Emotionalregulation

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Vulnerability post 💕🫶

Today is Mother's Day and I had a very hard time keeping my irritability & frustration in check. I couldn't figure out why I was coming off as angry....I didn't *feel* angry... But anger is a secondary emotion.
So, I took some time to figure out what was underneath the anger and found this helpful list.

Do you ever feel angry without being able to tell why?
Did you know anger is a secondary emotion?

#Emotionalregulation
#MentalHealth
#DepressiveDisorders
#BipolarDepression
#Anxiety
#SchizoaffectiveDisorder

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When two Borderlines collide

#BorderlinePersonalityDisorder #Relationships #Emotionalregulation #Rage #Mindfulness

A while ago in January, through a sequence of unusual happenings it seemed that the universe had perfectly aligned me with THE missing puzzle piece of my life. I was diagnosed 3 years ago at the age of 36, and since then have done extensive research, therapy and other self work techniques so that by knowing and understanding more I would have greater self awareness when it comes to me, my BPD and my interactions with the world. Right, back to the puzzle piece... I'm a member on a what's app group for a night club, someone posted a link to one of his mixes on Mixcloud, so I clicked, and loved what I heard and left a comment. A few days later this guy had figured out where he would find the author of a very erudite and perceptive and knowledgeable comment, he wanted to thank me and tracked me down on the E.S.P. Group. And as it so happened we found our common ground and started chatting daily and incessantly about everything. And as a borderline I'm thinking this is it, my life's at its lowest low, I'm lonely, I've got nothing to lose and I give in and fall for this guy, a DJ, isn't it every girls dream to be with a DJ? What was strange that I now only realise with hindsight was that as enamored as I was with him, he was giving it right back to me. There wasn't any fear that he might not reply, that I'd say the wrong thing... It felt so perfect that I packed my car and drove to the other side of my country because we had decided we had to be together.
At first it was like "Oh it's you, I know you." There was no initial feeling of insecurity, wariness, or even apprehension. This was us, together, and it was a perfect sync. Until slowly little things turned into issues from his side, and were always generally expressed in anger directed towards me. It was something I had done, or not done, or it was my fault that some untoward event happened. And we'd ride these cyclical waves of me being criticised because I had displeased him to an argument where I was inevitably apologising as I always do to avoid an abandonment and back to semi normal amd we'd both idealise each other again. Now knowing what I know about being borderline and how it plays out am at an advantage in this situation... I began to notice a pattern of this kind of "triggered anger storm" directed towards me by devaluation,
having to continually defend myself from false accusations, to being the peacekeeper and making sure nothing fell apart, until he'd eventually say "I'm.sorry, but..." As time has gone by the rage attacks have increased in intensity and frequency. I understand now that I'm dealing with another borderline but this is an undiagnosed borderline. So I'm losing my battle to help him see the pattern in his behaviours. As he's opened up to me it's allowing me to make more and more sense of it, the one minute we're going to get married the next minute it's over and he "doesn't have time for me to make up my mind, I'm perfectly happy being single"
I suppose the reason for my post is that I feel I'm the stable rational logical one experiencing his chaos, yet at the same time questioning my own thoughts and feelings. I just know that I'm not strong enough in any way to keep being the punching bag. Patient I have been with him, understanding and supportive too. But I'm desperately confused because I don't know where the boundaries are, where do I draw the line. When I point out things to him he just laughs and blames my BPD which he knew about before I arrived in this situation. It's a tragedy because he holds the key to my heart in the music (I wanted to study sound engineering, and i can play classical piano, and absolutely love electronic dance music) I want to learn from him and he wants to teach me, (he's even booked me to mix at an event that's coming up), and sometimes we have really deep moments together. But where do I end and where does he begin?
I see all the symptoms, I've experienced the idealisation and devaluation, the bouts of rage, the splitting...... but I feel that it's him in his unawareness of self mind state that is the source of all the drama. The only thing I feel I'm guilty for is not ending it because I can't bear to be alone again. Or perhaps I'm deceiving myself.
Does anyone have any comments or questions or suggestions which might help me sort through my mind. Because my emotions or reactions are not disproportionate to the his insane reactions to his triggers......so I don't believe they're a problem except getting defensive and fear of abandonment. Thank you for reading.

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Discovering a Pattern in Emotional Regulation

Recently, as I've become more skilled at riding intense emotional waves, I've begun to notice patterns around those waves and the ways that I care for them. I'm certain other people will have different patterns, but I wanted to share what I discovered in case someone can relate.

