He corners me, takes me in my bedroom which is messy and I feel like this is just one more reason for him to think I’m incompetent, we are in my messy room and he peppers me with questions. What am I doing? What is the Program? Why do I need this? And on and on. I explain as best I can. I try and remember, I am an adult and I make my own choices but I feel like a child who is getting lectured. Because the lecture; it’s pretty much the same every time but I don’t get any more used to listening to it. I ask, again, if we can ever have a time when we talk WITHOUT the lecture, but I know it’s useless. I listen and reassure him as much as I can.
He leaves and I call my mom. She talks me down, I tell her that my anxiety is high and she tells me that I know I’m doing the right thing and I AM an adult…I feel better when I talk to her. She is driving, talking a mile a minute about traffic and in between reassuring me she is looking for something and getting impatient so I let her go. I feel better, a little.
At least he knows now. At least that’s over. Maybe I will sleep tonight. I take a deep breath.
I haven’t told my dad about the program. He doesn’t understand anxiety and depression as a disease; he sees it as something that I should just get over. He has said, “What do you need that medicine for?” ever since I started taking medication. He will not understand.
Tomorrow he is coming over, taking Cole for the afternoon. I don’t want to lie to him, but I know he will ask me about work and though I’ve been working harder than ever in my life, he still won’t understand.
So it’s 12:08 in the morning and I can’t sleep, worrying. In Group they call it Racing Thoughts. I’ve tried my usual things with no success, am now watching Friends and trying to get tired.
I had to lock the kitten out of my room; he kept attacking my hands. I have tiny scratches all over my hands and feet courtesy of him. He gets behind my pillow and runs back and forth, back and forth. Only in the middle of the night or the very early morning, of course.
My entire family is at my brother’s graduation. I am not. A kid who is weird about sleeping away from home coupled with finances equals I stayed home. My brother is the Golden Child of the family. I tease him and he grins, handsome and together, everything his scattered sister isn’t. He already has a job waiting for him making more than I do. Hell yes I’m jealous, jealous and proud as fuck.
What will I tell my dad? I don’t want to lie but I’m fragile right now, can’t take his negative words. I’m raw from excessive therapy. I have reached deep inside myself and vomited my crazy all over the place and it feels good but uncomfortable. I’ve worked harder in the last couple weeks than I have in years of therapy.
My window is open and it’s chilly. The back of the next apartment building looks like a hotel, and I can lay in my bed and watch people come and go. The lights make it so my room is never completely dark, and that’s okay with me.
My dad is coming at 11. I need to get some sleep…
Waiting for group therapy to start, I type this on my phone. The unit is quiet now, waiting for the hustle and bustle of the day to begin. Patient’s shuffle in and I smile, say good morning. Even in this environment I aim to please, want to be that sparkly personality for everyone to see. The other day in art therapy we were asked to make a mask; the front was what you present to the world and the other side was what is really in there. I painted the outside a garish yellow and orange, with lots of glitter.
“It looks like you got burned,” someone says.
“Your eyes are like big X’s,” says someone else. That’s me, see nothing so don’t deal with anything. Art therapy is amazing in that way. You never know what you’re going to find.
Time to pour my guts out yet again, vomit all this pain out. This is hard work, but I am tentatively feeling better. Cautiously optimistic. Something’s gotta give, right??
Can’t sleep, again. If only I could turn my mind off for that bliss of not thinking for a while, at least.
Cole coughs in the next room. I once heard the expression that there is no lonelier sound than a child’s cough in the night. He’s been sick for a week now, his little voice hoarse and scratchy, coughing and coughing. Another reason for me to walk the apartment at night.
I force myself to speak up in Group, though it is painful. I deliver my words to the floor, because it hurts to look anyone in the eye. I tell the truth. I rock in my chair and squeeze my hands together, feel judged, feel validated. It’s hard work, all this therapy at once and having to look at yourself in all kinds of ways you have never thought of. Which is why…
You’d think I would be able to sleep.
Self doubt creeps in. Do I deserve this, this time, this reflection of myself? Why do I think I can just sit around and paint and talk, while others are working, being productive…
I fight these thoughts, I do deserve it, I do. I finally asked for help and am getting it, and learning so much about myself in the process.
I checked myself into an intensive outpatient partial hospitalization program. Today was my third day. Every day is another step towards a happier, joyful life, and I’m looking forward to it. I’ve earned it.