So, I’m having a pretty bad day..stress wise. My oldest stepson Jr (Previously referred to in this blog as J) moved back in to our house earlier this week.
Before I go farther, understand that, from a logical point of view, I don’t mind. He’s not my child, but he’s the closest I’ll ever be able to come (along with his siblings) and I love him. His substance abuse problems appear to still be in the rear view mirror and I’m grateful that he (and we) are no longer dealing with that.
However, instead of assimilating into how our household runs, he’s pretty much doing his own thing. Which, since he sleeps on the couch in the living room, is a problem for me. He’s up all night, sleeps all day. Today he had to work so he did get up sometime after I left for therapy and before I came back from grocery shopping.
The bigger problem is that he is compounding the feelings I already have about MIL being here. I haven’t even figured out that mess, and now I have a new one to lay on top of it.
So, I’m ridiculously anxious. Worse then I have been in a long time. But, it just so happens that the chapter I’m working on in my DBT manual is about the emotional mind, reasoning (or logical) mind and the wise mind. Essentially the wise mind is the healthy combination of how you feel about something and what you think about something. Combine those two things and presto chango….wise mind.
If only if were so easy. Because, see part of the emotional mind are judgments. Things like “she’s stupid” or “he’s an asshole”. And we all make snap judgments all of the time. But the goal is to get to a point where we’re not making snap judgments. Not only is it a matter of taking the judgment out of the equation, but also the “snap”. And that, my friends, that is so hard.
So, here I sit, having just learned about a skill that could potentially help me with the circumstances I’m currently experiencing, and I can’t use it. Because it takes practice. A LOT of practice. It builds on mindfulness training which I’m still working on. We’ve all spent our entire lives learning to think a certain way, and then we got sick. And now, when we may be least capable, we have to retrain our brains to think a new way. And it’s a good way to think. Doing the reading and filling out the questions, it’s obvious to me how using the wise mind to handle problems is a far superior solution. But, the amount of work it takes to master is daunting.
Possibly worst of all is that the very first hurdle is remembering to use it. Between my bipolar and my meds for my bipolar, I have no memory. Cognitive Impairment is my constant companion. The book suggests that you figure out something you do multiple times a day and try to figure out which mind you are currently using. I chose to do this activity when I’m in the bathroom. With my intersticial cystitis, I’m in there pretty often, so I thought it would get me thinking about my wise mind more often. But I keep forgetting. I was even going to buy something (like a little elephant) to put in the bathroom to remind me, but I forgot.
My husband is worried about me having another nervous breakdown. I’m not worried about that right now. Hopefully, I can get these skills implemented and work on them enough that I can use them in the not too distant future.
Hopefully before the kid makes me more nuts then I already am.