Friday, November 28, 2008


It's been busy at work. As soon as I clear my inbox, it explodes with another million emails. Then, a couple of our main systems blew up within days of each other. But it's not all bad. It's been a good distraction for me.

As V promised, she gave me her photo when I saw her earlier this week. She also lent me 2 books - one is a DBT workbook (not the Linehan one), and a small mindfullness pocketbook.

I'm finding the photo helpful. Last night, I found myself carrying the photo from room to room as I moved around the house. In the photo, which is a headshot from the neck up, she smiles at me. She has the kindest eyes and smile. I can almost hear her in my mind when I look at the photo. She has becomed more real to me, and it is soothing to have that photo.

I'm also touched, when I think of her making that effort to get her photo taken and developed so she could give it to me. She did that - FOR ME! The "FOR ME!!!" part still amazes me. That someone would do that FOR ME!!! And I think more so when I realise that I exist in her mind outside of therapy.

I started working on the workbook last night. I'm going to go through it slowly so that I can digest the information and then apply it in my daily life. The book is written for both therapists as well as people who suffer from Borderline Personality or who have difficulty with emotion regulation. It's not overly clinical and is very readable by the average person.

One of the main points I picked up on last night was this:
"You cannot stop painful things from happening in your life, but you can stop the suffering".

That's going to be my mantra for a while.


Hannah said...

thats a good mantra to have, I like


Wandering Coyote said...

I think that's an excellent mantra!

Aqua said...

I am so happy for you PB. It was so amazing for her to give you that picture and I am glad to hear your recognition that she did it "for you". What a sincere act of kindness and caring. I must say though that you deserve it too. You have worked so hard to overcome your difficulties. Be proud of yourself.

What a beautiful gesture and symbol of caring V's taking and giving you the picture was/is.


Border Life said...

PB! How wonderful V is, and how wonderful that the photo is helpful! Yes, excellent mantra! <3 BL

Anonymous said...

i think everyone could use that matra, labels aside.
Glad you have the photo. Therapy is always a two way street PB. V will be learning from you, as well as imparting her knowledge and guidance.

Lola x

Clueless said...

I know I haven't been around lately. I been going through some stuff. But, I have been reading your blog regularly and wanted to reach out and support you, but couldn't.

I am so proud of how you are handling V being gone. I too know the panic and grief too well. At least you are able to acknowlege it and that you worked throught some of it with her.

I am really glad that she left you with a picture, workbook and pocketbook. I am also happy for you that you were able to take it in and really realize that "You matter!" and that it was "just for you" because you are a part of her life as well and she cares and knows that this is going to be rough.

Carry that picture around as long as you need to do so. My therapist would record something on my micro recorder and I usually took home his coffee mug from his office with his name on it. He used it to hold his pens. It came back cleaner than when I got it. I used it for my coffee everyday and slept with it. It was comforting.

Continue your mantra!!!

Take care,

Anonymous Drifter said...

That should be my mantra too.

Immi said...

Good mantra and good for you finding it.
Which DBT workbook, if you don't mind sharing?
*sending hugs your way*

Tamara (TC) said...

What a wonderful mantra and what a wonderful therapist. Hope you find the workbook very helpful.

Take care,

Suzanne said...

Sounds like you're totally in control right now - good for you! :-)

Polar Bear said...

Glad you like it too.

Yes, I think so. Hope it can be helpful to you too.

Thanks, yes. This week is the first week she's away. I miss her already.

She is indeed wonderful. Which makes the separation harder to deal with.

It's a good way to thinking about the relationship. I don't usually think about how I affect V, or how much she could learn from me.

Thanks for reading. I drop by your blog regularly too. I hope things are better for you now.

I would be interested to know if it would be helpful for you.

It's the one by Matthew McKay, Jeffrey C. Wood, Jeffrey Brantley. It's called The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook Practical DBT Exercises for Learning Mindfulness, Interpersonal Effectiveness, Emotion Regulation, and Distress Tolerance.

Yes, I'm just going through the workbook, and some of the exercises are quite helpful. Need lots of practice tho.

Thanks :)

Raspberry said...

I have found DBT *very* helpful - I hope you get alot from the workbooks.

Also, what a lovely think for V to do to leave you with a photo - I can tell you're very close to your therapist, and it's great she understands how 'leaving you hanging' to to speak, would make you feel.

Love and hugs

rasp xXx

Polar Bear said...

Thanks, Rasp. Yes, I think the DBT model works really well with the sorts of difficulties that people with BPD tend to have.

DBT comes from such a compassionate viewpoint, and it certainly helps mental health professionals become less negative about people with BPD.