Now I’m Ready

I’m glad I went to group tonight.

It was lovely seeing so many familiar faces. Despite it all, I still feel at home at the clinic, which surprised me tonight. My favourite OT, D was leading the group tonight. I shut myself off from her in the beginning. I didn’t even look at her. In those moments I couldn’t even remember why I liked her, and attached to her in the first place. But as time went on, and with every word she said, I felt my heart start to thaw. And when I caught her eye and she smiled, all the negative feelings I had toward her just melted away. In that moment, she was perfect again. A classic case of devaluation and idealization. That’s one aspect of myself that I can’t stand.

After the break the OT brought up the ‘new plan’ for the group again. Especially for the three new people who were there… Explaining how the group works. I decided to speak up. Sometime during group I had realized that I’m okay with it coming to an end. That I was going to be okay. But I knew the other two regular ladies were still having a hard time with it, and didn’t agree with the decision. So when I spoke up, I shared how the news had affected me, and how I have been feeling about the team’s decision. I was at peace after that. I felt I had been assertive and spoken clearly. Trying to advocate not for myself anymore at one point, but for the other two ladies who are still struggling. I felt heard and respected by the OT. And I feel empowered.

She told us how hard the decision had been, and that they had taken into account those things we had mentioned and explained their decision a little better than the psychologist had. There’s nothing I can do to change their decision. All I can do is accept it, which I now have done. I also made a decision, and have spoken to the other two ladies about it, and also mentioned it to D. I’m going to start a new group for the three of us. My therapist had actually once suggested I start my own group. It will start off with only us three “regulars”, but that’s fine. They’re on board and happy with the idea, so the only thing that remains is to find a safe and confidential space to meet every week. Or maybe we’ll just start off with twice a month for now, starting middle February, once our time at current group is up.

D reminded me how during the first few months of group, I had barely said a word, and now I was talking and opening up confidently. This group has been really good for me. I’ve learned a lot. I’ve grown. Now it’s time to enter the next stage of life.

I’m ready…

I Wasn’t Ready

Group starts up again tonight. I’ve been going back and forth on whether I’ll be going back since the evening I found out that I won’t be able to go from February onward. I’ve decided that I’ll go tonight, only because one of the ladies I’ve been speaking to regularly is going and would like me to be there too.

I feel let down by the entire team (there are other reasons too), and also that the option to check myself into the clinic if I ever feel myself spiralling down too far is gone. And there’s no other place I’ll go. This was it.

Is it wrong to feel abandoned?

While I understand why they’re changing things, to me, the logic doesn’t make complete sense. The program is there to help prevent relapse and further admission into the clinic. But with the change, it feels like it’s not going to serve that purpose. The psychologist who told us the news could see how it affected some of us. One of the other regulars was telling me how hopeless she feels now. That this group was the only support system she had.

“Get a therapist.” Those words, uttered by the psychologist to her that night, are etched in my mind. He doesn’t get it. It’s not about having a therapist. The value of the group lies in feeling like part of a group of people who understand those parts of us that others in our lives just never will. In an environment that’s protected and led by someone who knows what they’re doing. This lady I’ve been talking to, really needs these Tuesday’s. And she can’t afford a therapist.

A lot of the regulars have left over the past few months. They were ready to move on. Those few of us who are still there aren’t ready to move on just yet. I was slowly starting to get ready, as I didn’t feel the need to go every Tuesday anymore. I’ve skipped a few over the past couple of months. I would have liked to have had the option to continue going as long as I felt the need to, and not have a time limit suddenly thrown at me.

It feels like one of my support systems has crashed and burned. Sounds dramatic, I know. But it feels dramatic to me right now.

Anyway, I guess they don’t owe us anything.