Now that the gold dust from New Years has settled, the party is over. 2021 has begun! What a bash! You may even have some lingering guests? What’s up with that, you say? You had a COVID-safe guest free evening? Oh, but there WERE guests. Let me explain.
In 2012, I participated in DBT, or Dialectical Behavior Therapy. It’s a common treatment for Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). That was my diagnosis at the time. We would later learn it was a misdiagnosis. Despite that, I did learn some good coping skills and tricks, including this “party guest” idea. We were taught to invite and welcome each emotion as if it were a guest at a party. After acknowledging them, the next step is to ask these emotions, or guests, to leave. Let’s check in with our guests now, validate them, and then see them to the door
Anxiety – Coat Checker. You did an awesome job, really you did, even though you were stressed out. You hung up or laid out each guest’s garment with caution and care. When the party got a little much for you, you snuck off to a corner and cuddled up in a cardigan or two or hid in a puffy parka. At the end though, you made sure every coat went home with its rightful owner. You can do this in your own life too. Lay low when things get tough. Grab your softest blankie and relax. Now, it’s time to go. Thanks for coming!
Anger – You were a dynamite DJ. The keeper of all things musical: albums, CDs, laptop playlists. Even though you have a lot of rage and sometimes want to smash stuff, you kept the dance floor hopping and free from any debris. Your song selections were intense! It is okay to smash stuff if you need to sometimes. You can do that at home with old plates, glasses– safely with the proper gear. Check out smash therapy online. Punching pillows also work. For now, though, you gotta go. Happy 2021!!!
Sadness– You rocked it, or shall we say, on the rocked it as the bartender! Bad party humor. Your kindness really shone through consoling guests who have had a really tough year. I noticed you were a bit misty eyed. However, you mustn’t live in a state of despair. You got this. I must ask you to leave now, but I’m sure you will visit again.
Joy – You were the life of the party! Diva!!! The enchanting banter, quick wit, hostess with the mostess, that was you! Even though you were all these things and more, I must bid you farewell, too. No one can possibly keep up this state of being all the time, even you. Please stop by, but call first though, okay? I am not much for surprise drop-ins, even pleasant ones.
Self-doubt – Name tags were a neat idea, and you did a wonderful job handing them out. I know it was difficult for you when you didn’t get the compliments and conversation you craved. You must remember self-worth comes from the inside. It is natural to seek external praise, however you must be your biggest fan. Hope to see you again soon. I hope you know you are loved.
So, our guests have now left us to clean confetti out of our carpets. We had a good time with each of them bidding farewell to 2020. Each emotion is valid and welcome. Remember that the next time someone tells you that you shouldn’t feel a certain way. That’s crap. It’s your party. You can cry if you want to. Great song. Even better message.