I have been in and out of therapy since middle school (yes, middle school). I learned all the cognitive behavioral techniques that would supposedly “cure me” of my soul sucking eating disorder, and everything that came with it, and teach me that my thoughts guide me feelings, which guide my behavior (blah blah blah). For me, just KNOWING what I was feeling, wasn’t enough. I never learned skills to deal with these feelings, and so my eating disorder raged on.
Fifteen years later, I found myself sitting in front of Stevie, my new therapist after moving to NYC. She was telling me to feel my feelings. Not just telling me to feel one feeling at a time, but to feel a few, and to sit with them, and to own them, and to accept them. She taught be the life changing model of DBT. DBT has truly and undoubtedly changed my life, my relationship with food, my body, myself, and the people around me.
I now understand that I can accept reality as it is AND use helpful skills in my everyday life to cope with uncomfortable emotions and look at life in a whole new perspective. DBT not only helped me conquer the seemingly insurmountable terror that was my eating disorder (and everything that came with it), but to learn to live in an imperfect world with distress tolerance and acceptance – which has brought me peace beyond my wildest dreams.