Tag Archives: DBT

Number twelve is the loveliest …

Twelve is such a great number isn’t it? Twelve steps of AA, twelve months on the calendar, twelve in a dozen, and then there are the twelve quotes for writers.

We’ll get to that.

So, I’m done screaming now, which is good, and I guess I’m moving on (I had a good appointment with my therapist in other words, lol).

This month was supposed to be my Nano Camp (July) but I have allowed life (including a colonoscopy) to distract me. I hardly did my DBT homework either. So there is one month almost gone, never to be seen again  😦  I’m sure the time is not wasted, but it feels like it is!

So anyway – I guess reading these writing quotes is one way to be inspired to write. Of course, inspiration is NOT THE SAME AS ACTUALLY WRITING, Kathleen! But when I do write it is like my depression doesn’t exist. My low self-esteem doesn’t exist. I feel like a worthwhile person, and like all the time I waste (read: disabled) doesn’t matter; I write, therefore I am! I am a worthwhile person! My life is not a waste! And my mental illness doesn’t matter. I don’t know how or why that is, and I don’t know why that isn’t more of a motivation to actually write … but anyway… here are the quotes, by “The Literacy Site

“Reading and writing, like everything else, improve with practice. And, of course, if there are no young readers and writers, there will shortly be no older ones. Literacy will be dead, and democracy–which many believe goes hand in hand with it–will be dead as well.”

-Margaret Atwood

“The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe.”

-Gustave Flaubert

“Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go.”

-E.L. Doctorow

“To me, the greatest pleasure of writing is not what it’s about, but the inner music that words make.”

-Truman Capote

“Two hours of writing fiction leaves this writer completely drained. For these two hours he has been in a different place with totally different people.”

-Roald Dahl

“Writing, to me, is simply thinking through my fingers.”

-Isaac Asimov

“Writing is an extreme privilege but it’s also a gift. It’s a gift to yourself and it’s a gift of giving a story to someone.”

-Amy Tan

“The most difficult and complicated part of the writing process is the beginning.”

-A.B. Yehoshua

“I believe that writing is derivative. I think good writing comes from good reading.”

-Charles Kuralt

“Whether you’re keeping a journal or writing as a meditation, it’s the same thing. What’s important is that  you’re having a relationship with your mind.”

-Natalie Goldberg

“Your writing voice is the deepest possible reflection of who you are. The job of your voice is not to seduce or flatter or make well-shaped sentences. In your voice, your readers should be able to hear the contents of your mind, your heart, your soul.”

-Meg Rosoff

Read more at http://blog.theliteracysite.com/quotes-about-writing/#mjgs3ajHYUEwYjDf.99



When you’re depressed, “Luscious” is probably very low on your list of vocabulary words. But that’s what happened to me today!

Lemme ‘splain.

I was able to find freedom from my depression “just for today” by following the urge to do something, instead of just thinking about the effort it would take to do it.

Last night I started thinking about making one of my specialty cakes, and this morning I decided to do it! But there was a lot more to it than baking. For one thing, I had to go out in public and buy the ingredients! But, I was motivated! Because on occasion I give in to some sage advice that I’ve heard along the way:
“Life is uncertain – eat dessert first!

Needless to say, that means that Yes! I like cake! Are you kidding??

As I said in my previous post today, I have a habit of avoiding the holidays. But with the urge to bake something, I thought, it can’t hurt, and it might help! Not to mention, YUM!

A long time ago, one of our long-standing family recipes went missing, but lo and behold, apparently it was stolen by several cooks on the internet, and slightly varied so as to disguise it. But I am smart. Very smart to figure it out. And so, without further ado, I bring you — Hawaiian Dream Cake!

This recipe is almost guaranteed to earn you some ooh’s and ah’s! You will need:

  • 1 package yellow cake mix
  • 1 -20oz can of crushed pineapple, drained (Make sure that you reserve the juice and put it aside!)
  • 1 -8 oz package of cream cheese
  • 1 -3 oz package of instant vanilla pudding
  • 1 cup of cold milk
  • 1 -9 oz. container of whipped topping
  • nuts (optional)
  • coconut (optional)

Preparation (the basics)

  1. Prepare cake mix according to package directions, using the reserved pineapple juice. Add water, if necessary, to equal the amount of liquid called for in the directions. Bake as directed on the box (I use a 13×9 pan). Cool in pan (about 1.5 hours), set aside.
  2. Once it is cool, in a large bowl blend together softened cream cheese, pudding mix, and the milk until smooth. Fold in the well-drained pineapple, and spread the mixture over the top of the cake. Cover with whipped topping (unfrozen!), and sprinkle with nuts and coconut. Refrigerate.

Preparation (therapeutic style)

I noticed that while I was draining the pineapple I felt like a little kid “playing in the water.” There are several D.B.T. (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy) skills that this involves. And so, “playing in the water” becomes a very adult thing to do. Well, let’s just say that it does. The neat thing about it is, no one is going to yell at you while you’re playing!

I know it sounds silly, but trust me, you can have fun while you bake! Just forget yourself and play!

So – cake all mixed up and poured into the pan, baking, and soon smelling dee-vine! Mm mm mm! Notice the sensations you are having – smell, sight, texture, and soooon – taste!

Once it’s cooled for 10 minutes, you have the option of taking the cake out of the pan to be frosted, or you can leave it in the pan, because it is quite messy to serve, and it also stands pretty high once it’s all dressed up.

