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Hey Robocat.

I am new here but I hope I can offer you some insight that may ease the pain you're experiencing. :)

[B]Firstly - I'll start by saying that you, yourself - have given the [U](practical)[/U] answer to your own question. :)[/B]

1.) At the end of your post - you state that you are feeling lost, alone and are asking for advice - with how best: to deal with your therapist's temporary absence...


2.) At the beginning of your post - you state that you're coming back to your bad habits as a result - like:

- Not eating
- Having a hard time getting up
- Sleeping too much
- Not keeping busy enough
- Thinking too much (pondering on negative thoughts)

3.) From what I can tell - you already have the answer to how you can - BEST - deal with the absence of your therapist. These three things are within your control, (although hard to do on your own) those things are:

- Eat
- Sleep
- Keep active

Now if only things were that easy!

Those three simple steps may indeed be the [U][B]practical [/B][/U]way to battle your thoughts, emotions and behavior - but in reality - both Yourself and I - along with any other BPD sufferers - know it is never that easy. It's almost as though our [U][B]emotions [/B][/U]override any practical methods of dealing with the situation and therefore, result in unrestrained behavior.

Therefore, (my advice below) :)

I know how you feel - as I have been in the exact same situation with my therapist several times. All I can offer is some insight into what I did, share some things from therapy and I hope it helps.

We all have:

- Thoughts
- Emotions
- Behaviors

Let's just say that thoughts come first, followed by emotions and behaviors. In saying this - I mean that thoughts influence our emotions and behaviors - in that - we can not have emotions or behavior without thoughts. (rationally)

I learned early on that with my Borderline PD, I would continue to make mistakes and have episodes of negative thoughts, emotions and behaviors. Unfortunately it comes with the BPD territory... In accepting this truth, (and it is just that - a ton of acceptance) I allowed myself the privilege to feel my abandonment - without feeling guilty about it. It isn't wrong to feel emotions, whether they are rational or not - what IS wrong is if and when we deprive ourselves from feeling whatever emotions we have - and blame ourselves for having them... (Even if and when they are rational or not) In saying this - I merely felt that trying and failing at making myself feel better is not the same as not trying and failing: since those negative thoughts, emotions and behaviors would most definitely occur if I didn't do anything - what's to lose by trying to change something with the possibility of making things better for myself?

Anyways, I realized that out of my thoughts, emotions and behavior - I could first and foremost make changes in my life - by learning to influence my thoughts in an attempt to clear up some of the more negative ones invading my mind. As a result, it would take aim at altering my emotions and behaviors.

My therapist told me once - that when I am in a Borderline crisis - I should: [B]"do the opposite of what I [U]feel [/U]like doing."[/B] (Being that I always felt like taking the [B]immediate form of comfort[/B], (climbing back into bed and avoiding life) versus taking the [B]long term form of comfort[/B] (getting out of bed and doing something to keep my mind busy). As hard as it was to realize my coping mechanisms were doing me harm - I praise that advice and still use it when I am in a crisis mode, as the long term form of comfort almost always results in the most comfort - despite my longing for immediate pleasure.

Think of if this way - when we are in a borderline moment - nothing else matters but saving ourselves from abandonment. Our thoughts are (most times) irrational - so whatever we [B]feel [/B]like doing: is limited and controlled by our initial irrational thoughts and fears of abandonment. [B]What can come of irrational thoughts?? -- More irrational emotions and behaviors... [/B]

One who has Borderline PD should focus on, [B]"climatizing,"[/B] oneself - for all kinds of weather. Just because your therapist may only be gone for two weeks this time - does not mean your therapist will not be gone for two months next time. In saying this - I felt guilty for taking measures to protect myself from a relationship I feared would end in my being abandoned. I saw it as an abandonment of sorts on my part, that I should be, [B]"preparing for the worst,"[/B] when it was I who was so fearful of being abandoned to begin with. But each time your therapist leaves - look at it as an opportunity for growth - in that you can learn to, "climatize," yourself for future blips on the weather radar. It's important to think that way. [B]Build up your resiliency whenever you can - so that when the storm comes - you will have more control over your thoughts, emotions and behavior. [/B]

We with Borderline often feel the need to do something - sometimes we do and we make matters worse - rarely does our attempt to 'save' a relationship make things better... But when we can't do anything because that person is out of touch (on vacation), we only have so much (within our immediate control) to work with. All we have is our own thoughts, emotions and behaviors. The trick is to master those three things with self-acceptance, self-awareness, practice and self-discipline.

If we simply - [B]postponed our behavior[/B] - (granted that we feel negative thoughts and emotions - BUT - choose to cease from preventing real or imagined abandonment) until our loved ones return, things would ironically result in a better outcome.

When I couldn't sleep because my mind was ruminating about my therapist, I would get up and do something. I would not sit and ruminate further. What is the point? By forcing myself to stay in a borderline rumination - I was risking further negative emotions and behaviors. What else could possibly come from negative rumination? I had control over the situation from the beginning because all I had to do was - get up, get out - and not ruminate by trying to sleep with the negative thoughts going on in my head at 50000000 billion kilometers an hour.

So my question for you is: What CAN you do RIGHT now, at THIS moment in time? Can you communicate with your therapist? No, you cannot. Do yourself a favor and try not to put ANY energy into that - because there is absolutely nothing you can do about it until your therapist is back from his/her (temporary) vacation. [B]Save yourself, from yourself. :)[/B]

Just know that the time WILL come when your therapist is back, and things are good between you two.

All in all - my advice to you is:

"Promote Pleasure, Prevent Pain. Know you'll surely experience further pain. But if you do nothing to control your thoughts, emotions and behavior - you'll have very little to gain."

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