Willfulness is …

Willfulness is SITTING ON YOUR HANDS when action is needed, refusing to make changes that are needed.

Willfulness is GIVING UP.

Willfulness is the OPPOSITE OF “DOING WHAT WORKS,” being effective.

Willfulness is trying to FIX every situation.

Willfulness is REFUSING TO TOLERATE the moment.


Taken from the DBT Self-Help Website.  I believe it was Karl Menninger that wrote that particular bit, but am not certain.  

I love DBT and it has loved me back, for the most part.  DBT has been better to me than I have been to it, though, that’s for sure.  Dearest DBT, I haven’t always been true.  I haven’t always been mindful or effective and Lord knows I haven’t always tried my hardest.

DBT has a saying that I have posted about before…”You are doing the best you can, and you can do better.”  When I first started DBT, I thought that was crap and it drove me crazy when the leaders would say it.  But, it is genuinely believed!  And now, I’m on that wagon, too.  I can see that I am truly doing the best I can, and yet I do try to do a little bit better every day.

It took me forever to start a post today, because everything that flew out of my fingers came across as super-negative, whiny, and selfish.  Now, deep down I know I am not any of those things so I wanted to come up with something a liittle better.  I thought about the past week and what I really wanted to say, and it came to me:  I have been the the epitome of willfulness over the last five days!

(Hence the quote.  You may have thought I would never get around to my point.  Glad you stuck around!)  😀

I had recently posted about DSB’s medical problems and about how I wasn’t letting that stress get to me.  Well, I’ve been letting it get to me lately.  I  have been snappy and mean and, on top of that, defensive about my snappy meanness.  I have been taking out my worry and anger and frustration on the people I love most, the people that least deserve it, and the person that needs my support the most.  I haven’t been fair.  At all.

I am not sitting with my feelings and letting them go.  I am holding on, letting them bother me and fill me with negativity.  I am not tolerating the moment.  I am fighting, fighting, fighting.

I once had a therapist who told me the following…

Depression is like being lost at sea.  If you learn to float, you live. If you struggle, you drown.

There are variations on the saying, but you get the idea.  When we struggle with our emotions, bad things happen.  When we learn to float with, to tolerate them, we get better and good things happen.  

As DBT teaches us, sitting on our hands and doing nothing when change is needed is willfulness.  I have been doing a lot of sitting on my hands.  I need to change my outlook on the struggles that DSB and I share.  Instead of arguing and fighting, I need to love and give comfort.  I need to change my ways and get back to bettering myself instead of being in a “slow suicide” mode, as DSB calls it.  I am living a completely unhealthy lifestyle.  Smoking, bingeing constantly, no exercise, and so on.  I want to live to see at least 90, and at the rate I’m going, that’s not going to happen.  I need to get off my hands and make that change.

I could really go on and on about willfulness.  Let there be a Part II to come!


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