


Clean pain is pain caused by circumstances or events. Life. This type of pain can be very powerful and exquisitely painful but more often than not there will be a silver lining when you come out the other end. Growth. Opportunity. Etc.


Dirty pain is pain brought on by our stuck minds, over thinking, by our thoughts that surround, distort, or disguise our clean pain. That’s where true suffering lies- where the desire to escape or prevent our feelings of pain rises up. resistance to pain only causes horrid dirty soul destroying pain with no silver lings, or rarely at least. My head and heart know all about this.



Pain and resistance = suffering 





Reacting to inaccurate skewed thought patterns and the accompanying physical manifestations keep you stuck in loop of pain, triggers, bad interpretations and well, just, suffering. The loop just perpetuates. Spirals. You get stuck in a rut I call hell. It reinforces it's self. The loop, the suffering, needs breaking and the work towards a healthier "clean pain" way of life can begin. Acceptance, in a nut shell.  

Those things are largely avoidable if situations are dealt with in wise mind, mindfully.  

Pain = ordinary pain. Less suffering.  

Critical acceptance = far less suffering 


#Wisemind. Zen mind. In the middle mind. 





Coloured Thinking or more like Black and White Thinking



People with BPD have a tendency to think in extremes, a phenomenon called "dichotomous" or “black-or-white” thinking. People with BPD often struggle to see the complexity in people and situations and are unable to recognise that things are often not either perfect or horrible, but are something in between.







The 6 Steps:



Slide screenshots from the session as we discussed the six steps in fact checking as covered above up there somewhere and more down below somewhere too ⬆⬇ :
























www.themighty.com says:


The pattern of black-or-white thinking is quite common in those with Borderline Personality Disorder. Things tend to be "all or nothing", "black or white", "all good, or all bad." This way of viewing the world can create a lot of emotional suffering and is particularly devastating in relationships. Other people are seen as either "all good" meaning they are perfectly loving and available to meet their needs at all times, or they are "all bad" meaning they are malicious and hateful, with no shades of grey in between. Sometimes, their view of another person can shift in just a few seconds from "that person is completely wonderful" to "that person is horrible." Take the example of a woman thinking that her partner is the most caring and loving person in the world. Of course, no one can achieve such a perfect ideal all the time so when her partner does one unloving or thoughtless act, such as forgetting their anniversary, the immediate conclusion becomes "He doesn't love me. He is so mean and horrible." Sometimes, it doesn't stop there, because "If he doesn't love me, he must hate me." It is easy to understand that this pattern of interpreting relationships creates great distress and will provoke an intense emotional reaction in people who think like this. Subsequently, their partners may be quite baffled and distressed by these extreme ways of thinking.  In such cases, conflict is likely to be frequent.


It is important to note that even healthy, well-adjusted people without a personality disorder can also occasionally fall prey to some of the distorted thinking that we just described as characteristic of personality disorders. In fact, distorted thinking is quite common when people are feeling very distressed, depressed, or anxious. Again, recall that personality disorders are a variant form of normal, healthy personality so the difference is in the frequency, degree, and persistence of the distortion. For people with personality disorders the degree of their distortion is more extreme and occurs with greater frequency than for those people without a personality disorder. Additionally, people with personality disorders find it much more difficult to become aware of, and to challenge their distorted thinking.






So....... some more ramblings:

Some things can colour the way we might be thinking and feeling in the moment can be everyday things like lack of sleep which I know all about - horrid insomnia, poor diet, head aches, tooth ache - which I have right now which is fun, and all the other things life throws up, just bad day shit in general. We need to check in with those things to keep mindful of our potential skewed thinking, our black and white thinking. Check the facts and note them mentally or even literally on paper. Note those things down to help to really be mindful of them and it will help change your perception for the better, a bit or even a lot. It all counts. Every real fact counts!  


Check in, be mindful.


I am okay with these skills until my mental health takes a tumble. When it does, my reality skews and then fact checking is really essential.


I'm a horrible cunt when I get reality wrong. Really grim. Abusive when in a hellish melt down. I never want to go into that head space again unprepared, leaving my behaviour unchecked.


