• Jeff Brenneman

A Little Bit Messy

I told myself that I would begin sitting down 3x per week to write something about DBT or DBT skills. I used ‘turning the mind’ (an acceptance skill) about 10 minutes ago to decide between writing something or playing a game on my phone.

I noticed an urge to pull out my phone and I also noticed a thought that it would be helpful to start the week writing. I’d have a little piece of accomplishment (building mastery) instead of the possibility of regret that I gave into the urge to avoid. So far, so good.

And now I’m sitting here feeling pressure to write something about a skill and I can’t decide which one and I’m stuck in indecision.



There are a bunch of DBT skills. And my mind is churning. What if I pick a skill and share something that nobody likes? What if I write something that no one identifies with? What if I share too much of myself and then I feel more exposed than I’m okay with? And on and on. Maybe you have times that are similar, where you are stuck in a cycle of rumination and then do nothing. Maybe that pattern of thinking leads you to do something desperate to try to change the way all of that thinking causes you to feel.


I’m actually using several skills as I try to write something coherent here. One is mindfulness. I am observing and describing (two of the “what” mindfulness skills) what is happening inside me. To put the words into this computer I have to participate (the 3rd ‘what’ skill). I have to use ‘nonjudgmental stance’ in order to get separated from the thoughts and put them down here. I’m bringing myself back to writing over and over because my mind is still struggling to focus.


I’m also noticing that I’m using pieces of radical acceptance. I keep bringing my attention back and recognizing that I am writing a blog post as well as I can. Each time the thought, “this is not good enough, you should just delete it,” pops up, I’m recognizing the urge to delete and making the decision to come back to it and keep going.


So, there you have it. It may be a mess. It sort of ‘feels’ like a mess (that’s a judgment and not a feeling.) And it’s honest and took more work on my part than I really want to admit. And I’m going to post it, because that is ‘opposite to emotion’ action. I notice that I am a little afraid to post this and it’s not dangerous in any real way to me, so I’ll walk into the fear (which is unjustified in this case) and just put it out there.


Thanks for reading. Feel free to comment. Unless it’s to criticize. Not today, another day you can criticize.

Check out our bite size skills videos here (go to the bottom of the page on the right)


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