I’m having a problem with letters. I won’t be more precise, but I’ll tell you this: each week I receive around 6 letters from a certain company. The problem is, they’re sending me so many that I’m far too stressed to understand a single one
Stressed about letters? How lame, just ignore them!
“You think that’s lame? Wait till you hear this!”
Ever heard the phrase Don’t cry over spilt milk.? Well I used to do that… literally. I couldn’t cope with even the smallest of things going wrong, and if I spilt milk or dropped my phone or lost my cigarette lighter (I’ll bet more people will understand that one) then I’d have a little break down.
It’s something called Emotional Dysregulation and is a symptom characteristic of BPD.
What does it do?
The brain is a complicated place to be, or even to read about, so I won’t go into this in much detail. Basically, there’s a part of our brain that regulates emotional responses and mine doesn’t work properly. So while you’re brain can tell what a reasonable level of emotion is in any specific situation; mine gets a little overenthusiastic.
You take a wrong turning in your car en route to a friend’s house. What do you do? I’ll go home. When I get home I’ll probably buy cigarettes or lie in bed crying and binge watching Gossip Girl or something equally disgraceful.
How do we deal with it?
In order to react reasonably to a situation, we have to be incredibly conscious of our emotions, and this takes a lot of practice! Personally, I use mindfulness to take note of everything I feel. If I feel sad I’ll trace it back and try to figure out what caused the emotion. Once I figure out what triggered the emotion I try to solve my everyday riddle: Is this a reasonable response?
It doesn’t mean that unreasonable reactions vanish when I pinpoint them, it’s way harder than that! But it does mean that I can take note and change my physical actions which stops it from spiralling out of control. I did a course in a slightly claustrophobic, hot therapy room to practice this stuff but it was worth it.
If you don’t want to sit on a lumpy chair in a room of strangers…
- Mindfulness – it helps you to focus on the moment and hide from any worries about your future. It also helps you take note of your feelings without judgement.
- Keeping a diary – I had a recovery journal for 2 years, it really helped me to monitor my emotions and their causes. Once you know what has a negative effect you can steer clear of it.
- Be patient – If you’re struggling with this it isn’t going to get easy overnight. Give yourself time and give yourself a break!
- Self care – look after yourself! Grab a colouring book, have a bath or watch a movie. Do something that might cheer you up, it’s worth a try.
- Get help! – you’re not the only one, and you don’t have to deal with this by yourself! Go get some help.
There are loads of apps and websites that offer help with mindfulness Be Mindful is just one them. You could also speak to your GP if you need some extra support.