I want to thank you all so much for the patience, encouragement, and support you have shown me during my time of healing here at the center. Although it hasn’t always been easy, or 100% pleasant, 100% of the time, I feel certain now that being here and making the commitment to the program was the right thing to do in reestablishing my emotional commitment to my life.
I really do believe that the progress I’ve made here is measurable and significant and will help me moving forward in life, particularly in how I interact with the world around me and process the needs, wants, and values of others in relation to myself. When I arrived at Brookhaven, I felt certain that I did not need to be here, and that this was a punishment rather than a “gift”, as my dad told me it was. I grumbled to myself about how easy the projects were, and how “dumb” or “wasteful” the reading was. DBT, to me, was all common sense and I could not appreciate the “process”. “If I can just make it 30 days,” I told myself, “this will all be over and I can get back to my friends, my job, my cat, and this will all just be 30 days to reset my emotional compass.”
What I didn’t know at that point, or refused to recognize, was that I had been trying to tread water for a long time, too afraid to swim. I was afraid of what I didn’t know, and I was wearing myself out. One of the many things I have worked on here is interpersonal relationships, especially with significant others and family. I had allowed others to influence my perception of myself, as “good” or “bad”, based on my ability to meet their needs. I saw myself as inherently hurtful to others for not being able to meet their emotional needs, and I allowed my failures to define my use as a person. While here, I have begun to recognize and work towards more equality in my relationships, recognizing what can be improved and what needs to be removed from my life. I feel I have gained a lot of self-respect for myself through this process, and also heightened sensitivity to the goals or expectations of others, especially regarding myself. I feel more at ease with others, even when I can’t meet their wants 100% of the time. I feel better equipped to have more productive interactions with others in the future, and I’m no longer afraid to voice my needs, because I recognize that it’s okay for me to have needs and wants, and that compromise and understanding are important to both building and maintaining relationships.
I feel that the DBT has been very important for me to learn, as well, because while it is common sense, I wasn’t using the skill sets efficiently. I find myself using DBT every day to help me move more easily through the unpleasantries of life. I am no longer afraid I don’t have the skills to make the right decisions, but rather can move confidently in the world, equipped with skills to help me move past places of fear, trepidation, or defeat.
The program has meant a lot to me because before coming in, I didn’t feel in “control”. I felt I was doing things not for myself, but for others, and I felt passive in my own life. I didn’t have the emotional energy to enjoy life, and I feel now, through emotional regulation and awareness, that I have regained a sense of excitement looking towards the future. I can live life for me, knowing that wise mind will keep me grounded and centered. I thank you all for reminding me this is possible. I feel very empowered moving forward, and I can easily see now that my time here has been a gift, a gift of helping me rediscover a life worth living. Thank you all so much for helping me rediscover that.