Saturday, August 28, 2010

Have you gone Mental (IV)

As I near the end of my intensive outpatient program, I reflect on my experience. Friends thought my "stay" may be singularly unhelpful and that, with my background, I could teach those topics and faciltate the therapy groups.

Whereas the material IS familiar, I've not been so intensively involved "on the other side of the desk". It is very different going from teacher/therapist a short 8 months ago to patient/client. A wise man once said it is much easier to know and even advise others on how to do their own lives, but is quite troublesome when I need to apply the vital principles to my own life.

The groups of which I am a part, are generally filled with intelligent fellow travelers. We become vulnerable to one another in virtually every group we attend. Among topics processed are "daily check-in"; mindfulness; how to benefit from therapy; depression and anxiety, and harmful personal habits that hinder recovery. The discussions are relevant and robust. I have rarely attended a group in which I have not gained helpful insights and a feelng of close fellowship with those in attendance.

I am grateful for the program I am attending. I truly believe if I were mentally and emotionally healthier I could gain much more from this experience... I guess that quaifies as a "duh. I am working hard to apply the principles and follow the basic practices prescribed by the program.

My lack of significant recovery has little or nothing to do with the intensive outpatient experience. I truly I feel I have been struggling with a serious mental illness that has debilitated me and disabled me to this point. I will continue to
practice recovery principles after I leave the program. I have become committed to them; although not perfectively and not always consistently. Sometimes its a drag being human!

Thank you for reading and for your thoughts and prayers as I continue to reach toward some semblance of recovery. My latest personal affirmation developed in consultaton with my psychologist is, "I choose Life". This is a long way from that
Sunday afternoon when I wanted to badly to choose death.

God bless you all.


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