19 December 2009
Outpatient Therapy-Day 24 (Monday 14 December-AM)
I have been somewhat disappointed these last couple of days. I was doing so well last week. Since my short-term medical disability is only approved through December 16th, so I thought I would be ready for discharge from this group therapy program. The therapist recommended that I return today to wrap everything up, but after this weekend, I could tell that I was more depressed than last week. I do not know what the catalyst was, but I am glad I had the chance to return. My daily check-in sheet showed a marked decrease in my level to function since last week.
One thing that I am disappointed in is that there have been a lot of new admission over the last couple of sessions. I still cannot handle being around many people. When the entire group gathered this morning to fill in the daily sheet I sorta freaked out. I moved from my spot at the table to a chair against the wall in the far corner until everyone finished and the big group split. Unfortunately, that still left a lot of people in my own group. I miss the folks that were part of my original core group when I started, but with the exception of two other people, everyone is fairly new. I have no rapport with them. They do not know my history. When it comes to my turn to share what is on my daily check-in sheet, how can they determine my level of progress (or in this case, the steps I have taken backwards)?
Even though there were still a lot of people, once the group split, I assumed my seat at the table (I always sit in the same chair—the one closest to the back door leading outside if I have to escape for a short period of time). Luckily, the person already sitting there was part of the other group. The therapist asked who wanted to go first and I groaned because we go around the table and it was going to take forever to get to me. As much as I put forth when it is my turn to share, with all these new people I had no idea how long it would take them to get through their sheets. Some people have been known to go on and on about not much at all. Not that I am trivializing their plight, but to repeat the same scenario over and over again from one person can get to be a bit much.
Actually today, it was interesting to hear the new folks share. So many of them were in exactly the same mental space I was in when I first started. It gave me a new appreciation for the strides I have made even though I feel like I have taken a few steps backward these past few days. Then, finally, it got to be my turn. One of the things I processed was my interesting reaction to my first visit back to my church after a nine-week absence since I tried to commit suicide. Here I was anxiety-filled at facing all these people for fear of what they would all ask me about my absence. Sure, some of the folks knew the truth, but there were a bunch that did not. I can still remember how stricken I was standing outside at the front door for fear of what would happen once I went inside (see post below).
Once I described how lonely I ended up feeling after the service was over since no one approached me (I had to keep telling myself it was because they were respecting my privacy), the therapist thought it was quite oxymoronic.©2009