A.B.C. P.L.E.A.S.E. D.B.T .... skills!
Holding myself accountable through sharing.
I am forever revisiting and refocusing and re-asserting my ABC PLEASE plan(s). It's fluid and reactive to my random life and needs at any given point. I revisit this as a base point to touch on when I sense unbalance (which is 80% of the fekkin time) or, hopefully when I sense a SNAFU on the horizon, before that SNAFU manifests into an actual wobble or crisis. Failing that, then I will go back to my ABC PLEASE plan and identify the DBT skills I need to engage in and nail down in order to achieve said plan and hopefully the balance and calm I want to re-attain.
Not only that, I'm always trying to follow my ABC PLEASE DBT plans and goals as my foundation to a DBT informed mindful approach to my wonky odd little life.
Most neuro typical people dont need to mindfully entertain such planning. It just comes naturally. They got wired up properly as children/teensagers/young adults.
So here I am being mindful and forward thinking again. Rebalancing and recalibrating. If I am balanced or as balanced as I can be, then I'm kinder, gentler and fairer to those people around me, especially those I care about. When I'm disordered and chaotic I'm a horrible bad person. A cunt, actually.
Needs must, then. In fact, it's a moral duty now that I know how to lock my shit down.
The ABC PLEASE skill is about taking good care of ourselves so that we can take better care of those around us too. If we can't take care of our own head fucks and physical ailments we sure can't look after other people. Trust me, I made ALL the mistakes where that is concerned.
One thing I've finally come to learn and radically accept is that self care, indeed, self love no less, is absolutely key in and on the road to recovery and sustained well being. And it takes practice if you have sent your life full of self loathing. It ain't easy but it can be turned around bit by bit.
It's an important component of DBT . It's there to help us reduce our vulnerability and increase our emotional resilience.
When we take good care of ourselves, we are less likely to be vulnerable to disease and emotional crisis and less likely to feed the insipid perpetual toxic cycle self sabotage and abuse to others.
This shit is important shit.
All of this stuff takes some mindful thought and realistic planning. It takes actual hard work and dedication and firm but fair goal setting. Its not always easy by any stretch of the imagination, especially when ones mind is noisy, in chaos, pain and disorder all at the same time. Anyone with BPD or similar conditions will know this all to well.
Planning these skills needs to be realistic. Goals need to be realistic. There no point on setting yourself up for failure.
Take it from me, I have done this setting myself up for failure to many bloody times. Its deflating and depressing and does the opposite of it's intended intention. But that was pre DBT days. Hooray DBT.
Gently does it.
Going in gently is the way. One plan, one goal at a time until it all begins to click and your goals begin to align and you get into your stride and planning and goal setting for ABC PLEASE gets easier and more rewarding with practice.
Extend your self the compassion others can't or won't and allow yourself to not hit all of your targets and goals and not achieve all the things you want to, until you do. These things take time and as many attempts as you need. There are no rules. Just keep going.
It's taken me time to (sometimes) master and re-master these skills. I'm still on my journey.
Treat Physical Illness and take medications as prescribed.
Balance eating in order to avoid mood swings.
Avoid mood-Altering substances and have mood control.
Maintain good sleep so you can enjoy your life.
Get exercise to maintain high spirits.
(edited and redacted for privacy and not oversharing)
The Dr May online DBT session material:
When I'm not delving back into my realms of notes and materials from my DBT course(s) of therapy I undertook, I also delve into some of the multitude of good DBT self help channels, pages, websites and podcasts, book and what have you.
There is, unfortunately a multitude of very amateur, very bad, negative, bias, stigmatised and just plain wrong and bang out of order BPD resources out there on the web.
Some hideous stuff. Avoid, ignore, block. Fuck those guys. Luckily, as the stigma sloooowly changes for the better as science and understanding of BPD progresses, more and more great self help and paid help is coming to the forefront.
One of my go to DBT self help resources is Dr. Jennifer May's youtube channel. Dr May puts these DBT sessions out for free as a service to our community. A jolly good soul says I.
Insert link here ❗
In this rambling blog post I am using her material to help me refocus on my own current need to get my self care plans straight and functional again.
