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DBT Skills Group Week 1: Wise Mind and Mindfulness

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Weekly Diary Card

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This is what we went over today, after going over all the group rules and standard do’s and don’ts of being in a psychiatric setting such as keeping information about the other patients private, and not having sexual relationships with one another.

The first picture is the weekly diary card we use for our group. We have to go through each day and mark with skills we used that day. We also have to mark how many times we used the card. Ideally, they want you using the card each day, but you can technically use it once a week. Then we went through what mindfulness and the Wise Mind are. On Mindfulness Handout 3, you can see a diagram of the Emotion Mind Trap. That’s basically when it’s raining (you’re full of emotion) and there’s a trap door in the well that leads to the Wise Mind and the emotion gathers on top of the trap door and you mistake the rain water for the well water, confusing your emotion for your Wise Mind.

Mindfulness Handout 3A has different ways to practice mindfulness that helps bring you to your Wise Mind. The homework (Mindfulness Worksheets 1 & 3) asks you to make a pro/con for practicing mindfulness and not practicing mindfulness, and to pick some of the different ways to practice mindfulness and to practice them.

One of the simplest mindfulness exercises I know is the one where you breathe in and focus on “Wise” and breathe out and focus on “Mind,” so I did that one for a few minutes earlier.

I find mindfulness very helpful, yet I almost never remember to do it. Especially when I need it most. I’m hoping having a couple weeks focusing on mindfulness will help me get better at it.

Update on My Dad

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After my dad was admitted to the hospital, I spent the night and next day with him, keeping him company, making sure he had everything he needed, listening to the doctors to make sure we knew what was going on, advocating for him. It was a long couple days, first in the ER, then in the hospital the next day. Last night I came home and slept. I just showered and I feel refreshed.

My dad’s infection spread into his muscle. The doctor said if he’d left it much longer, it’d be in his bone, and he’d had lost the leg. I’m relieved and so thankful that my family ambushed him and made him go to the hospital. He’ll need several surgeries and lots of strong antibiotics. He goes in for his first surgery today.

My sister is taking today’s shift. I wish I could be there for him, but I also know I need to rest today. I’m very sore, my fibromyalgia is flaring up from the hospital chair I spent the last couple days in. Even with my frequent walks I didn’t escape its cruel consequences.

I talk to my dad via Facebook messenger (because it doesn’t use his data since it’s over the hospital’s wifi) often. He’s, naturally, bored and restless. The next time I go up to see him (tomorrow) I’m taking cards and we’ll play cribbage.

Hospitalization: Part 5

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From the afternoon of my second day on the wing.

During the 2nd group, the facilitator kept using an example of being overweight and needing to lose weight, how if you’re overweight you aren’t exercising and you eat an unhealthy diet, how you lack self-discipline. It was so wrong and triggering, and since I was the only overweight person in the room, it felt like a direct assault.

Just over halfway through, my growing anxiety over his topic triggered a sudden-onset migraine. It was a good excuse to leave the group. I went and got meds from my nurse and lay down. I stayed in bed until lunch, ate a slow lunch, feeling bogged down by both the migraine and the meds, then headed back to my room to purde. While in the bathroom, my roomie came back and needed to use the bathroom, so I exited. She stayed in the room afterward, and I felt awkward going back into the bathroom again to purge, so I didn’t.

My potassium and iron are low, despite taking supplements daily for both. I had to take an extra “booster” dose of potassium and it’s so gross.

I rested again for a bit after lunch, then played King’s Corner with a couple other ladies with a cobbled together deck of cards. After that, we had art for about an hour. Now I’m just trying to stay awake while I wait for my dad to visit.

A nice change

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I went to a friend’s house this afternoon to play games. We played Quelf, Bezzerwizzer, Mau, King’s Corner, and Rummy. We also had this little girl to help up play. She kept trying to eat the pieces and cards.