Progress report

“Yo sé que estaré bien,
Los gatos como yo caen de pie…” Shakira, “Te Dejo Madrid”

I’ve had a lingering cough for about 4 weeks and a nasty bruise on my left leg for over 6 weeks. Recovery can be a slow process and is often as painful as the original illness or injury sustained. But the body heals. As does the mind, the heart, and the soul.

Next week will be my final session of intensive introduction to DBT. Our doctors commended us on our progress last night as we planned our final class and “graduation” celebration. It gave me reason to reflect on the last 11 weeks and my own progress.

When I was first assigned to DBT, I was terrified. I remembered looking around the room during orientation and fearing “the others.” Other Borderline Personalities. They seemed scary: some fragile and wounded, others aggressive and enraged, all of us messy. But with time, our group pulled together. We became individuals. We became human again. Now I rarely think of the label that classifies a cluster of our behaviors and thinking patterns. Now I can laugh and relax. I have learned. I have started to heal.

DBT consists of four modules: Mindfulness, Distress Tolerance, Emotion Regulation, and Interpersonal Effectiveness. Each module calls for specific skills and strategies. All interweave to facilitate the decrease of negative urges and actions and to increase awareness and stability. Jargon aside, it has helped me function so much better. I have never felt more effective or more validated.

So I will catch colds and have accidents. My heart may be broken again. And again. But I am learning to land on my feet.

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