I will share some of my plans and thoughts but not all of it. I've also learned to not over share. People actually read my shit and some of them wont have my best intentions at heart. Keep some of your cards close to your chest, as they say.
They walk amongst us 🖕
Be mindful of the positive shit. Remember that stuff. Notice positive things going on around you when you are dealing with a head fuck.
When things go sideways, as they do, remember to lean in on the positive experiences in life, in those situations, to help counteract the negative things. Being mindful of how things can be for the positive when dealing with the unwelcome negative shit shows is an important resource to draw from.
Every negative experience has an opposing experience and vice versa.
Ying. Yang. Light. Dark.
Focus on the positive when the negative is trying one on.
A good article on HEAL:
I have identified a life value around integrity that I must work harder on. That's private stuff and not for this blog but it is a value i want to hold dear but am falling far from the mark on. I have goals concerning that issue which affects other issues. It's all down on paper.
I am mindful and determined.
Other things I need to work on to build more positives in my life are discussed elsewhere in this blog. This blog post is part of the plan. Briefly though:
I have identified my many flaws and my most importantly my most deep rooted toxic crazy shit. I'm all over that shit now including my inner critic and tendency to think negatively. I'm working hard on changing that life lens. I have identified the steps I need to take. Its all down on paper and on DBT sheets.
I have my things, I have my ideas and goals and I have it all in my minds eye and set out on paper. One day at a time, build up.
I have been practicing Cope Ahead skills for a while now, a few years. I have got better with it but I still need to mindfully practice this skill set in order to not flake out through depression and anxiety and all the noisy BPD fucking bedlam. The truth is these things will never be completely second nature to me not matter how hard I meditate upon these skills, so practice them mindfully I must. I want to function as normally and as healthy as possible, for me, for others.
I don't want to flake anymore.
Addressing my gained weight through meds and inactivity due to injury (and pies) 🥮 My plan for this has been implemented and activated ✅
My lump on my head has been scanned. This is anxiety inducing. GP follow up next week. I'm on it ✅
Toe nail needs addressing. Due to a nasty knock the nail had gone all thick. I hate it. It makes wanna gip. I hate feet anyway, let alone fucked up toe nails 🤮. Cheropdist (I've spelled that wrong haven't I?) appointment then.
Food is an issue for me. I comfort eat. It's a maladaptive coping mechanism that I have waffled (pun intended) on about at length in another DBT blog thing somewhere. This is something I am continually fighting with and striving to be more mindful about.
I'm trying to be mindful of my consumption of food and booze. I fucking love food. I'm working towards a proper keto informed diet but am yet to make it click into place.
cut out the carbs (stop eating pizza as comfort food!)
cut the wheat and gluten :IBS
I have been cutting out the alcohol again
cut out the white sugars
regular consumption of tumeric
Taylor my diet around anti inflammatory foods:
An anti-inflammatory diet favors fruits and vegetables, foods containing omega-3 fatty acids, whole grains, lean protein, healthful fats, and spices. It discourages or limits the consumption of processed foods, red meats, and alcohol. The anti-inflammatory diet is not a specific regimen but rather a style of eating.
I know exactly what I need to do as I have done it before and I have a big long fuck off plan already written up from before my injury totally threw me off my really rather successful path that I can refer back to, amongst my hordes of scruffy journaled DBT ramblings filed away somewhere.
I was having an extended "blip" 😬 before the plandemic came along and shut everything down pretty much. It was great for me. I loved it. It shut the scummy pub down where I was mixing with scummy people doing scummy things. I feel dirty thinking about it.
One of those scum bag things I did rhymed with Peruvian Marching Powder and went up my nose. That and copious amounts of beer. I was grieving and very very hurt and lost. Bleeding out. I turned to bad things and bad people. Fake friends. Fake things. Fake everything. I was fake.
That lovely virus put an end to that pretty abruptlyand during the lockdowns, I thrived. I stopped all the silliness, gave my swede a good wobble and refocused on my own wellbeing. I even moved town and job to distance myself from negative things and energies and temptations.
Thankyou covid, thankyou. You did me a solid.
