Advice from Scarlett

OK. Right now I have three choices. I could scrub the tub, keep working on the taxes – using the handy dandy CCTV that was loaned to me; I might add – or I can write another post. Sounds like a ‘no brainer’ to me!

I mentioned a couple of times that I am a group instructor for Dialectic Behavior Therapy (DBT). I mentioned Distress Tolerance Skills that make up the acronym ACCEPTS. So far I have talked about two of those: activities and comparison (AC of ACCEPTS).

Activities is one of my favorite strategies. I like to keep busy. I have already – only partially tongue in cheek – picked out the inscription for my tombstone. What is it, you ask? “I wasn’t done yet!”

On my tombstone: “I wasn’t done yet!”

Enough said on that. Besides activities and comparisons, there are five more ACCEPTS skills: contribute, (opposite-to) emotion, pushing away, thoughts and sensations (the CEPTS). This website is my idea of contribute. Contribute means doing for others. Get out of yourself and make things better for someone else.

Contribute means doing for others and that’s what this website is for me.

OOOPS. Make that three ACCEPTS strategies I have touched upon. Mea culpa (Latin for “my bad”, a phrase I dislike). We talked a little about opposite-to emotion also. Behavior follows emotion but emotion also follows behavior; remember? If you have an emotion you want to get rid of, do a behavior that you would do if feeling the opposite emotion. In other words, if you are sad, dance. If you are fearful, approach.

Behavior follows emotion but emotion follows behavior.

I like to call pushing away the Scarlett O’Hara skill. Do you remember Gone with the Wind? The crops are burning, the slaves are running away and the Yankees are at the door. Prissy comes to Scarlett with one more problem and what is Scarlett’s reply? “I’ll think about that tomorrow.” Note, she did not say she would never handle the problem. She did not say she was going to ignore the problem. She said she would deal with it tomorrow. That is pushing away. Just put it on the shelf until you can deal with it effectively.

It’s OK sometimes to be like Scarlett O’Hara: “I’ll think about that tomorrow.”

Thoughts are distractions that take the whole mind. Work on a puzzle. Learn a new skill. Get into a fast-moving tennis match. Climb on a high ropes course (being 30 feet off the ground and suspended only by a cable does tend to focus one!). The idea is to need to be so mindful of what you are doing there is no room for worry.

I am not crazy about the S in ACCEPTS, sensations, simply because I am not a big one for pain. Not that the sensation has to be pain, just intense. The idea is akin to something like this: you forget you have a killer migraine because you just bloodied your toe kicking the curb. The throbbing of your foot makes you forget your head. Some people suggest a freezing cold shower or holding ice cubes for the sensation. Whatever you do, it has to be intense enough to move your attention away from the distress. Sort of a shock to the system as it were.

So those are the ACCEPTS skills. They are primarily distraction skills for dealing with a situation that cannot be changed….such as this pesky vision loss thing. I hope they are helpful for you. Use them in good health.

The ACCEPTS skills are primarily distraction skills for dealing with a situation that cannot be changed.

Next: Dear Amazon: A Love Letter

HOME

Ratings

  • Rate this
  • Summary
Current Average Ratings
Overall quality
Avg: 5.00/5
Applies to topic
Avg: 5.00/5
Helpful to me
Avg: 5.00/5
Advice from Scarlett
Total Avg Rating: 5.00 out of 5 with based on 2 rating(s)
Overall quality
Applies to topic
Helpful to me

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.