The dogs and I wandered around the neighborhood and it became very clear that I was unbalanced- in Emotion Mind. There was a threat that I might have to return to a toxic environment at which I felt that I would surely relapse and then, all of the work I had been doing to deal with my grief and depression would be for nothing. But as I continued breathing, the thoughts flew as fast as I could think them. I slowed my breath even more, switching my exhale from “Wise” to “Jesus.” And my inhale from “Mind” to “Praise.”
This is one song that I clung (cling) to in the darkest hours of my grief. How could God take away my son? And even though He did, when will I get any relief from this sadness? It begins by telling God that by now, it seemed He should have come down and taken away this grief. But because we don’t know what God has in store for us, we should praise Him mightily, even while we are tormented by how the world is treating us, or the rotten deck that we’ve been dealt. It is a reminder that He is our strength in time of trouble, even if that trouble is worse than we could ever imagine.
“And I’ll praise you in this storm
And I will lift my hands
That You are who You are, no matter where I am…”
Even though this problem I was currently having was small compared to where I was when my son first died, I could hear God whisper to me and the ending verses of the song rang true to me as He helped me to see that I was jumping to conclusions and plowing many steps ahead of where I was.
“I lift my eyes unto the hills
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord
The Maker of Heaven and Earth”
Soon, an action plan begins to form, and the dogs pull on their leashes as I stop to make a list in my phone. Throughout the walk, I put together three or four things that I could do to get more information about the situation;
Make some calls,
Consult my Dr.
#2 WAIT ON GOD.
That last one came in LOUD and CLEAR, and I am grateful that DBT helped me cope in that situation and many others. When emotions are running so hot there is a tendency to just do something to feel better. (More about this is Emotion Leveling coming soon). Lots of times those things we do can be destructive- to others and to ourselves. And when those things have been done and the dust is settled in the aftermath we can find ourselves in an even worse situation. <you can insert the self-harming behavior of your choice>. In my case, the alternative to DBT coping skills was usually alcohol- lots of it, or slot machines. Put both of those together and it was an atomic bomb. I hurt my family by spending money we didn’t have to spend, and I hurt myself and my health through abuse of alcohol.
“And so, my children, listen to me,
For all who follow my ways are joyful.
Listen to my instruction and be wise
Don’t ignore it!” Proverbs 8:32-33 NLT