In about a month I will graduate from the DBT program I’ve been in for just over a year. Today I was tested in my abilities to use skills, and today I passed. Graduating and moving on from this program is scary, but today gave me a confidence boost. I know my skills. I can use my skills. I am ready.
What happened was I accidentally overslept, and when I woke up DBT group had already started. I still had to eat dinner and walk the fifteen minutes there. But instead of panicking and shutting down like I would have a year ago I quickly and efficiently used a boatload of skills.
Throughout the whole process, I problem solved. First, I needed to eat dinner to reduce my vulnerability factors as according to the PLEASE skill. So I figured let’s go quickly eat dinner, and I can think about what to do next at the same time.
Then, I weighed the pros and cons of going or missing the rest of the session. I had missed last week because of spring break and was planning on missing the following week because of a dinner. I should go. So, I walked there and practiced self-compassion. Everyone makes mistakes, and I’m allowed to make mistakes.
When I got to group the door to the building was locked. I radically accepted this, laughed even, and waited for someone to come out, so I could get in. Then at group, I kept trying to one-mindfully listen to what was going on instead of still ruminating about being late. If I was going to be there, I might as well really “be” there.
Finally, when the session was over I used the assertiveness skill to ask if being that late counted as an absence. If it did, I would have to miss the dinner and be at group the following week since you can’t miss three sessions in a row. The group leader said yes it did count, and I should miss the dinner. So, I radically accepted this. I continued to practice self-compassion that although my feelings of embarrassment, shame, and frustration were valid, I couldn’t change what happened. All I could do was move forward.
I think I’m ready to graduate DBT.