What to do when you are in crisis

Yikes..emotional crisis. I feel like I am in a crisis even though everything seems to be going well on the surface. I had a recent fall out with my boss on a personal issue, realized that she was not a friend and will never be. It is devastating but it is the reality.

I still have to work for her and life must go on. I can’t afford to lose what I have worked so far because of how I feel. I came to the realization that these feelings are all coming from my traumatic childhood experiences. It is not about my current situation.

This is how anxious I am:

I dreamed about my boss and it is really disturbing. I am bullied in my dreams. I am trying to keep myself together and pull myself out of this crisis situation that I created. My therapist said..you can pull yourself out of this! It is you…you have the power!

I am embarrassed that I cried in the office, feeling so ashamed of myself. Logically, I am not at fault. Sure, I overreacted because I am a very emotional person but this should have never gotten to this extent if she was a friend.. I was very upset about the situation, this huge realization that someone I thought was a concerned friend…just was not a friend.

It is very upsetting but it is not anybody’s responsibility to sooth myself. I am not a child. When I was a child, nobody soothed me so I probably didn’t learn how to self-sooth properly but I can learn that now. It is not too late. What does it mean to self-soothe?

You have to effectively calm yourself down even when you feel like you are having a crisis..a lot of people know how to calm themselves naturally because their mothers soothed them when they were children. These are learned skills and if you suffer from BPD, tell yourself that it is never too late to learn how to soothe yourself..now. Take care of yourself and it is ok to feel like you are in a crisis.

-Know that no matter how crazy you feel, this is a temporary feeling. Emotional upheaval will be temporary. It is going to be ok.

-Do what makes you comfortable. ex) a hot bath, bubble bath, take a walk, call your friend, therapist, play your favorite soothing music, take a deep breath, listen to guided meditation, watch a funny movie, remove yourself from an upsetting situation immediately (if you can)

-No matter how tempted you feel to confront the person who is upsetting you, don’t. You can write a letter but don’t send it to the person. Wait until you calm down before doing something. 

If you suffer from BPD, you may be tempted to just look for immediate relief..you may confront the person, repeatedly call your boyfriend, cutting, substance abuse, destructive behavior..But remember that these things will just exacerbate your emotional distress and it will make your situation worse.

So…STOP your negative thoughts. Immediately start your coping skills…..calm your mind…deep breathing..

You may feel so overwhelmed and distressed because of your overwhelming feelings but keep telling your mind..use your wise mind and tell yourself it is TEMPORARY. It will pass.

Your focus should be to de-escalate your overwhelming emotions. Detach yourself emotionally and bring your attention back to this present moment, breathing…no matter what is going on right now, your overwhelming anxieties, anger and distress will pass..and things will get better as you place your focus on yourself—NOT OTHER PEOPLE.

Remember? You have control over yourself, your reactions ONLY. You cannot control other people.

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