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I was glad on Monday that I had missed the prior week of DBT, because we’re still reviewing mindfulness. And probably for another week yet.

When I was a kid, I complained bitterly about review in classes. I hated it more than anything else in school. Every year, the teachers repeated about half of the content from the year before – what a phenomenal waste of time. This is much the same, except I’m even more impatient because I’m paying for it and I don’t have the time to fritter away. I could have bought 3 packs of cigarettes with the money and gotten a couple blog posts written in that time. I could have gotten to bed earlier, which is something I really ought to be doing.

Yes, I know. I clearly need more practice with mindfulness and being non-judgmental. But.

With a group of 10 people, the whole group dynamic seems to break down. Only a few people get to “share” and inevitably someone hogs the time. This week the people who have been in the group the longest spoke the least. Make way for the newbies, I guess. But I wanted to strangle them. All of them.

The belly-crawling approval-seeking Wilted Violet continues to trigger homicidal urges every time she opens her mouth. A different newbie went off on a lengthy Christian affirmation, complete with reading aloud several verses, which triggered some serious irritation. Another new person ripped huge farts throughout the session, interrupting the ending mindfulness bit with a loud one.

The thistle-y thing began as a series of angry lines as I became increasingly fed up.

I quickly became impatient to the point of wanting to jump out of my skin. Psychomotor agitation hardly describes it – continual motion (jiggling a leg, twiddling fingers, tapping feet, doodling, etc) was all I could do to keep from getting up and leaving. I had walked in feeling pretty good, but left feeling irritable, angry, and frustrated – and then woke up feeling that way the next day. Counterproductive much?

Between the content review factor and the overload of newbies, by the end of the night I was thinking I should quit DBT. I’ll give it a few more weeks and see if getting into the next module helps, though the one I really need (emotion regulation) is months off still. But there’s no skipping around and selectively choosing what to attend and what to blow off.

The content focus was again on being nonjudgmental and moving on to one-mindfulness. I need to practice doing something one-mindfully again for homework, which is no biggie. I’ve come to realize I actually do it quite a lot. Next week we will doubtless go over effectiveness, which we barely skimmed last time, so perhaps it’ll be less painfully dull and remedial for me. My fingers are crossed to start interpersonal effectiveness next week, just to end the misery of review.

I got more out of discovering this new addition to my Soothe Playlist: chillout.

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