My Experience With DBT
A little over a year ago I hit the lowest point in my life. I’ve hit many lows over the years; however, I had a wakeup call last year that made me realize I wanted to make major changes in my life to heal and grow as a person. I was advised to join a DBT group, and was skeptical about how it could benefit me, and anxious about having to interact in a group. I’ve been through many therapists and many forms of therapy and felt hopeless that there would ever be anything out there that could help me.
I felt sick to my stomach with anxiety on my way to my first group and my mind was racing with every possible “what if” scenario of how things could go horribly wrong. It wasn’t until my group leader mentioned the ultimate goal of DBT, that my anxiety lessened, and my interest peaked.
“Build a life a life worth living” was the phrase she said out loud as she wrote it on the board in front of me. I remember how much that resonated with me, and how that phrase still inspires me today as I use the skills I’ve learned. Every week since that first group I’d come out feeling motivated and like I had all of this power in my hands to change the things in my life that had dragged me down to such a low point.
I not only learned skills that actually helped me in each individual area of my life, but I also learned a lot about myself and how my mind works, and why each skill was beneficial and effective. I also learned how to be vulnerable in a group setting with the support I received, and how to make others feel comfortable and supported being vulnerable too.
Before beginning DBT I felt lost in my life. I had no sense of direction or purpose. I was 21 years old and not working, or going to school, or going out with or making friends. Instead I was spending my days drowning in emotional turmoil and feeling unable to cope.
I am now working, have had a boyfriend of 9 months I am saving up to move in with, and planning for the future with, and I started classes this fall with the intention of majoring in Social Work so I can one day help others like me with the knowledge I’ve gained. DBT has changed my life in ways I never thought possible and has given me control over the things that once knocked me down. I will continue to use the skills I learned for the rest of my life and enjoy teaching them to my family, friends, and boyfriend to help them as well in their lives.
Even though I had many doubts about starting DBT and felt hopeless that it could ever help me, I’m grateful that I pushed through because it saved my life.
Learn more about DBT here.