Tag Archives: emotions

Happy

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Despite everything that’s going on with recovery and transitioning to a lower level of care and having a slip yesterday and just all of the struggle, I’ve been really happy lately. It’s really nice to be happy for a change.

Learning to ride the wave

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surfboard

Last night in art therapy, I was inspired by my letters to and from my inner child and wanted to give myself a kick-ass surfboard to ride my emotions on. I made the wave to represent different emotions (the legend is on the left). I put the most uncomfortable emotions closest to me in the wave to symbolize embracing them instead of stuffing or ignoring them.

I’m not skillful yet in surfing my emotions. Right now, I’m just hanging onto the surfboard for dear life. Soon, I hope to be able to sit on the surf board. Then paddle. Then stand. Eventually, I hope to be able to surf my emotions like a pro.

Tonight’s dinner was hard and I only ate about half and had to boost. I felt like a failure. I just finished my 6th week of treatment and felt like I should be able to finish all my meals by now. The dinner was a salad with chickpeas, soy chicken, and bread. The salad was so huge that it felt overwhelming and I couldn’t get past it.  I’m also still struggling with thinking that “starches=bad”.

My therapist reassured me that since I boosted, it still counts as completing, and that I need to just take recovery as it comes and not try to compare it to anyone else’s journey. She does want me to set up an appointment with the nutritionist, however.

Day 2

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Yesterday I met with my psychiatrist. I was apprehensive going in. I didn’t have a good experience with the psychiatrist I was assigned through the mental health clinic I attend, so I was worried how my appointment would go. I was pleasantly surprised. He was friendly, he didn’t talk down to me or seem to have pre-judged what conditions I had and try to make me fit into those diagnoses regardless of whether they fit me or not. He was attentive and listened, asked a lot of questions, and really seemed to care.

After I met with the psychiatrist, it was time for dinner. Dinner was very hard last night, and I was only able to complete about 60% of it. I tried really hard, though.

During our first group after dinner, we made collages with pastels to represent a moment in time in the last 24 hours where we felt intense emotion. We had to think of the moment and then circle on an emotions list all the emotions we were feeling. Then, using the pastels, we had to assign each emotion a color, and represent them on the paper however we felt best represented the moment.

I made the above collage. I started in the center with the emotions I feel are at the core of me and then worked out to the emotions I feel are more at the surface. The emotions are as follows, starting from the center and working out:

  • Worthless
  • Inadequate
  • Ashamed
  • Vulnerable
  • Overwhelmed
  • Apprehensive
  • Upset
  • Anxious

The moment in time that I picked was right after I finished dinner.

Tonight we have art and then family group. I invited several people from my family but I don’t think anyone is coming. I’m looking forward to more art.

DBT Skills Group Week 1: Wise Mind and Mindfulness

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Weekly Diary Card

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This is what we went over today, after going over all the group rules and standard do’s and don’ts of being in a psychiatric setting such as keeping information about the other patients private, and not having sexual relationships with one another.

The first picture is the weekly diary card we use for our group. We have to go through each day and mark with skills we used that day. We also have to mark how many times we used the card. Ideally, they want you using the card each day, but you can technically use it once a week. Then we went through what mindfulness and the Wise Mind are. On Mindfulness Handout 3, you can see a diagram of the Emotion Mind Trap. That’s basically when it’s raining (you’re full of emotion) and there’s a trap door in the well that leads to the Wise Mind and the emotion gathers on top of the trap door and you mistake the rain water for the well water, confusing your emotion for your Wise Mind.

Mindfulness Handout 3A has different ways to practice mindfulness that helps bring you to your Wise Mind. The homework (Mindfulness Worksheets 1 & 3) asks you to make a pro/con for practicing mindfulness and not practicing mindfulness, and to pick some of the different ways to practice mindfulness and to practice them.

One of the simplest mindfulness exercises I know is the one where you breathe in and focus on “Wise” and breathe out and focus on “Mind,” so I did that one for a few minutes earlier.

I find mindfulness very helpful, yet I almost never remember to do it. Especially when I need it most. I’m hoping having a couple weeks focusing on mindfulness will help me get better at it.

“Describe your current emotion in one word”

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In the intensive outpatient program, when we came in each day we had to check in, part of which was putting a word (or more) to our current emotion. We would also check in after eating with our emotions and feelings.

My emotions were usually things like frustrated, overwhelmed, anxious, guilt, shame, defiant, mischievous, numb, etc.

This afternoon, I am feeling hopeful.

This morning, I was required to meet with someone at the county Behavioral Health Center. This was a stipulation of being released from the hospital on Friday evening, and if I didn’t go, there was the possibility of having to go back to the hospital.

I was dreading it. I almost didn’t go. My alarm went off an hour before I needed to leave, I stayed in bed for another 45 minutes. Then, at the last moment, I decided I needed to go and just do it.

I brushed my hair back into a messy bun (I didn’t even brush out my hair, just brushed it back), threw on some clothes, and left. It took about half an hour to get there, and I was anxious the whole way there.

When I got there, it was filled with homeless-looking people, others who looked like they didn’t know what day it was, and a few well-dressed individuals. It was a strange mix. I texted a friend, telling her how uncomfortable I was.

After about 10 minutes, my assigned counselor called me back. He has beautiful, curly hair. I had thought of lying and just answering like a “normal” person, but when I got back to his office, I decided this was time wasted if I wasn’t honest, and also something in me does want to get better.

I was honest. I was brutally honest.

At the end of the 2 hour intake meeting, he told me that he believes he can help me find options to continue treatment for my bulimia, help me get my own place, and help me get supplemental income until I’m well enough, both mentally and physically, to enter the work force full time again. I almost cried.

I’ve tried finding resources like this so many times. I’ve asked many people and no one had any answers for me. I can’t express the relief. The hope.

Art therapy, you deceived me

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Remember how I thought I was going to enjoy Wednesday nights because we get to do art therapy?

Tonight was…not good.

I manged to finish my whole dinner. This left me feeling this horrible, confusing mixture of pride and GIANT, excessive guilt. Also disgust. And naturally, I spent the next few hours incredibly nauseous.

After dinner, we had art therapy. Great, right!?

No.

I have no idea why, but I started crying about 10 minutes in for no apparent reason. Then, at the end, I got to talk about why I was crying.

I had a really hard time the rest of the night. I sat in the back of the room during the second group and basically just cried softly to myself the whole time.

I didn’t eat snack.

You’re supposed to boost if you don’t have snack, but I kind of snuck out while the staff was busy. I’m sure I’ll hear about it tomorrow.

On the way home I got really carsick. Like, ridiculously carsick. I almost threw up on the way home. I took some nausea meds but I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to keep them down long enough for it to work. Luckily, I was able to and I’m starting to feel a lot better.

In other news, I went to the doctor this morning, got blood work and an x-ray. I got hardly any sleep last night and I had a terrible headache that turned into a migraine, so it’s been a long day. Between the doctor and treatment, I went to the laundromat to wash clothes, so this is really the first time I’ve had to just relax today.

I had a staff member tell me today that I need to eat before I come in tomorrow. I explained that I’m having a really hard time doing that because I know that I’m going to have to eat dinner and a snack and not purge either of them. She suggested trying to eat something, anything.

I said I would try to eat a hard boiled egg. I was half-lying. I don’t know yet whether I will actually try.

A couple of bright notes, now!

Tomorrow, my sister is coming into town so I get to see her and my baby niece and nephew!

Also tomorrow is the last day of treatment for this week! I cannot wait for a break! I’m am exhausted. This has been such a long week.