I judge so much that I cannot even enjoy things. I knew this, but it was something that kind of existed in the back of my head. A DBT class was what brought it to the forefront. DBT stands for Dialetical Behavioral Therapy.
“Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a cognitive behavioral treatment developed by Marsha Linehan. It emphasizes individual psychotherapy and group skills training classes to help people learn and use new skills and strategies to develop a life that they experience as worth living. DBT skills include skills for mindfulness, emotion regulation, distress tolerance, and interpersonal effectiveness.”
I took a class on this in high school when I was diagnosed with Borderline. I don’t disagree with that assessment, though I have a lot of feelings about the subject. A better diagnosis is “trauma.” Or, “on the autism spectrum with trauma and a lack of coping and life skills.” Anyway. If you know me, which few people do, you know that I definitely needed a brush-up.
Judging happens the worst when I am unhappy with myself. I realized this today when I was walking. I was listening to music I’d never heard before on Spotify on my phone. I was so wrapped up in judging whether I thought the music was “good” that I realized I wasn’t really hearing it. Worse, I realized that when music is “good” I feel sad, because I am jealous I didn’t create it. The same goes for writing. Where I used to find inspiration, I find reminder that I am not creating up to my own standards.
People ask me if I have been writing, and I say no. This is because I do not have a novel or project that I am working on diligently and passionately. I write every single day, in my journal for starters, and I also start and abandon short pieces on Word several times a week. This is how writing works—how anything works. You stick with it, you keep doing it, even when it isn’t perfect. Even when you don’t feel great about it for a while. Instead of appreciating and celebrating my tenacity, I beat myself up.
The same goes for art and music. I draw almost daily. I play my guitar several times a week. But because I’m not recording anything — again, this isn’t true, I experiment with recordings all the time and even keep them. I’m just not satisfied– or because I’ve never been displayed in a gallery, I discount it.
Writing in a way removes me from my experience. Right now for instance, I am drinking chamomille tea. There is Indian fusion music playing. I am in a dimly lit café, sitting alone on a floral couch. The mug I sip from if floral patterned as well. I like this café, because the aesthetics calm me. I would like to have a house that feels this way eventually. It all sounds quite romantic when I write about it. I want to experience my life more that way. When I’m living, I am largely bored and unhappy.
Anyway. This is one of my main goals of DBT, and that is what I think I will be writing more about in the coming weeks. My journey to “experiencing a life worth living.” It’s funny that I haven’t prioritized that. I’m a little afraid that I will lose my impetuous to create art. But seeing as I am already unhappy with that, I can’t see where there is anything to lose.