I’m many weeks into the cognitive processing group therapy program and I’m finally beginning to understand this mysterious phrase the counselors in DBT said to me months ago. They told me not to be afraid to sit in my discomfort. When I started this program for traumatic stress recovery so many months ago, I was in seriously bad shape. I was having suicidal thoughts daily, no hourly. The mental anguish was torture. I wasn’t sure I could hold on this time. I hated this group, thought it was led by idiots, hated this touchy feely crap, and absolutely hated ambiguous meaningless phrases like “don’t be afraid to sit in it, just sit with it for a while”. I’d look at them politely, but my raised eyebrows should have told anyone I thought they were nutso, not me.
I wasn’t feeling anything. I had nothing to sit in. All I had was the same overwhelming fear, pain, shame, guilt, disgust…this big ball of crap I’ve always felt that had always overridden new current emotions. I was disconnected from my own feelings, all I had was this ptsd mess, that when triggered made me shut down and want to die.
So they’ve started to break through my mess of chaos. Bit by bit, chipping away at it, making sense of it, adding logic and compassion.
They’re helping me connect the dots in my own brain and body, recognize and label emotions (starting to…so much practice needed here I feel like an alien or a robot) with these worksheets and mental exercises that add order to my chaotic brain.
Change is starting. I can feel it.
Good things will happen. But mostly I am worn out by this process, and reconnecting with past fears and emotions and hearing the others in group is making me either stuck in perpetual sadness or anger.
I know I’m not angry. And yet I feel angry today. In my bones, I feel it.
And I’m sitting with it.