Automatic thoughts and judgements

Fact check! Be mindful of jumping the gun, making rash and harsh judgements. Be mindful of those destructive patterns of thought and automatic negative thoughts and feelings.


Challenge them with stone cold light of day fact checking skills! Keep checking your self. Keep on top of this, keep practising, fill in sheets, make notes, ask close friends. family, whatever, to gently remind you about the importance of fact checking when things are coming of the tracks a bit before you reach the more emotional zones. I have reminders and post it notes and regular sheets to fill out and check in on my thoughts and conflicts set up now. Since my first visit to this session way back when I have really put a lot of work in to putting a system into place. I'm on this.





Here are some meme because memes are good:













Feeling worthless

Challenge those intruding automatic thoughts with facts. It's all the same mantra. Check the facts. Stop and consciously fact check, clinically.


The whole self perception picture can change with practice and factual positive reinforcement and affirmation.  


And remember, when we do fuck up, it happens. It is what it is. No one is perfect. Shit happens.  


Fact check! Avoid the over reactions and catastrophising and kick offs by CHECKING THE FACTS using DBT skills. The STOP skills. Slow down, fact check.




This second visit to this fact checking session has been a super useful reminder and skills refresher and my session discussion ramblings and research above really help me to be mindful in challenging my maladaptive coping skills (being less fucked up).


Pennies continue to drop. Bits of the jig saw keep coming together.





And to realise that I am not in this battle alone, that goes along way. It's lonely condition but having people who "get it" on the DBT_path course, even the more hideous behaviours, and having empathic support to change, is amazing.




Some more about ........

(really ramming this down your (my) throats because its so vital)



6 steps in fact checking:

  • What is the emotion I want to change?


  • What is the event prompting my emotion?


  • What are my interpretations and assumptions about the event? Do they fit the facts?


  • Am I assuming a threat? Will it actually occur?


  • What's the disaster? How can I cope well with it?


  • Does my emotion and/or its intensity fit the facts?



We then went on to further discuss checking the FACTS in even more depth and how to actually get those skills nailed down and nailed down the best we can when in moments of emotional distress.


We discussed some exercises to assist us in learning what needs to be fact checked and how to mindfully check for those facts and keep skewed "emotional mind" out of it as much as possible and when to do it.


I made notes that I posted up in first blog entry on this session, first time 'round, way back when but I have deleted them as they made cringe. I was over sharing. They are now on my private DBT_path blog thing. Oversharing is another thing I am learning not do. Not before checking the facts! My notes were quite angry. Triggered. So, case in point right there.


I'm also learning that don't need to be pleasant to people out and about, on the streets, I don't need to be liked or popular. I'm learning this. But that's another thing.


Um......

I'm waffling, again.


So... where was I? Dunno 🤷‍♂️







Worksheet example stuff:




DBT Worksheet:

Emotion Regulation Worksheet 5 – How to Check the Facts

(I’ll do my best to give as close a guideline to the Worksheet as possible.)








Name the Emotion

What emotion are you looking to change or problem solve?


What happened that brought up the emotion?

Describe the situation that brought up the emotion. What is it about the situation that troubles you?


Stop…and Check the Facts

Here’s the first point where you’re going to check the facts. When describing the situation are there any interpretations, assumptions, or judgements in the description? Are you using the words ‘always’ or ‘never’?

Rewrite the description without the extremes and just the facts.


If there are any interpretations and assumptions, what are they?


Stop…and Check the Facts

Is it there are other interpretations to the situation?

Rewrite your interpretation again with the facts that there could be other reason or interpretations of the situation.

Are there any threats concerning you regarding the outcome of this situation?


Stop…and Check the Facts.


Is it possible there could be other outcomes to this situation? Do you have certain expectations to the outcome?

Rewrite the other probable outcomes to the situation.

Are your expectations realistic?


What is the worst case scenario you can think of?

Stop…and Check the Facts.


Describe your worst case scenario for this situation, and what can you do to prepare for this.

Finally, go over all the facts, and check, does the emotion fit the situation? Does the intensity?