Since then I got fit, ran marathon distances, hit the gym and dojo, lost some flab and sharpened my thinking. I felt great.
I now need to start that process over again, from the beginning because I incurred a sports injury through over doing it. Lesson learned. I fell back into the pub routine and a shit diet followed suit and shit hungover days ensued. I made some new acquaintances though. I know they're not actual friends. Pub people, doing pub things. Fair enough.
I have my plan ready to fully incorporate again and I am psyching myself up to follow it to the letter. It's the only way.
And that means absolutely no drugs, alcohol or caffeine. And that for me, means absolutely no pub unless I am out eating with family or friends. I dont have the urge drink in those situations for some reason. Funny old game.
Drugs is not an issue anymore as it wasnt for decades before 2017.
Alcohol is though. I have to be strong and strict and absolutely not give in to the craving habitual nagging urge to hit the pub to socialise. It's a tough one. I have been pub drinker forever and I do struggle with the social change of paradigm.
It can in fact get lonely. However, I will work on reaching out else where. I have come to accept my introverted ways and I accept and embrace the authentic me. I like being alone and I dont like being around people or at least without an escape route ready anytime I need it. Pubs provide the drop in, drop out, keep my distance to a degree kind of social structure that suits my personality. I didnt realise this for very long time. I thought I was very social. So did everyone else. It wasn't until about 2014 I began to realise I wasn't fitting in comfortably. I kept going to pubs and getting more and more drunk. That did damage. But it was habitual. It was horrible.
It seems everytime I drink these days, I just get into a mess, loose things, damage things, have accidents or have stupid immature fights and/or speak my mind and upset people.
Besides, in a nutshell, drinking alcohol only worsens my BPD nasty set of symptoms and deepens depression. It's a damn depressant, kills of all the happy chemicals that I already clinically lack.
So all of that and my desire to get fit again should be enough motivation to resist the old devil water. And it is. I can resist the urge.
Alcohol needs knocking on the head again entirely. End of.
I'm annoyed with myself in as much that I know the drill, yet I don't seem to be getting it right. I'm stuck some unhealthy habitual behaviour at bed time. No, not wanking. Not only that anyway 😬
I know sleep hygiene inside out. I've spent my life trying to not be a night owl. Night shifts have not helped with that conundrum and the occasional mental break breakdown has done me no favours either, I guess.
I know what needs to be put in place and what's needs to be stuck to in order to help reduce my incessant insomnia. Discipline is sorely lacking. I have lived with insomnia for 35 years. It's a stubborn fucker. But I know the drill! No more behaving fast and loose with this one.
I really must:
Reestablish a daily night routine.
Same time to bed each night.
Screen time off by 10.00pm.
Read books. Gentle music. Art.
No food after 7pm.
No fucking binge watching netflix. Get moving in the evening. Get tired.
Mindful exercises, breathing.
Slow the over thinking, mental clatter down.
Plan? I cant challenge it all at once but I will start doing the above list of good bed time practices one or two at a time, bit by bit again and work towards my night time routine clicking into place and becoming second nature, as much as possible. It will take time and determination and some grumpy resistant nights, but needs must.
I need to double down on this issue and get my circadian rhythm back into a healthy synchronisation. This issue affects every other issue.
What is the circadian rhythm? Click the link below:
I have already rambled on about exercise in this blog entry and other entries so straight to my plan. In fact I'm already cracking on with my getting back to moving around more plan, fairly well. Room for improvement though.
Ramp up the gym/dojo attendance
Get using my weights at home and work on my pathetic upper body muscles a bit
Re-introduce the running into big field bit by bit keeping a careful eye on the plantar fasciitis stuff
Walk and cycle everywhere
Start using my fit bit again and log steps etc
Try and join in at pickleball in Dorch'
Mountain bike missions
One things, one step at a time. Varry activities to keep it interesting. Do not go over the top. Mix it up with sculpting in shed, that's a physical activity too. Rest days abdctrest days are important to keep the balance intact.
I'm 45, I'm chubby, I'm not ever going to be a fkin pin up and neither do I want to be. The mirror monkeys in the gym make me cringe. Just do you.
Crack on. Trust the process.
Dr.May on youtube: