Starting STEPPS.

Hello guys and girls, I’ve been MIA for a while I know and I must apologise profusely, it’s not that I do not want to produce YouTube videos or blogs anymore, it’s more of a case I don’t think I could put out something that’s good enough with the current state of mind that I am in.

On 3rd April, I started STEPPS therapy (Systems Training for Emotional Predictability and Problem Solving) for my Borderline Personality Disorder (now known as Emotional Instability), as the course is on a Monday we have had to miss a week due to wank..sorry I mean Bank Holidays and between now and August there is another 2 (*sarcastic yays*). This alone unnerves me as I need routine and consistency in everything I do and by having gaps in between I feel it wont be as effective.

The first 2 sessions were to help us understand what EI/BPD is and how it affects our behaviour and identify what we wish to gain as a result of attending. We are treated as adults and we created our own rules and guidelines for the sessions, we also learnt how we can monitor our emotions using special forms and charts which can use to check our progress throughout the course.

We all set our individual goals and highlighted why we were attending ( I think this is to keep us focused when times get tough), we were given lots of information to help us when we are feeling most vulnerable (for example hurting ourselves or having suicidal thoughts) and what to do to keep ourselves in the time of a crisis. We were shown how our emotional baseline is a lot more heightened than someone who doesn’t have BPD/EI and how our emotions fluctuate more in a more erratic nature.

We were also told we may experience weeks of intense and perhaps overwhelming emotions as a result of being on this course due to the sheer amount of information and unlearning unhealthy coping mechanisms, but I did not expect to feel as low as I do now.

The last session (the 3rd session) we had was on Filters, which is how we see ourselves as people, filters are partly what we are born with and partly what we learn from our environment (family, community, school etc), such as abandonment, emotional deprivation, self sacrifice, vulnerability to harm/illness etc. Filters will vary from each person. When we use these filters we see the world in a different light. At the beginning of the session we completed a filter questionnaire to help us identify which filters we use the most, the top 2 filters I identified for myself were Abandonment and Defectiveness/ Social undesirability.

I feel I use these filters a lot, abandonment was my highest scoring and throughout my life I have lost a lot of people and when I feel like I am on the verge of losing someone I will go to extreme lengths to ensure they do not leave me, just like everyone else seems to do, it’s got to the point now I purposely avoid creating new friendships at the moment because I have sabotaged almost, if not all, of my friendships in the last year and I want to recover from this retched illness before I form any more.

The second highest I scored was Defectiveness/ Social Undesirability which is the filter that makes you believe that I am worthless and do not fit in, I feel this goes hand in hand with abandonment, I don’t believe that I am good enough for anyone, people who use this filter can also be extra sensitive to any criticism and blame and feel anxious and insecure around others.

Recently I have found my anxiety has been extremely intense and verging on uncontrollable, I have suffered with anxiety when going outside for 4 years on and off but as of late I have been experiencing anxiety in the 2 places I feel safest, at home and at work. It’s taken me totally by surprise as before if I was experiencing anxiety I would always feel it disappear as soon as I entered my house or workplace but just this week alone I have experienced anxiety in both my house and at work, it’s so horrible to feel like even though I may be in somewhere I consider “safe” that my anxiety still latches onto me, I feel the most vulnerable I have ever been but I feel this is when I can really put my energy into STEPPS and recover from this bastard illness.

This therapy is brilliant, at the moment there is just so much information I am trying to get my head around and absorb and my brain is literally just mush right now.

I shall film a YT video on my goals for this course in the near future.

Stay fabulous,

Abbie Autopsy

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