Whatever the situation and emotion, you can stop and check the facts as often as you need to.


Stripping away the assumptions, interpretations, and expectations, and working with just the facts allows the emotion to be stripped of all the additional baggage to manage the situation and the emotion more effectively.


Stop…and Check the Facts


Here’s the first point where you’re going to check the facts.


When describing the situation are there any interpretations, assumptions, or judgements in the description? Are you using the words ‘always’ or ‘never’?

Rewrite the description without the extremes and just the facts.


If there are any interpretations and assumptions, what are they?


Stop…and Check the Facts


Is it possible there are other interpretations to the situation?

Rewrite your interpretation again with the facts that there could be other reason or interpretations of the situation.

Are there any threats concerning you regarding the outcome of this situation?


Stop…and Check the Facts.


Is it possible there could be other outcomes to this situation? Do you have certain expectations to the outcome?

Rewrite the other probable outcomes to the situation.


Are your expectations realistic?


What is the worst case scenario you can think of?



Stop…and Check the Facts.


Describe your worst case scenario for this situation, and what can you do to prepare for this.


Finally, go over all the facts, and check, does the emotion fit the situation? Does the intensity?


Whatever the situation and emotion, you can stop and check the facts as often as you need to. Stripping away the assumptions, interpretations, and expectations, and working with just the facts allows the emotion to be stripped of all the additional baggage to manage the situation and the emotion more effectively.




This was for my home work research thingy (on top of my skills practice sheets which I wont share here). Contains even more swear words, for free:



In the moment, when emotionally distressed, our initial “knee-jerk” reaction seems like the most compelling option. We yell and/or go totally bat shit, run away, or say horrid things that we don’t mean because that’s how we feel in the heat of the moment. I have been horrid in this respect. Hands up, cards on the table.


While those harsh responses can be valid in certain situations, it’s often, well, almost always, not the most effective choice. We sometimes react really badly when we’re emotional, only to reflect on our decision later and realise it wasn’t the best way to respond, to put it mildly. It just creates more consequences and stress.



What can you do to think things through better before you react on powerful emotions and kick off?


Try checking the facts. Easy right?


No.


Check the Facts is a DBT skill that helps you change your emotional response and make healthier decisions as a result. Using check the facts, you can modify your response to a level that is appropriate for the situation, or respond with a more fitting emotion as in not kicking off and creating merry hell, which is what I would do when i was at my most ill points.


So how do you fact check DBT style then?


Check the facts DBT skills set practices encourages you to slow the fuck down and think before you react on your emotions. It allows you to step back, assess the situation for what it really is in cold light of day terms and not just what you perceive it to be and determine if what you’re feeling is appropriate given the context. Key word right there, context. In my experience, when my amygdala went off line and I was "excited", context went out the window with the kitchen sink.


So...


Ask yourself, “Is the way that I am feeling and thinking about a situation factual?”


Then, find the proof to figure out if your response is fitting or not. This takes time and with practice, real life practice in horrid situations, once you start getting it right, you'll notice the pause between fact checking and your responses. This is what you want and need!


That pause is very very important. 0 to 100 rage miles an hour isn't going to help you. Trust me.


First use mindfulness skills to become aware of how you’re thinking and feeling. Obverse them.


Mindfulness practices help you recognise how you’re feeling and helps you find evidence as you check the facts. Observe how you’re feeling; then use words to describe your emotions and your experience. Describe them.


Sometimes it can be helpful to say this out loud to yourself. For example, you might say “I can see I feel fucking angry right now. I am having angry thoughts about yelling at my girl friend because she didn’t agree with me. My heart is pumping and my hands are clenched in fists. I think I want to kick off and punch the door”.



As you observe and describe, try not to attach to many labels or judgements to what you are describing. Also be careful not to react to your feelings or engaging in your thoughts. Simply notice them, note them, rather than holding onto them or pushing them away. Label facts as facts, feelings as feelings, and opinions as opinions.

Cold light of day stuff.


Then ask yourself, “Do the facts warrant the intensity of the feeling response?”


Is it appropriate? Am I being reasonable?


