Joy lies in the fight, in the attempt, in the suffering involved, not in the victory itself

(Ghandi)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Comfort Box


One of the tasks I'm working on this week, as part of my "Understanding Borderline Personality Disorder" workbook, is creating a Comfort Box. The process is very simple, and probably most folks have come across it before, but there's a little article on ehow.com about it here if you want to know more. Basically, I've been asked to create a boxful of stuff to cheer me up and to help with Distress Tolerance (Distracting) -- so that when I feel overwhelmed/ stressed / depressed I can use the items in the box to cheer myself up and distract me until the "difficult emotions" and "unhelpful thoughts" have eased up. You can see most of the items I have in there so far, including a wallmap of the USA with all my trips marked, a couple of books, photos of the cats and dog, a lavender scented soap and a Barbie fake camera which says "You look WONDERFUL" when you press the button! It's cheesy and always makes me smile! I'm still adding to it.

Putting together the box was heaps harder than I thought, and harder than the workbook suggested. They didn't warn me to watch out for trigger items, which of course came to hand faster than comforting items lol. For instance, trying to find a nice stuffed animal that didn't have sad memory attached -- the ones that weren't gifts from Mr Ex were given to me when I was in hospital. Photos were another suggestion, but it took me a while to find some that brought genuine happiness when I saw them, and I had to search through a lot of albums and relive a lot of not-so-happy times and relationships. The real killer was the music, though, as touched on in my last post...

I'm putting together a cheery peppy music CD to put in the comfort toolbox, and I think I've ended up with a great mix. Songs that aren't too angry or negative (sorry Alanis!) but are just kind of happy and upbeat. Mika features, as does Fergie and Madonna, and some offbeat Australian music like Ben Lee, Darren Hanlon and The Cat Empire. I talked to Dr A today about the music thing, and how I have been known to use it as an intentional trigger, to make myself cry and feel when I am too closed down to cope with anything. He says crying suits me and I should do it more often. I think he's aiming for some hot transference action hahahahaha.

6 comments:

Wandering Coyote said...

I've heard of comfort boxes and think they're a great idea! I don't have one, but I can find ways to self soothe and distract by doing various things that cannot go into boxes - like listen to music, read, cuddle my cat, take a bath.

I loved your comment about Alanis! Yeah, she's not exactly cheery/comforting is she? But I love her nonetheless!

Borderline Lil said...

I know what you mean! The only Alanis song I could think of for the cheery tunes CD was Utopia, which I love, and it's positive in word but the tune is so languorous (sp?). As for the comfort box items that can't be "boxed", I'm going to post about that today -- I made a poster of the things I couldn't put in a box but that make me happy. Cats are number one *bless*

The Addict said...

I've never heard of the comfort box and it sounds like a great Idea. I think I'm going to make myself one. I've been having problems lately feeling I'm on the verge of a panic attack. I know to distract myself, which I do, and it goes away. I've been having a lot of old symptoms lately (feeling like I'm on the verge of losing control, feeling like I'm going to choke, having trouble swallowing, screaming in my head . . . regular symptoms I've had before). I need a box with some happiness in it.

Jena said...

The comfort box DOES sound like a good idea!

preciousrock said...

I've never heard of a comfort box, but it sounds like an interesting concept. Most of the things that soothe me and make me happy couldn't fit in a box though. Maybe I'll make a "comfort collage" with photos of all the things that soothe me and make me happy. Or, I guess I could put the photos in a box... I'll get it figured out, I promise :-) PR

preciousrock said...

P.S. Must have been difficult not to put things in that are triggers. Most or many of the things that make me happy or comfort me can also be triggers if I'm in the wrong mood. Hmmmmmmm