Things have definitely been looking up for me. For the most part, the depression is gone. I am having a lot of problems with anxiety, feeling like it has almost replaced the depression as my worst enemy, but through DBT skills like mindfulness and interpersonal communication (DEAR MAN, FAST, GIVE) I am giving it my best shot. There’s a saying in DBT that says, “You’re doing the best you can, and you can do better.”
I feel like this really describes where I’m at right now. I am doing a lot of things that I wasn’t able to do before, but I need to keep challenging myself with new things. Or maybe not even new things, just things that I haven’t been able to do for awhile. I am hopeful to see a good friend of mine this weekend that I haven’t really communicated with since March when this really came to a head. Most of me looks forward to the opportunity, but I am also anxious about it. There’s nothing I can do about that anxiety so I just sit with it and try to let it go.
My intensive outpatient program has an end in sight. I have tomorrow and then next week full-time for sure, and then they are talking about transitioning me to part-time (three days per week) for a couple of weeks. After that it is weekly DBT, weekly therapy, and possibly weekly clinical case management. My DBT therapist (not Goddess of Mindfulness) thinks that I need the case manager to have extra support but I’m just not sure how that would work out.
The only person in group that I have confided in about having worked most of my life in mental health said something today that really hit me wrong. She said, “You can really see your training standing out.” I think she was trying to pay me a compliment, but I quickly said I hoped that wasn’t true. Why do I wish it wasn’t true? I want to move away from that person because I can’t do that work anymore. And as I type this, that doesn’t make sense. Whether I am working in the field or not, I am always going to know a lot about mental health. Numero uno, because I am LIVING with a mental illness.
I don’t really like to think of myself as having a mental illness and dislike even more to think of it in the “recovery” model. Does someone “recover” from having bipolar disorder? No, it is something they will have to work through their entire life. Do I expect to fully “recover” and create an all-new life for myself? No. I expect and am reshaping my life to make it what it can realistically be.
Some parts of it suck, and some parts of it don’t. I am really worried about what I will do for building structure once I am out my intensive outpatient program. That program takes five hours each day, if you count travel time. That’s a big chunk of time to fill up with something else. I am hopeful that I will have my shit together enough that I can work at the shop or do something for my parents during that time. I’m unsure right now of how that will all play out.
Like I said before, there is the DBT saying, “You are doing the best you can, and you can do better.” I’m trying to figure out what I can do “better.” I have been working really hard this week at participating more and being helpful in group. That was my “you can do better” for this week. I suppose I will have to constantly seek what it is that I can do better, and maybe this is something that all people do. I really don’t know.