Wednesday, May 13, 2009
My name is Irene and I'm a Manic Depressive person plus I have Borderline Personality Disorder characteristics and therefor I am in therapy groups five days a week. I just thought I would remind you all of that, in case you're thinking I'm having too much fun and am doing things that are merely pleasant and time wasting.
Not that any of you have accused me of that, but I know that you are all hard working people and that you are all tired at the end of the day and look forward to putting your feet up and having a good rest and maybe a take out meal.
It may then seem to you that I just flutter through the day and do inconsequential things that take little effort and maybe you would all like to trade places with me, because it seems so easy to be me.
Today I am exhausted, both physically and mentally, and I feel like both my body and mind have had an extreme work out. All my therapies are designed to make people like me better, in the sense that we mentally become unstuck from the uncomfortable place we are in and move to a place of greater comfort. All the things we do are geared toward that goal. Whatever we suffer from, we're supposed to work through it and become better people in the end. That's a lot of work and the awareness off this weighs on your shoulders, because you may not get it done.
Today at ergo therapy, we talked about our children and the impact that our illness had on our children and the feelings of guilt that we feel as a result of that, and let me tell you, for each person in that room, that is a very heavy burden to carry. Discussing it and bringing these feelings to the surface is a hard thing to do. It exposes your ultimate pain and shame. It's gut wrenching, but it needs to be discussed.
So I don't need to tell you that this is not easy. When we were done, we were like beaten up women with glazed over eyes and shocked expressions on our faces and we very gladly went to the break room to get ourselves a cup of coffee and a cigarette so we could sit together and become normal again.
One hour later we had dance and instead of our minds, we used our bodies, but if you think that is easy for a psychiatric patient, think again. These people have major hang ups about their bodies and calling attention to them and now they are asked to perform intricate movements that are very difficult to music. That can be mortifying and it is with a great deal of shame and self consciousness that we do these things in spite of ourselves, because we are in a safe environment. Some of us have guts and do it and some of us are shy and hardly do it at all. Somehow we last till the end and are relieved when it's over. That we did it again.
Personally, I was worn out and after I rode my bike home, I took a break for half an hour to collect myself before I could walk the dog. He was very happy to see me, because I had been gone for a long time. Doubtlessly he thinks I'll never return. We made our walk around the field and I took another breather before I went to the tobacco shop and the pharmacy, where there was some medicine waiting for me since last week and I was close to running out of some pills, so it was high time I went.
Then I took another break and made a shopping list and rode my bike to the grocery store and did the shopping. I got enough stuff until the weekend, when I will have to replenish some things such as milk, which I always run out of. I teetered home on my bike and unloaded the groceries and had a glass of cold Coke, which tasted delicious and hit the spot. Then I vowed not to move again, but I forgot that the dog needed to go out one more time, because I had fed him his Butcher's and that always has some results.
I realize that people with a full time job feel this worn out every day and I don't envy them. I wonder if it is good to feel this wiped out every day, but it seems we recuperate quickly, because sitting here behind the computer has calmed my mind and is resting my body to some extent.
I realize I have to get used to my new schedule and that soon it won't faze me that much, depending on what happens on a particular day, but I'm sure it is the same for you who have to deal with all sorts of people and their personalities all day long and that is no picnic either. And you don't have a mediator at hand to guide things along the right road.
People go home with each other's problems. I'm lucky in that I don't do that. I leave it all at the clinic when I step out the door and on my bicycle. I don't want to worry about everybody else's pain when I get home, but when you have a job, I suppose you take your job home with you, although there should be a law against it.
I guess my whole point is, that we look at each other and think we have damn good lives, but we don't know what goes on beneath the surface. Because of this, I would not want to trade with anybody, because I can't look beneath the surface. I don't know what your daily worries are and how much they bother your peace of mind.
This was just my short little view to you into my world of therapy, lest you think it's all fun and games, like I maybe make it sound. Just to set the record straight.
Have a wonderful evening, or a wonderful day, whichever you are having.