Tomorrow is my last DBT group and I can’t wait. I’ve been attending group since January 2012 and 18 months later, it’s finally time to leave. It’s not that I don’t like the psych facilitators or group members, but I’m bored. I wanted to leave group a number of months ago but it was agreed that I would stay and during the last few months I have been running the 2 mindfulness exercises each group session as well as leading/teaching a number of sessions on emotion regulation and interpersonal effectiveness (instead of the psych facilitators). I’m ready to leave – I know the skills and have done for some time, I use most of the skills automatically and I can recite all the slightly bizarre mnemonics in my sleep. In fact, I suspect like the safety drills for the SA80 rifle from my time in the University Officers Training Corps, I’ll never forget these irritating mnemonics. Of course, although irritating, they clearly form a part in what has been a life changing spell of learning and practice through the DBT programme.
I have two individual DBT sessions left in July and then one in August, and my final session in September. I know that this will be a more difficult ending than group because my individual DBT therapist knows more about me than any other person – even close friends (and not so close family). I greatly respect her opinion and her perseverance during the 18 months I have spent in the DBT programme. I will forever be grateful for her help and support. I’m sure there will even be a few tears shed but these are tears of happiness, of gratitude. My life is immeasurably different from when I first met her for initial assessment for DBT (when 5 months into yet another psych inpatient stay, which included time in a PICU). Anyhow, I’ll blog on this in more detail in the future.
The purpose of this quick, “rough and ready” blog is to address another of the stereotypes of people with a diagnosis of BPD, which also came up at the recent PD Conference. It was noted by one of the panel members that there are thoughts in some parts that there should be shorter groups/interventions for people with BPD that they can leave and then rejoin a number of times, the purpose of which is to allow them to practise endings. Endings are seen as a massive issue by professionals with regards to people with a diagnosis of BPD. Presumably this is due to abandonment issues, which I do not have nor have had. Endings are admittedly a time of change and cause everyone to have concerns and mild anxieties but they have never sent me into crisis or deep emotion dysregulation. Endings are a part of life and I’ve experienced many without trouble. This particular ending is another milestone in my journey of ‘recovery’ and I relish it 🙂