For me, I can view my emotional capacity as a sort of bucket. This bucket has a finite amount of space, but it fluctuates over time. When I am not practicing my skills, my emotional bucket becomes full at about two emotions, any emotions, pleasant or upsetting. When I am actively using my skills, my emotional capacity is much larger, but there is always a limit.

When my emotional bucket is full, additional emotions cause it to overflow. The overflow of emotions spills into another vessel, a depression bucket. My first stage after an emotional overflow is depression, complete overwhelm, and helplessness. If I am unable to take the time and space to care for the overwhelming emotions, the depression bucket will fill as well, until it too spills over the edge.

My second stage of emotional overflow is anxiety. If there's not time to be depressed, or care for the depression rather, then the depression bucket overflows into a vast anxiety bucket. This semi-functional state allows me to meet a minimum of expectations, but causes extensive suffering, even long term physical damage.

The third stage is dissociation, which in this case presents as a similar state to anxiety, but with a disconnection to the suffering being experienced, as well as to the people and environment around me. This stage can be confusing, even convincing me that everything is fine and I was overreacting. But the underlying issues haven't been addressed or resolved.

If I continue to ignore my emotional overflow and overload, it will spill into the largest vessel, anger. It is a state of unpredictability and intensity, where every emotion is filtered through a lens of frustration and unmet need. By this stage, it is very apparent to me that I need a break, some space for self care, and possibly outside supports.

If I continue to let the emotions spill out of the anger vessel, that is a crisis point. I've been there before, but I haven't been there since I started recognizing pieces of this pattern. And now that I see the pattern clearly, I can be even more effective in preventing emotional overload and its effects on both myself and others.

#CPTSD #BorderlinePersonalityDisorder #Depression #Anxiety #Dissociation #anger #Emotionalregulation

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Parent-Child Emotional Regulation

It breaks my heart when parents confide in me about losing patience with their children and screaming at them, not realising that they need to learn to self-regulate their own emotions before they can teach their children to do the same.

We need to understand the neurology of a child's brain to understand this. Children don't learn by doing what they're told, they learn by modeling what they observe. A child cannot model calm behaviour while observing the parent doing the opposite.

So if you find yourself screaming at your child out of frustration, please focus on learning how to regulate your emotions first. You cannot skip this step if you want your child to learn to regulate their emotions later.

#Autism #Parenting #BehaviorChallenges #Emotionalregulation #EmotionalHealth

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Another day another struggle #Depression #CPTSD #Anxiety #Emotionalregulation #intenseemotionalpain #CharcotMarieToothDisease

I wrote a poem this evening. It’s been another struggle today. Between depression exhaustion and physical exhaustion and emotional overwhelm getting out of bed was hard. I did take my daughter to work, try to clean up the kitchen some and fed my youngest. But the rest of the day was in bed. I had to make a difficult decision regarding one of my adult kids today and another one has decided to no longer speak to me. There were other things too that I won’t get into here. But I’m hanging on, just tired of all of it. I want peace. Here’s my poem too....

I’m tired, worn down and weary.
Everyday is a new battle, a fight to stay strong.
All around is darkness, heaviness, all so dreary.
Nothing feels safe, no one to trust, I don’t belong.
I remember a time where I found joy each day.
A time when the good outweighed the bad.
The days didn’t feel so long, so hard, it was so easy to pray.
Love didn’t cause pain, and struggle wasn’t all I had.
I want it back, the light, the peace, the strength, my life.
I know there will always be hardships to go with the good.
I just want to be able to face each burden without so much strife.
I’m yearning to come out on the other side of this darkness renewed.
I’m trying, learning and unlearning but I still see a mountain yet to climb.
I still can’t see me the way my Jesus does, I see broken where I should see beauty.
I see my struggles and hold a confidence that is less than sublime.
I feel like I’m failing, unable to fulfill all my duty.
Still I hold on to a hope, ever so small, a spark barely seen amongst the ashes.
One day my heart will come back to life, my eyes once again will see the light.
I’ll no longer yearn for death, or upon my skin leave gashes.
One day, hopefully soon, I’ll once again have wings and take flight.

