So today I started the IOP (Intensive Outpatient Program) again.
I had been in there before surgery due to major depression and anxiety. We believed that it was part of my very Hyper Parathyroid gland. Depression is just one of the side effects of it. It also made me ill and I had little to no energy most days.
But anyway, I digress.
Back at IOP. I had to have one of my parents drive me over the hill because I’m unable to right now. After the hour drive and checking in, I sat in one of the chairs, filling out the paper work again, feeling like everyone was watching me. The blue folder sitting on my lap giving away my identity and my purpose for being there.
For some reason, part of me was hoping to recognize someone from before, so that today wouldn’t be as hard. That I wouldn’t be alone all over again. But alas, I didn’t. Which is good for them. They have made positive progress towards their goals and getting their lives back under control. How I envy them.
Emanuel called all the new people back with the fat pink bookmark. It was myself and one other person. We went through the orientation, Emanuel checking in with me. Asking me questions that shot my anxiety through the roof. I was squashing my fidget pony and pulling it in multiple directions at once. And I had to make myself be honest about why I was there. I had no idea how much information they had, and how current it was. It had been updated on Friday and Emanuel did his homework and knew everything. But he said it was good of me to be willing to talk about it and not bottle it up.
I guess that’s a point for progress.
Today the topic in the class was cognitive thought distortions, recognizing them and how to address them. We did this so that we could keep track of our moods in our mood activity log (this isn’t the one we are issued, but this is just to help you follow along.) The one which we were handed has a space for us to write down the problem and focus on what our thoughts and feelings are/were in that situation, a place to write them down on a scale of 1-100%. What automatic negative thoughts pop/ped up, and which thought distortions were associated with it. Then we have a place to write down a different positive thought for the situation.
Seems simple enough. I’ll weigh back in after doing it a few times.
And to the guy who was riding my back while I was waiting in line at the pharmacy: Please take a step back. I’m already fried with people today and standing in a Que with sick and annoyed people isn’t helping me any. I know my back-bag is big. It’s large as a barrier for me, it is not an invitation to wiggle around to my left or my right. I get it. You’re in a rush. You want your medicine. All of us are there to get our medicine.
But now I’m home in my safe space. The door is open and I can hear the ocean waves crashing on the beach a 1/4 mile away. I can hear the wind blowing through the leaves of the palm trees out in the courtyard.
And the cat in heat yowling at the top of her lungs looking to get some… way to ruin the mood cat…