I absolutely love these two separate graphic images that I purchased from a digital artwork site about three years ago. I was truly amazed at how putting these two different images together could pull out and articulate a very real, constant, and chaotic internal struggle.
I could look at my resume and marvel at all the amazing things I’d accomplished in my adult life. But there was a detachment to the person on the paper, like it wasn’t me. I KNEW it was me. I BELIEVED it was me. But I didn’t FEEL like it was me.
As posted previously, my usual Wednesday morning DBT Skills Group got cancelled by the Hospital Gods. It was recommended that we NOT attend another Group if we’d been attending for a year or more. I was kicked out of the DBT nest and was ready to fly…..but I didn’t get too far……So I, along with a few other ladies from my old Wednesday morning Group, went against the recommendation and began attending the Wednesday afternoon DBT Skills Group at the Hospital 🙂
We were in a different meeting room last week. It was the first time I was ever this far down the hall and had never seen this meeting room before. Shouldn’t be a problem…..I went to pull out a chair from the table so I could sit down but it didn’t move. I thought it must have been stuck somehow so I moved over to the next chair. That one didn’t move either.
I bent down to take a look and didn’t see any reason why it would be stuck so I pulled it even harder towards me and it did in fact move this time! It was just VERY, VERY, VERY heavy. Hmmmm…… all weighted chairs in this meeting room. I looked up, a little confused, and then noticed the very large tinted observation window across from me. I started to feel uncomfortable and anxious in this “different” meeting room.
About fifteen minutes later someone started screaming from another meeting room close to the one I was sitting in. Then it stopped. Then it started again. Then stopped. I was starting to feel scared and anxious so I got up and closed our meeting room door tightly. Now no one could get into our meeting room without it being opened from the inside. I could try to relax and focus again.
After our coffee break there was more screaming. A few seconds later doors were banging and a man ran down the hall past our meeting room. Someone ran after him.
Our facilitator asked how many of us were feeling unsafe. My hand was the first one up in the air.
She continued with some other questions for our discussion:
1) What was happening around us that made us feel unsafe?
2) Why were we feeling unsafe when we knew we were sitting in a ‘locked from the inside’ room?
3) Were our feelings based on the facts of the current situation?
4) What were we adding to the situation from our past that fed the feeling of being unsafe?
5) Was our fear and/or anxiety justified or unjustified?
My WISE MIND KNEW I was safe – the door was locked.
My WISE MIND BELIEVED I was safe – I just heard screaming and someone running down the hall AWAY from the meeting room I was in – NO ONE was running towards me.
My EMOTION MIND didn’t FEEL safe and was hard at work to protect herself.
I realized I was feeling a lot of UNJUSTIFIED fear from:
1) Memories of my parents screaming and fighting when I was a little girl.
2) Thinking about all the scary and bad news stories that I’d recently heard or read.
My feelings were UNJUSTIFIED so I had to practice OPPOSITE ACTION.
If my feelings were JUSTIFIED – I would have had to PROBLEM SOLVE.
So my OPPOSITE ACTION: