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  • Writer's pictureAlicia Paz

What to Do When Coping Skills Are Not Enough

Let me start by saying that I am a therapist and I teach coping skills for mental wellness. At times, I feel like there is a skill for every situation- and there is. At the same time (a dialectic!) you could know 1,000 skills, be the author of a skills training book and still not find a skill that works for you in the moment. There may be a skill for every situation, but there is no guarantee it's going to work. There is no blame to be placed here. Maybe it's the wrong time, maybe you are struggling to focus, maybe you are sick or maybe this isn't a time to use a skill.

We have likely all had a cold. Maybe you or someone close to you goes to the store and buys you a ton of stuff to make you feel better: cough drops, throat spray, nasal spray, AM meds, PM meds, magazines, a heating pad and a coloring book. You seem to have every tool at your disposal. And yet you still feel like crap! It happens and with mental health issues there are times where every skill fails you (note: you don't fail at the skill.) This is for times when nothing, and I mean nothing is working. This is a skill for when you are at your wits end and maybe feeling at the end.

Call for help!

This might seem simple. We see the retweets of the crisis lines and suicide text lines often on social media. There is now a popular rap song here in the US with it winning major awards. Following Logic's Grammy performance, they got 400 times more calls. In some ways it's everywhere and yet making that call or calling a friend can be so difficult and feel so impossible. There comes a point where the strong feelings you are having are overwhelming and you can't do it alone. Even if it's painful or feels overwhelming please do so. I promise you someone cares. I sure do.

"I want you to be alive,

I want you to be alive,

You don't got to die"

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