You can figure this out and check the facts by going through the following series of questions. These questions help you step back, slow down, assess the situation, slow down more and decide if your response is fitting for the context.

  • What is the emotion I want to change?

  • What is the event prompting my emotion?

  • What are my interpretations and assumptions about the event? Do they fit the facts?

  • Am I assuming a threat? Will it actually occur?

  • What's the disaster? How can I cope well with it?

  • Does my emotion and/or its intensity fit the facts?

Don’t let yourself get so caught up in the moment that your emotions get the best of you and you end up kicking off and making things so much worse. You, I, we, don’t have to get overwhelmed and fucked up and overreact and melt down or even shy away and not react strongly enough in some situations.


In these dodgy emotionally challenging moments, check the facts before you react.


Take a minute or two, that's all you need, to see if your emotions fit the facts of what is actually going on. Use check the facts to be mindful of your emotions and your surroundings, and then make sure that you’re responding with the proper intensity of emotion.


I practice these skills daily and more than once a day. I am a nightmare when I am not keeping my emotions under control. I know this first hand.


I know how important it is to keep it all in check. Especially the facts and context.


Practice this good shit ⬆⬆


M.




An example.


A slow burner of a situation, not a 0-100 rage miles an hour thing but still helpful.


One of my real life DBT exercises from ages ago when I was still boozing, as an example. I cringe when i read this back but it was honest and in the moment and also highlights for me now, in this very moment, just how far I have come on with the booze issue and the whole shifting of entire social paradigm in my life. That's a huge deal. Huge.


A real life fact check that's not to personal I am willing to share in public. this fact check happened after an event I regret and as I was spiralling into a potential very dark suicidaly depressive hole. So this one wasn't to help me not kick off at someone or something but to help me get some shit straight in my head to negate a very bad depressive spell. A slow burner of a situation that was becoming dangerous in my head. Cringing is okay though. I feel embarrassed sharing this but it what it is:



Step 1:

Emotion to change: Anxiety, Depression, Suicidal thoughts.

Rating before: 9 Rating after: 4

Step 2:

Prompting event? 

My own self destructive behaviour I am trying to change of getting very drunk and spending far to much money I can I'll afford. This behaviour has embarrassed and ashamed me and I have let myself down again. It's immature, I hate this, it does not suit me or my mental health. It had induced huge anxiety and depression and fucked 3 days of my life and ruined my routine and aim of achieving my goals. Now I must start over again. Pretty pissed off at myself. It's only my fault. My fault! I feel like pressing the off button to be honest.

Check the facts:

Money wise I fucked up but I still have money to eat, drink, pay the bills, travel and feed the cats. Everything else is paid. It's okay. I'm not destitute. It was my money anyway. I am just annoyed at blowing much needed cash on bullshit I am trying to give up. A waste but it;s done. No one is judging it so the embarrassment is not needed or helpful. This was a blip after a prolonged period of sobriety and is exactly that, a blip. Its not the end of the universe.


Step 3:

Interpretations

I do feel shame about the prompting event and I know I have shame issues and automatic negative patterns of thinking which amplify the self shame guilt feelings. Some shame is appropriate perhaps. It's stupid immature behaviour and some what insane considering tight finances.

I assume I am stupid. Yep. Correct. In this case. Easily influenced. Stupid. Just fucking stupid.

I basically self harmed. I did it again. So angry. 



Check the Facts:

Stupid? Yes. Stupid as in thick? No. I am not thick.

Stupid as in daft. Vulnerable, lonely and kind of wanting to belong somewhere in that instance, impulsively. That kind of belonging though, with the drinkers is no good for me any longer and will wreck my progress. Time to distance myself even further again. 

Fucked up three days and my routine went out of the window and didn't get my work done and my planned home DIY jobs done. Feel ashamed. Shit. But I can get them done regardless soon. Same for the art commissions. I am trying to put DBT first though and taking it very seriously. I am at least managing that okay.

I can learn from this and will. Pressing the off button feeling and thoughts are just feelings and thoughts. They go away after a while.

