25 October 2009

Outpatient Therapy, Day 1, Wednesday, 21 October, 0815



Today was my first day attending the outpatient program that was a condition of my release. I had to come in early today to fill out yet another round of paperwork. Afterwards, I walked into this room filled with strangers, one of whom had been discharged the second day I was in the hospital. She tried to make “nice” with me, but I essentially just blew her off. There were two piles of papers on the table one of which was a daily check-in sheet I had to fill out (only to find out soon enough that I was to “share” that information with the group, then turn it in…groan). Geez, it was like being back in the hospital all over again. Oh yeah, there were even these oh so cute neon yellow name tags that we’re all supposed to wear each time. I toyed with the idea of writing “Jane Doe” on mine.

The program is Mon-Wed-Fri from 0900-1200. We spent the first two hours going over that daily check-in sheet, a much needed 10-minute cigarette break, followed by a presentation by the therapist on some type of coping skill. The whole program is DBT-based. Oh the joy. Consider this the 12-step program for the criminally insane.

Going over the check-in sheet was incredibly boring. Essentially everyone gets to share how they’ve been feeling, discussing current stressors in their lives, and of course, the inevitable obligatory follow-up of “what coping skills have you been trying to use to deal with these stressors?” You know, this time around, I thought, well, there is no court order hanging around my neck anymore (sort of…I certainly cannot become obviously suicidal for they will only stick me back inside the Big House). I’m obligated to attend for two weeks. Why bother with the fa├žade this time around. Face it these are all strangers. I could care less how they are “feeling” or the way they are “coping.” So I decided to take the gloves off and tell them exactly how I was feeling (well, to an extent).

When it got to my turn, there really wasn’t too much to say that pertained to me since it was my first day after having been released only yesterday. I told them how perplexing it was to come home and find the house the way I did. I actually did tell them how I felt this huge depression fall on me especially because I was coming home to an empty house.

Well, everyone had all sorts of “feel good” comments to make that I painfully endured (and took with a grain of salt). I also told them how I don’t like being around people and that I usually blow everyone off. I was told that this is normal for BPD and that I would learn successful coping skills to aid in my recovery (remember my comment above about the 12-step program analogy). In my mind, I thought that they just didn’t get it—I don’t want to recover and learn to socialize. I just plain don’t want to be around anyone at any time. Go figure.

When it was time to take the break, I was the first to fly out the door. God did I need a cigarette. There is this covered patio outside with picnic tables and a coke machine. I ambled over that way, but soon enough the whole group was on my heels. Unfortunately, too many people wanted to be nice and welcome me to the group. I decided to downplay my default “fuck you” attitude. I just stood there, smoked and said nothing (that is one thing I am good at)

The last hour was useless. Again with all these stupid tools. Talking about using your “wise mind” (vs. your emotional or logical—the wise mind is where the two intersect), and other DBT dribble like “mindfulness,” “radical acceptance,” “willingness vs. willfulness,” etc. I got nothing out of it, but what could I expect. To be fair and objective, I didn’t put anything into it. I guess I can stomach this for two weeks.©2009

1 comment:

  1. DBT just pisses me right off. It's better than CBT, but that's not saying much. Shrinks are all bloody kidding themselves if the believe that this complete wank has any sort of longevity in its alleged curing. It only tackles the symptoms of a disorder, not the reasons. So yeah, if their bullshit stats are correct, it might stop me from slashing myself to shreads, but it's not going to stop me feeling like shit.

    I'm no mental health professional, but I genuinely believe that stuff like this can only be resolved through adequate exploration of the reasons for it. Plus medication.

    But then, the issue inpart is that as you admit, you don't want to get better. I don't know what I want. I think what I actually want is utterly unottainable, so it doesn't really matter if I'm mental or not.

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