Wednesday, September 16, 2009

New Life

I've set up an entire new life for myself.

Two classes, Animation and Life Drawing, on Monday and Tuesday 3-9pm.

Five days a week of group therapy.
  • 'A' Group every morning, 10-1230, which is 7-10 people my age, male and female, who have similar issues to me. They have addiction problems, trauma, depression, anxiety, and seem like they're really able to understand some of the things I'm going through.
  • 'Anxiety Management' once a week, 2-430, which teaches bunches of ways to cope with anxiety, including breathing exercises and stretches, nutrition, exercise and various skills
  • DBT Group (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy) twice a week, 2-430, which I haven't been to yet. I do like DBT though, it's essentially a toolbox that helps you reconfigure the way your mind handles various situations and help you to approach occurances in a healthier way.
  • Substance Abuse Group, which I haven't been to yet but likely will have to attend. I have to speak with my sponsor/coordinator to figure that out. It's strange that Jack uses the term 'sponsor', which is so clearly related to AA/NA. If I do have to go to that group they urine test me and apparently administer breathalyzers, and if you get a positive they do a swab test. Not sure what happens if you're back on the wagon, but I know there are two groups, one for people with less than 90 days and one for more. I don't think they'll have as bad consequences as there were at the Realization Center, which yanks you out of all your other groups and tosses you into all Relapse Recovery groups full of court ordered wife abusing 45 year old assholes.
I have a therapist who I see once a week, and I meet with the Disabled Students coordinator weekly as well.

Also, Wednesday nights I attend an NA meeting. Well, I attended one last week, and I intend to attend one tonight. The people there are really great. I'm just .. well, super freaked out by it all.

The upside of all this treatment is that it's all free to me. My therapist is paid by the school, and she's also a great help as a social worker, setting things up for me. The Columbia University Day Treatment Program is paid in full with no deductible by Aetna Student Health, which happens to be the only insurance they take. And NA is free, clearly. With the classes, that's all done in loans.

I'm way too busy now, though. I can't really deal with the fact that I have to be on a train every weekday at 9. It's like having a 9 to 5 job, and as worthwhile as it is, it's mentally exhausting to me. And they're trying to make me change my diet up, which is costing a lot more because apparently peanut butter as my only protein isn't healthy, and they think that my diet of mostly carbohydrates is contributing to my poor mental stability.

It's very overwhelming. I can't even recognize my life anymore. NA? Day program? Where is this coming from? Seriously, I've had my life uprooted again, and it's hardly recognizable, again. This is too much change in too little time, just like the hospital was. I have a hard enough time accepting the fact that I have any form of addiction much less mental illness - it's surreal to apply those words to myself. It somehow doesn't seem honest, like people are all rushing to judge me or help me and in doing so I've lost my sense of who I am once again, so I'm just going with it. I'm not able to own any of those words yet; I've been close, there have been moments where I have reached a sense of acceptance, radical or not. But right now I just feel too exhausted by all these new responsibilities, and I want to go to a bar and get drunk instead of going to the NA meeting tonight. No one will check up on me if I don't go. Lucia might be disappointed, but not really. The little crowd I played poker with last week might wonder where I am since I said I'd be at the meeting, and they seemed to want to play again.

I think right now I need to just get up and go, while I can convince myself it's worth the trip.

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