Enjoy this post via the Roanne Program for young adults with BPD or BPD traits..
With the holidays fast on their way, you may need to start preparing yourself for your loved one’s yearly travels. Throughout life, there may be many necessary short and long-term travel periods that cause you to be separated. You must adequately prepare yourself for these events to maintain control, despite the sometimes destructive urges and impulsivity that can come with Borderline Personality Disorder symptoms.
Thankfully, you do not have to simply accept feeling hopelessly abandoned every time your loved ones must travel away from your side. You can enact the following strategies to maintain control over your thoughts, feelings and behaviors.
Establish Strong Communication Pathways
To dissuade feelings of abandonment, you can maintain direct contact with your loved one throughout the travel period by using your phone, tablet, or computer. With instant messaging, email, social media sites, Skype, and apps on your side, you may never feel truly alone, despite the actual physical distance from your beloved.
Establish a communication schedule that does not disrupt either party’s planned activities. Periodic texts and a nightly phone call go a long way in reminding you that the distance is temporary and abandonment has not occurred. Between calls or texts, remember to stay accountable for your own feelings by practicing mindfulness and challenging negative thought patterns.
Plan Activities With Other People
You can abate feelings of abandonment by surrounding yourself with friends and loved ones who enjoy your company. Sharing meals and activities with your loved ones can help remind you that you are not alone in this world. Try to look at your beloved’s travel plans as a blessing that allows you to spend more time with friends and family you do not see often enough. Attempt to maintain these restored or strengthened connections after your beloved returns to keep your social circle open and inclusive. By surrounding yourself with a large social circle, you will have plenty of proof that you are not alone or abandoned.
Challenge Internal Dialogue
When your internal dialogue turns negative, the worst thing you can do is believe and reinforce those destructive thought patterns. Harmful thoughts may burst into your mind as soon as your loved one relays his or her travel plans. At that moment, you must take a few minutes for mindfulness to assess how you are feeling. Challenge the internal dialogue both on your own and with help from your loved one or therapist. Have an open dialogue with your beloved to attempt to keep your fear of abandonment in check.
Bringing Out Your Self-Healing Toolkit
The intense fear of abandonment will likely push your Borderline Personality Disorder symptoms into overdrive. Upon hearing travel plans, you will need to work hard to avoid redirecting emotions to a more comfortable subject. Try to write down all of the emotions you feel and correctly link them back to their source.
If you cannot remain rational and work through the emotions on your own, you may need to seek assistance from a center offering intensive treatment specifically for BPD such as the Intensive Outpatient Program ore residential, transitional living. Treatment professionals can help you learn to stay in control of your thoughts, behaviors, and emotions while coping with your loved one’s travels. Once you regain footing, you can use the above strategies to stay in a positive state of mind until your beloved returns once again.
Throughout life, you will have many chances to practice coping with feelings of abandonment when your loved one travels. The earlier you start to build your toolbox of coping techniques, the better you will handle the intense feelings in the future.
How are you coping ahead for a loved one’s departure during the holidays?