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Emotional Dysregulation #BPD #Emotionalregulation

I've been highly dysregulated lately and today I was asked into the bosses office about my attitude. The short of it was if I did not change my behavior than I was going to be let go.
Strick another one up for BPD.
I told her I would but after leaving her office realized that I couldn't.
Before leaving for the day I asked for a leave of absence and apologized for my behavior.
Not before breaking down and crying in front of her, again.
I can't afford 2 weeks off but if I didn't take some time to focus on me than I would of surely lost my job.
My DBT skills may not have been up to par in controlling my emotional hurricane but because of them I didn't give up.
I feel aweful and all I want to do is hide and numb all the pain with alcohol. But, I'm stronger than that.
I do feel that an indulgence in cookies and Cheetos is ok though, right? #strongerthanbpd

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Abuse #Selfharm #Depression #Emotionalregulation

The person who is supposed to keep me going, is the same person who makes me want to die. The person who’s responsible for caring for me, and making sure I’m safe and healthy, is the one preventing me from being so. This person tries so hard to stay in control, but when they get very triggered, occasionally they lose control and take it out on me (maybe 1-2 times a year). It’s happened at home, at the store, at the bank, and even at church. The last time was 6 days ago. I’m still dealing with the effects of the concussion I got from it, and my kids have been asking about the long scratch on my arm, and I don’t have an answer for them.

If I heard this from anyone else, I would say, “You have to get away from them, and get you and your children to a safe place! We’ll even let you stay with us, until you can get things settled!”

But, it’s not my husband who’s the assailant. It’s not my children, and they aren’t in any danger, nor have they witnessed any of it personally.

I’m both the perpetrator and the victim. On both sides of the equation, I’m terrified.

I don’t want to do this. I’ve worked for years to overcome my regular self-harm tendencies, and have made incredible progress. I even went a full year without any sort of self-harm whatsoever.

I’m on 2 anxiety/depression medications, and one for ADHD, and scared to change, again, because it has controlled my back pain so well. It’s probably easier for me to list the antidepressants I *haven’t* tried than those that I have.

I’ve tried therapy: CBT, and EMDR. EMDR made a huge difference in my PTSD, but got to the point we didn’t know how to proceed to benefit most, and my church could no longer continue to pay for it.

I tried working part-time to afford additional therapies for both myself and my family, and ended up so suicidal that I had to have someone drive me home one night, because all I could think about was how to get myself killed on the way home, and how much it would hurt my family if I did so, so I had just sat in my car crying and scared to move.

It’s terrifying to have my own brain and body betraying me. I *don’t* want to die! I want to be the mom and wife my family needs me to be! My self-abuse episodes are frightening, painful, heartbreaking, and humiliating. When my husband has tried to intervene, I’ve screamed hateful things at him, that I don’t mean and would never say in my right mind. “Don’t touch me!” “I hate you!” “I’ll kill myself!” When deep inside all I really want is for him to hold me as tightly as a straight jacket, so that I can’t do any more harm, until the terrible feeling that consumes me has dissipated, reminding me the whole time that he loves me and won’t let me go.

This last time was by far the most frightening, because I truly thought I had gotten my emotions under control, and was about to let my 3 year old into our room, when I just snapped, completely out of my control. It’s the first time I’ve actually done serious damage. Terrifying.

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#PanicAttacks #Anxiety  #PTSD #Emotionalregulation

Imagine you're a car driving down a highway.

Everything is going smoothly, and you're staying in your lane. All of the sudden, you must swerve to miss hitting an obstacle in the middle of the road. You swerve too sharply and your car starts spinning across the highway.

Finally the spinning stops and you are able to resume driving, but you're in a different lane all the way across the road now. This lane is not smooth. It's bumpy and poorly maintained. However, after all that spinning, you are disoriented and can't remember how to get back over to the smooth lane.

How do you use the blinker? How do you know when it's safe to move over? You can't remember how to change lanes; you can barely even remember what driving in that smooth lane was like. So your only option is to keep going down this bumpy one.

A panic attack is like the situation above. It not only means that something distressing has intruded into our awareness. It also means we have lost control of regulating our emotions while facing it. When we can't regulate -- soothe ourselves back to a state of composure -- it feels like driving fast down a bumpy lane.

Emotional regulation is a cornerstone of mental health. Since distressing situations are an unavoidable part of life, it is important to be able to return to a space where you feel safe and balanced, even if what's going on around you feels unmanageable.

*Full disclosure: This piece was first submitted to 7cups and published on Nov. 14, 2019. I made slight edits.*

I have been mulling through old writings of mine. This piece is representative of a time when my PTSD symptoms were much worse than they are today and I had panic attacks regularly, sometimes on a daily basis. Over time since then, I am happy to say my emotional self-regulation have strengthened, and I feel much less "toppled over" by hard circumstances (:

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Lamotrigine

Hi all-it’s just been suggested I start taking Lamotrigine to help with mood balancing. It’s to be in addition to the Sertraline I’ve been on for years. Has anyone any info on their experiences with this? #BorderlinePersonalityDisorder #Lamotrigine #Sertraline #Emotionalregulation

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