I took a day off from blogging yesterday. My last blog left me in my blue funk. Writing about accepting Tyler’s death was difficult. I wrote my blog in the morning and the rest of the day was filled with sadness, depression and panic attacks.
I tried to be gentle with my body and give it rest, but invariable I awoke in a panic each and every time I lay down. I don’t have any really good medicine for this because I have taken too many benzos once or twice and ended up in the hospital. This means that I have to use good old coping skills to get through days like this.
I felt like I was taking on too much, what with volunteering and researching for this blog- and really wanting Blue Funk Faith to “take off.” Add to that the emotional last blog article and I haven’t mentioned this before, but I also have leukemia and while I don’t need treatment yet, I have a lot of “If’s” and “When’s” rolling around in my mind.
So, I was in a full-fledged episode.
It’s hard for others to understand when that funk hits. “Did something cause it? Are you worrying about something? How can I help?” are common questions from my family. I can’t explain it to them. They don’t get it. And at the time, I wasn’t sure what was causing it. It took a session with my therapist to really think about what was happening inside me.
When I have days like this, I don’t feel like even trying coping skills. I know I need to accept the changes in my life. It’s more difficult for me now to handle obligations. But, there really was no other way around it. I needed to be able to have a “life worth living even with the painful events” that have and will occur, as DBT (Dialectic Behavior Therapy) describes it. That is one of the tenets of Reality Acceptance in DBT. Specifically, Radical Acceptance, which is a skill used when emotional pain is overwhelming you.
I think there is a conduit between Radical Acceptance and faith. God calls on us to accept the path we are on, right now, as the path where he wants us to be.
“And we know that all that happens to us is working for our good if we love God and are fitting into his plans.” Romans 8:28
It’s times like these that DBT asks us to use Pros and Cons for either using coping skills or acting on urges to blot it all out. So yesterday, after the previous day being filled with blah, I knew I needed to consult my pre-written pros and cons and try to make an effort to cope. I did not want another day like that.
Acting on Urges
Pros of acting on impulsive urges, giving in, giving up, or avoiding what needs to be done:
1. It is easier to stay depressed in bed
2. Drinking to avoid is temporary and I wake up feeling more depressed from the alcohol
3. Give up on my responsibilities
Cons of acting on impulsive urges, giving in, giving up, or avoiding what needs to be done:
1. Pushing things down doesn’t make them go away
2. I still feel depressed
3. I’m too tired to think up coping skills.
4. I have nothing for panic attacks
Resisting Crisis Urges
Pros of resisting acting on impulsive urges, giving in, giving up, or avoiding what needs to be done:
1. God knows exactly where I am and He cares
2. I may be able to move my mind onto more positive things
3. Sticking to facts counters distorted thinking
4. I have a self-sooth list I can go to that might move me out of it.
Cons of resisting acting on impulsive urges, giving in, giving up, or avoiding what needs to be done:
1. It’s not easy to do- face up to reality
2. I still feel bad
3. Things are hard to think about
So, yesterday, I did nothing strenuous like volunteer and I chose to spend my day working on a new jigsaw puzzle, something I haven’t done for a while. No blog writing meant I didn’t have to conjure up sad details or spend time thinking about DBT. I just consulted my list of distractions and went at it.
I’m glad I used this outlet to take care of myself and I actually enjoyed doing the puzzle, moving around the pieces and obtaining small victories when pieces fit together. Today, I fell back to myself. I still have that jigsaw on the table—it’s a toughie. But I’m able to write and I don’t have the dark gloom of the funk.
Had I read Jesus Calling for that dark day, I would have read, “When you start feeling anxious about something, relinquish the situation to me… I will either take care of the problem myself or show you how to handle it.”
“In this world, you will be plagued with times of trouble, but you need not fear: I have triumphed over this corrupt world order.” John 16:33
I am exactly where God wants me to be, and I am never alone.