Facts rewritten:

I fucked up. It happened.

Three days have passed. 

I screwed my routine. 

I can and will catch up and bounce back brighter. I am allowed to bounce back as many times as it takes before it (the skills practice) clicks into place and I am able to stay where I want to be in my mind and where I need to be in order to be a better person. 

Time to drop the shame and move on and learn from it. 

(Commitment to my self is to not go near booze or temptations of booze for three weeks. Recoup. Get stronger.Keep going.)

Step 4:

Threat? 

The threat I interpret or assume or sense, is never being able to get myself out of this fucking horrid figure of eight round and round cycle of self destructive behaviour that is key in my BPD cluster fuck of screwed up emotions shit show.


Excusez mon français.


I must break free of this, addiction? Semi addiction? Habit? Or what ever the hell it is, to one or two weekly binge drinking benders that destroy me. This latest one was intense and insane. Horrible.

I'm afraid I won't stop doing it and I'll never truly break free of BPD behaviours because of that particular obstacle. It's a big destructive obstacle. Stopping these habitual behaviours and the booze is a must in order to assist my journey to recovery. Sobriety must be part of that. A whole social rethink and remodel is essential.

I fear loosing friends as I work towards achieving this goal of sobriety. I will loose "pub" friends. Fact.


But I know the truth about real friends and drinking friends so no need to bang on about that here. I know the facts. Wheat from the chaff.

I'm also fearful over money but that one is for later. Just gotta ride it for now. 


Check The Facts:

The fact is I don't drink everyday or anything like an "addict" per se, but I am aware about habitual social binge drinking and perhaps functional addiction "if" it can be described that way and the effects on my body as well mind.

My drinking could be a lot worse though, I know.

I can kick this habit because I want too.

I want to get sober and do real things again. Be better at life.

When I'm alcohol free I am happier. Fact. 

Rewritten Facts:

My expectations on myself are realistic and need to be. However a habit of a lifetime, socialising around alcohol and pubs for over 25 years, is not proving easy to break. I must do this though. I want the rest of my life to be happier and far more peaceful and to never treat anyone like shit again, booze related or not. Realistically speaking, with booze and boozers gone from my life, I can do this a lot easier. 

Loosing those "friends" is sacrifice to myself and those I love.


There are other routes in life I can take socially. I know plenty of non drinkers that do non drinking things socially. It can be done and it can be okay. I won't be lonely or alone. I know this underneath my apprehension and anxieties and a little bit of pain.

Step 5:

Catastrophe?

The catastrophe in this case is that potentially, hypothetically, I can't kick this fucking binge drinking self destructive social behaviour and that I will never be able to recover from BPD and depression and being fucked up and a bit of looser. I can't be happy. That's about the size of it. I'll never break the boozy chains that bind me. 

In fact, if I can't beat this, it may very well beat me ⚰️. 

How do I cope if it does go that way? 

AA would be my next call i guess. I'd call on AA for help. Perhaps ask all the pubs to bar me. Move away. Those types of steps. 

Step 6:

Do my emotions (intensity and duration) fit the facts? 

I think my emotions got very dark and self loathing because I fucked up quite bad this time and I let people who are trying to help me down I cant help but feel. That feels pretty bad. I think that's totally reasonable to feel that way and right to feel that way. Healthy too, perhaps.

One or two days after the prompting event (huge bender) I was going to feel shit to be fair, but to still feel depressed and quite suicidal three days in was in large part, a result of my unchecked shame spiralling down a black hole. I left it unchecked. Un fact checked.


Next time, God for bid, I need to fact check quicker along side more effort in mindfulness and other tools I am learning. 

Long story short, intensity wise, my emotions went into catastrophising mode and in a more wisemind place, I could have been far wiser and discerning about my predicament.

End.





So, that real life unedited DBT exercise above was from a quite some time back when I was quite new to this model of DBT and I was only just beginning to sharpen my pencil skills wise. And clearly, I was still trying to turn corners towards sobriety. It was not a linear journey.


I am happy to say with full confidence now, and I shout this from the roof tops for all to hear and understand, I am now sober. I now live a life of sobriety and my life is changing for the better and I am headed in some some exciting directions I did not see coming.


