Coping Skills are a hard thing to think of in the midst of turmoil. Your mind has an assault that says, I can’t deal with this, Why bother, WTF; and an automatic response occurs. It is not a conscious response. It is a learned response that has been a previous way of dealing with a difficult time. How can that be changed?
It’s amazing that just recently I had one of those assaults and for the first time (in a very long time) my mind immediately went to prior responses of suicide and the thought of “Why bother?”. I have been so focused on living healthy, with coping skills (distraction, distress tolerance, radical acceptance) and learning and acquiring those capabilities have been a part of my daily regimen. I have been focused on tearing things apart and understanding my thought patterns, not living in the past, staying mindful, and living with peace and happiness. So when I had this brutal attack to my psyche I was lost as to what to do.
It was familiar from the past, an unwanted memory, and captured my mind so quickly that getting out of its way and avoiding the attack, or quickly dealing with the lost feelings from the past stole my mind before even seeing it happen. The depth of how quickly my mind went to previous habits was disturbing. In fact, I’m still crawling my way out of it. Thank God, it was a brief period. I was able to talk to people who understood and could help to guide me, but I almost feel a sense of weakness and need for recovery. This episode beat the shit out of me. To say it bluntly. And I experienced what I daily lived with on a chronic level in the past, and absolutely am scared to be there again. I don’t want to ever be able to not handle the blunt of an assault again, and need to focus on being prepared in the future.
A new goal for me is to dig up all of those skills learned from the past and make it possible to have a list of activities, resources, ideas, to refer to. List of names to call, ways to sort out how I’m feeling, ideas to beat down the unconscious response so that I am able to cope until rationalizing is possible.
This is actually going to be a fun project. Perhaps get a beautiful box from Barnes and Noble, and start to make a care package and a way for me to deal with whatever comes up. This is an important aspect of who I am and a much-needed project. Time to make some fun out of it, and to NEVER let my automatic response of not coping get to me and control me in the future. It is definitely a place I REFUSE to be caught in again. With God’s help, I will and am able to live a full, happy, peaceful, fulfilling, and desired life.
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