Coping With The Unknown And Life's Curveballs

Without getting into a load of medical details, I underwent an MRI today.  It came back with some abnormalities, which I learned via an email this evening from my neurologist. I need to go to the lab tomorrow for blood work and then possibly a lumbar puncture the following week.

When I saw the email from the doctor, my initial reaction was interesting. Part of me, perhaps the "jolted nervous system" part, freaked out. I began crying. I was breathing more rapidly. My heart was racing. Essentially, I was having an anxiety or panic attack.

There was another part of me, though, that was present as well.  It was the part who has been diligently reflecting on, learning, and applying DBT skills for over two and a half years. In this moment, that part is winning out.

One of the first things I did after reaching out to my significant other and mother was take to Facebook and Twitter to ask for some peer support, as I felt quite dysregulated emotionally. This was positive self-care. 

Over at Facebook and Twitter, my dear readers' suggestions, including many DBT skills, helped me to calm, slow down, and shift into Wise Mind. (Thank you ALL for that. The fact that you took the time meant a great deal to me. It mattered, AND, it did make a difference.)

One of my dear Twitter BPD Friends, Jess, told me that she had the same experience and that it turned out to be just calcium deposits.  I'm hoping my case is just as benign.

Almost ALL of you encouraged me to stick with my gut which is to stay away from self-diagnosis with the internet (though I confess it was my immediate impulse).

If you'd like to read a brief post on My Daily DBT about which skills I'll be using tonight to cope, click here.

I guess I was really thrown a curveball today. I honestly expected this to be yet another medical exam where I would be told it's "all in my head" in the psychological sense.  I'm hoping for the best and that it's nothing serious.

Stay skillful, and I'm working on doing the same.

Thanks for reading.
More Soon.


  1. This is one of those things that would surprise and dramatically upset a person without any kind of disorder, so the fact that you have survived it in tact and skillfully just shows why you are the amazing person that you are, and why we all love reading your books, blogs, and projects - because you are a very wise soul.

    If and when you are told that the abnormalities can be chalked up to general wear and tear, and calcium deposits, you are more than welcome to use the explanations I did - which is that I think lots and also chocolate is my favourite :)

    I know it is super annoying and difficult waiting for them to process everything, but afterwards I was able to feel much more peaceful knowing I'd had everything checked out and cleared for the foreseeable future, and I think you will appreciate that too. It will just take a few days of being skillful, staying strong, and LOADS of self-soothing (chocolate!) which you are definitely capable and deserving of.

    Love, Jess xoxoxox

    PS I would however recommend not doing what I did at my consult, which was to ask "And also can you now show me where my crazinesses are?" because doctors do not always have good senses of humour! :P Just a tip! ;)

  2. I'm very proud of you Debbie! I know I wouldn't have been able to go to the Wise Mind first. I definitely would have panicked and as you mentioned about not self diagnosing via the internet. I know I would have done each and every one of those. :).

    Remember to take good care of you! You are worth it!

    Hugs, Sharon

  3. i hope everything is o.k.,that is SOOOOOOOOO LIFE!! GRRR! I'm sure its not a big deal, your doctor just wants to be cautious. But have a wonderful Christmas and New Year. love love your blog!



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