Jeez, I can't believe it's been almost a week since I last posted. I've got like three drafts of posts saved, but for some reason, I can't get around to finishing them. Ah well...
Much has happened since my last post. The most important event has been that I've begun the Intensive Outpatient Program. Today will be my third day. It's "intense" in so many ways. I thought that three hours a day three times a week wouldn't be that hard, but when all you're doing is dealing with your mental health...and other people's mental health...it can get exhausting. All the sessions are group sessions, you see, and the groups change from day to day. Some of the sessions only involve other people in the IOP, which means they are "higher functioning." Other sessions include participants in another program that meets every day for several hours a day and whose participants are dealing with more severe mental illness, schizophrenia, for example.
I don't know how much I'll get out of this. It is nice to have someplace to go. It gets me out of my pajamas and gives me structure. I am learning more about my condition when before I was focusing on learning about narcissism alone. And I am meeting regularly with a real psychiatrist so that I feel much better about my medication situation. On the other hand, you can see the strain on the social workers' faces. You can hear the repetition in the sound of their voices. They have clearly been doing this for a very long time. Also, there is no one in the program who has not been hospitalized or who is dealing with PTSD, so I can't really relate to anyone. I guess the point is not to make friends, really, but to learn how to go to work without anxiety.
Oh, something else I learned...DO NOT talk to health professionals about suicide unless you really think you should be committed. Apparently, in my mode of full disclosure, I freaked out the social worker enough that she wanted me to talk to someone about being checked in. Lil' ole me thought, "Sure! Why not?" However, my law school student friend warned me that they have the right to commit me for three days if they think I'm going to harm myself. Scary! So I had to really think about whether that's what I wanted. It's not.
The IOP is only supposed to last for 2-3 weeks..."transitional" is what they say. So a week from today I get assessed to see if I should continue for one more week. I'll keep you posted.