One of the things I decided to do with the cake was divvy it up into portions for a couple of friends of mine. You know those plastic serving containers with lids you can buy at the supermarket? I bought some smaller square ones, and I used them upside down so that the lid became the platter, and the bottom became the cover.

But you can choose whatever size suits the occasion – individual sizes, or pot-luck-supper sizes. Don’t forget to write your name in permanent marker on both parts of your container if you don’t want to, ahem, “lose” them afterward.

O-tay! After the cake has cooled for about an hour, I’ve brought the cool whip and the cream cheese out of the fridge to defrost and soften. Once they have, and the cake has cooled enough, I mixed the “frosting,” which consists of the drained pineapple, cream cheese, milk, and pudding mix. Can you think of different DBT skills you can use while you are mixing the frosting? Me neither. I’m too busy salivating.

Supposedly there is a chocolate version of this cake that you can make. Now, I love chocolate. I can see using chocolate cake, and a frosting of cream cheese with chocolate pudding and milk. Maybe? You could use the whipped topping on top, or you could double how much of the chocolate frosting you make so you could … wait, I’m getting ahead of myself (wipes mouth on sleeve).

So, back to our original. After the frosting, add a generous layer of the whipped topping. Hopefully after mixing up the “frosting,” I’ll have made a gooey mess of the spoons and bowls and mixers so I can, um, take care of them (yum). Again, this is therapeutic only, using certain of the DBT skills you may have learned in class. If not, I’ve given you a free lesson in self-soothing, distraction, grounding, and whatever else skill you want to use. I think you could probably use all of the skills in the book, if you had enough frosting. Then again, you could remedy the not-enough situation quite easily if you wanted needed to.

Finally, we add the washed and dried berries and dress the top of the cake. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to make it like an American flag (after all, that is the point of the whole thing), but by this point I’ve pretty much run out of steam, so I will randomly throw the berries on to the cake. I suppose you could also add a sparkler or two.

You can make this cake for many holidays and occasions, using colored sugar, candies, pretzels (yes, I used pretzels for Easter one year, making a cross on the cake), or whatever you like. You can color the coconut …

OH! I almost forgot the coconut!

And you can use nuts…just be careful if you are going to a group activity because many people seem to have developed allergies to nuts. Maybe you could put them on the side in a little container.

One year I used red and green colored sugar for Christmas, and added maraschino cherries (make sure you’ve dried them well!). In this photo you can’t see the red sugar very well, but it’s there. Sorry it’s kind of messy. I must have been in a hurry.

One Christmas, on one side of the cake I put nuts and coconut, and on the other side no nuts or coconut, so that my guests could choose their preference. Again, I used a pretzel – one of those big giant ones – to separate the two sides.

Pretzels actually taste GOOD with “frosting” etc. Sweet and salty. It’s not so odd. You take care of two cravings at once. One of my sister-in-laws serves cake and ice cream with chips. Now it is almost “normal” for me to have them all together.

Do you get the idea? This is what I mean by playing.  🙂 Use your imagination! You can even use food coloring in the whipped topping if you want!

Et Voilà! Ze cake, ze cake!

I kind of ran out of steam here, so the berries are scattered, and I messed up on portioning pieces of cake first. But – whatever. It





The bottom line here, friends, is this  … This is not just about baking, or eating, or my voracious appetite because of my stupid meds. If you get an urge to do something, there is a possibility it will get you out of that brown funk (never mind the blues!). When you’re depressed and you don’t want to do anything … do SOMEthing! It will make you feel better, and if you share the results, it will bless others! A win, win, win, and we aren’t talking Charlie Sheen!

Why did I say win 3 times? 1. You are less depressed, 2. You get to bless others, and 3. The best win? You get to eat cake! 🙂

Tha-RILLED today… :)

Tha-RILLED today.

Now as I typed that, I had a picture of Jo Anne Worley

saying that in my head. Anyone remember her? Sign in please! I bet she would be thrilled to still be remembered. Anyway…

Tha-RILLED! Why?

Well, I set 5 goals for today, and, I achieved them. Got right up from my rump shaped seat and did ’em.

  1. Did the dishes.
  2. Took a shower.
  3. Wrote. Yes, technically had to return to my rump-shaped seat but you know what I mean…
  4. Did DBT homework.
  5. Talked to God

Now looking at that list, it doesn’t look like a whole heck of a lot. But let me show you the list had I not set goals.


Yes, that’s right. None of those things would have gotten done. Sure I would have fed my face, peed (see a previous post), played on Facebook. But seriously, that’s all I would have accomplished.

I’m excited. I could do this every day. Maybe make a new program for myself entitled “set 5 goals.” Wouldn’t that be great?

So why don’t I just stop there?

Because in my mind, it’s never good enough. If I can accomplish 5 goals a day, why not make it 6? Or 10?

And you all know what comes next.

Ahhhh I can’t do it. Why try. I’m no good anyway. It won’t last. And on and on ad infinitum.

Now why do I do that to myself?

Why can’t I just be tha-RILLED for having a good day?

So, back up, Kat. Take a deep breath. Look at that pretty, empty sink. Look at that marvelous word count. Realize that every time you practice DBT you are building skills to help you have the nice, full, rich, delicious life that you deserve to have. Regardless of the fact that you’re 56 years old. Don’t go there. Just breathe, and appreciate.