Reading that fact checking exercise back, all be a bit of an odd one, was quite a powerful and needed reminder of how far I have come how well I am doing and just how much I want to be a good man. A better person.


Yeah.


I hope these examples and reflections help other people to take the bull by the horns and do the work it requires. It can be done.


That's why I am creating this blog.






An article:




If Borderline Personality Disorder Makes You Jump to Conclusions, This Might Help

“The brain is a machine for jumping to conclusions.” ― Daniel Kahneman

Most of us with borderline personality disorder (BPD) can relate to this: you are out with a friend and she says something about your hairstyle which insults you and before you know it, you are off to the races, loaded for bear. One thing leads to another and in no time at all the friendship has blown up in your face and she goes from being a friend and close confidante to a sworn enemy. You are left bewildered and wondering, “How in the world did this happen?” Well, misunderstandings like this occur when we jump to conclusions. It happens all the time, but for those of us with BPD, it seems to happen more often than for other, non-BPD people.

The emotion regulation skill called “Check the Facts” teaches us how to avoid this all too common pitfall. It gives us enough time to step back, assess the situation and move into Wise Mind before we automatically react and say things based on our past history and present vulnerabilities. Learning how to use this skill provides a buffer zone for us so that we can lower our vulnerabilities to situational stimuli and think more clearly and logically instead of from an emotionally charged state of mind. When you use this skill, you are using your “Wise Mind,” and you must utilise this skill before you can move forward into other DBT skills such as Opposite Action. This skill falls into the Emotion Regulation module of DBT and is extremely useful for helping people not jump to conclusions or make assumptions about other people’s behaviour, which they would otherwise interpret negatively. It stops us from going off into rash decisions when presented with the behaviour of others, and so that makes it an extremely valuable skill to work at developing.

The first step is learning how to understand and label your emotions.

This is why mindfulness is so important to DBT because it teaches us to first and foremost recognise the feelings for what they are. Then comes the next step, which is learning how to acknowledge them. All emotions serve a purpose. Emotions are generated in the amygdala, a very old part of our brain. They are the simple chemical reactions to stimuli. So, some kind of a “threat” will engage the fight or flight response which propels a person to either attack the presumed perpetrator or run away from them. For most of us with BPD, this is a typical response: anger. That is why this skill is so helpful — it gives us the tools to not shoot ourselves in the foot when difficult situations arise. I don’t know about you, but I can’t tell you how many times my anger derailed what was up until then, a good friendship. Using the “Check the Facts” skill helps us learn how to change our emotional responses. It gives us a time buffer before we simply react and allows us the grace to figure out how to respond instead. When you use this skill you are trying to determine whether or not your emotional reaction fits the facts of what is actually happening in the given situation. It gives you the opportunity to take a step back and use mindfulness to observe the situation through your Wise Mind rather than just your emotional mind. It gives you a neutral playing field in which you can assess the situation for what it actually is as to what it appears to be.

Going through this exercise teaches your brain that there are other ways to think about things, teaches your brain that there are other ways to modify your beliefs and gives your brain the opportunity to learn that there are other ways of processing information rather than just jumping to conclusions and having a knee-jerk reaction. It gives your brain the chance to actively process whether or not it is being presented with an actual, real threat or just a perceived threat.

The second piece of this is that you have to be open to considering alternative explanations or interpretations for whatever the distressing event is.

So, for example, the person who commented about your hairstyle might merely be meaning that she has never seen such a hairstyle and wondering how your stylist decided to cut your hair that way, rather than implying that she thinks it is ugly. You will eventually be able to see the way your own personal history and experiences have influenced the way you interpret events, which will enable you to have choices about the way in which you choose to respond.





A good article that explains it all simple and far better than I can because I just ramble on and swear a lot. Stolen from:


www.themighty.com








Worth a watch:



Anger:












Brain, digital art ⬆⬆

#DBTfactchecking



I cringe reading my own posts. FFS.



More will be added to this blog entry......eventually.


M.




That's a fact:








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