An Off Day: Using DBT Skills When You Feel Weird

Today pretty much felt "off" from the get go.  I kept finding myself staring into space, feeling disconnected, and with a flat affect (no expression on my face).  I wasn't thinking about anything in particular. It was such a peculiar state and feeling.

When I got to work, I noticed the feeling manifest itself in the form of insecurity.  My work fluctuates from being very busy to having hardly anything to do. Today was a slow day, and one these days I tend to get anxious. I want to "look busy" in case my boss or co-worker walks through my work area or flat out asks what I am doing.

I decided that perhaps I should be proactive and let some staff members know that I am available for busy work when my work load is light.  I did so, and when I didn't receive the thankful reaction and offers of work that I hoped for, I felt awkward and insecure.  I wished I hadn't volunteered.  I immediately and intensely worried that they would think I had nothing to do, ever. I worried that they would think I was useless and disposable.  I noticed that this was black or white, all or nothing thinking, and most people don't think this way.  They probably were not thinking that....but I worried that they might be.

Image Credit

My stomach felt a bit upset - perhaps a mix of something physical along with the anxiety that I was experiencing.  I took care of myself by making sure that I ate (even though I didn't feel like it) and drank water.  I treated myself to a couple of pieces of hard butterscotch candy to improve the moment and self-soothe.

I also tweeted some thoughts I had that I was using to regain my Wise Mind:

My Twitter is HealingFromBPD

I left work early and headed home.  I didn't feel like doing any of my errands, but I chose to do two of them. The others were not time sensitive and could wait until tomorrow. 

When I got home, all I wanted to do was pull the covers back on the bed and lay down.  It's not as if anything catastrophic would happen if I had done that, but I noticed that doing so would give in to the feelings I was experiencing that I did not want to experience: sadness and fear which cause us to want to withdraw or hide. 

The best option for me was opposite action.  I decided that feeling sad and fearful is not truly justified today.  Nothing was happening that seriously threatened my health, well-being, or safety.  I was just having some insecure moments, and that's very human.  I can deal with that and remind myself that this too shall pass. This day will pass as well, and there will be a new one tomorrow.

I'm about to focus on making dinner, playing with my cats, spending time with my boyfriend, and watching some good TV (funny shows for opposite action) - all great distractions as well as pleasant life activities.  

Just because we have an "off" day doesn't mean that we are nuts or that all is lost.  It doesn't mean there is anything wrong with us.  It's how we react to such a moody, off day that differentiates whether we will grow in our emotional healing or end up in crisis mode.  I choose to grow.

Thank you for reading.
More Soon.

I've bolded the DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills) that I used today to get through.


  1. I have days like this all the time.At the moment I can make my own schedule but I still have days where I just feel overwhelmed with anxiety and insecurities.Opposite reaction has worked for me at times where I have actually pushed myself but I don't always do it sometimes the emotion I'm feeling is so overwhelming I give in.I think that it just takes time and work.

    1. Thank you for letting me know that you can relate! ♥

  2. I really enjoy yours posts as I'm currently doing DBT works also....its like having a study buddy! Sounds like you are doing well and have quite a handle on the emotions and the techniques...I'm finding them very valuable but tend to pull them out more in a crisis than a lifestyle. The trick for me is to employ them continually and not just when I'm already gone.

    Thanks for putting this out there and I love how you integrate the highlighted words...

    1. Hello DBT buddy! :) Thank you, and I am glad you are able to attend groups/classes as well. At first, I only applied the skills to crises as well, but over time, I realized that life was easier using them...and they became a natural part of my life. Be encouraged! ♥

  3. I am so thankful for this site. I have a boss who has a really strong personality and she is very critical. It triggers a wound in me from my childhood. When I talk to her its like I become insecure and like a child. Its really weird.

    1. I'm so glad you found your way over here, too. ♥



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