So today was my first day of school. And it was great. I didnt sleep too well last night, only managing 2 hours in total. After getting up at 7:45, I showered and ate a bowl of cerial and drank some coffee. I had to leave at 9:45 AM. Normally class starts at 9 but because this is just the induction week its starting at 10:30 each day, with a 9 AM start on Thursday. When I got there the instructors were on their coffee break. But one of them came over to me and she made a point of asking me what I wanted to tell the other class members about Nitro, and whether I wanted to do it myself or have her do it for me. I told her to let them know not to pat him if he was working, and also not to feed him. She also asked me if I was ok with people helping me around the building, I said yes I’d welcome that. At 10:30 we went in to our class and started the induction process. Basically its going to take 3 weeks, they’re easing us into the course I think. Today we just went over the rules of the college, we talked about sick days and holidays and annual leave, we discussed our weekly payment and the school secretary came in and we had to sign forms so that we could be put on their system. The manager of the college also came to talk to us for a couple of minutes. We will have 3 instructors on the course, all female. There are 8 modules, including word processing, spreadsheets, database, the internet, work experience, communications, etc. At the end of each module there is an exam. At the end of our first year we will recieve our qualification. Then we can go on to do work experience in the second year, some people do and some dont. Some choose to just get their initial qualification and then leave. The instructor told us that every Monday the instructors have to do admin work for an hour and a half so we will have a 10:30 AM start on Mondays. Thats nice at the start of the week, not to have to get up super early after the weekend. I was pretty nervous this morning going in but once I got there the nervousness disapated and I settled down. The instructor told us of the supports which are available to us while we’re there. Some of which are a psychologist to talk to us if we’re struggling or need outside resources, a rehabilitation officer who we can talk to if things are impacting our training, a resource teacher to help if your struggling with maths or english etc. Of course I’ll also have Eileen and Dr barry and Mark the OT too. So I am very lucky with the supports that I have. Overall though it was a great day and a great start and I am very happy with how today went.
WELL I DID IT. I TALKED TO DR BARRY. I TOLD HER EVERYTHING. SHE ASKED ME LOTS OF QUESTIONS ABOUT MY EMOTIONAL STATE, ABOUT STUFF FROM THE PAST, ABOUT FEELINGS, YES, THOSE ALL IMPORTANT THNGS THAT DRIVE ME FREAKING NUTS. SHE GOT IT AND WAS TOTALLY AWESOME. I HAD A KINDA HARD TIME TELLING HER ABOUT HOW I VIEWED OUR RELATIONSHIP, HOW WHEN SOMEONE IMPORTANT TO ME, LIKE HER OR EILEEN COMPLIMENTS ME, THAT I AUTOMATICALLY THINK THEY ARE JUST SAYING GOOD OR NICE THINGS TO BE NICE, THAT THEY HAVE AN OLTERIOR MOTIVE. IT WAS HARD TO TELL HER HOW IMPORTANT SHE IS TO US, WITHOUT FEELING DUMB. SHE UNDERSTOOD THOUGH. I FELT GOOD ONCE I TALKED TO HER. LIKE A WEIGHT HAD BEEN LIFTED FROM ME. I TOLD HER I’D OFFERED TO HELP CAROL ANNE WITH COLLEGE, AND WE’RE ALSO TALKING ABOUT ME POSSIBLY TAKING ON A KINDA DUAL ROLE WITH CAROL ANNE, SO WE’D BOTH BE LEADING THE SYSTEM, NOT JUST HER ON HER OWN. DR BARRY SEEMED TO THINK THAT WAS A WONDERFUL IDEA. SHE PRAISED ME AGAIN SAYING I’D REALLY COME VERY FAR IN THE PAST YEAR, WHERE AS BEFORE I’D REACT FIRST THINK LATER, NOW I’M STARTING TO THINK FIRST REACT SECOND. ITS FUNNY TO DO THINGS IN THAT WAY WHEN I NEVER DID BEFORE. BUT IT ALLOWS ME TO STAY OUT OF TROUBLE AND STUFF SO THAT IS A POSITIVE. I TOLD DR BARRY I’D DONE THE OBSERVING AND DESCRIBING EMOTIONS WORKSHEET AND FOUND THAT BENEFICIAL. I ALSO TOLD HER I HAD INTENSE URGES TO SELF HARM WHEN I WAS TRIGGERED LAST WEEK BUT I DIDNT DO IT INSTEAD I USED MY COPING SKILLS. VERY PROUD OF MYSELF FOR USING MY SKILLS. I’M GLAD I MANAGED TO TALK TO HER AND I DIDNT END UP SAYING NOTHING. NOW SHE KNOWS, SHE’LL BE MORE AWARE THAT THINGS LIKE POSITIVE COMMENTS COMPLIMENTS TRIGGER ME.
FEELING INTENSE EMOTION RIGHT NOW. AM REALLY TRIGGERED. SENT EILEEN A TEXT TELLING HER I FELT OVERWHELMED AND EMOTIONAL AND TRIGGERED. DIDNT HAVE WORDS TO TELL HER WHY. SHE’LL UNDERSTAND. SAW THIS ON ANOTHER BLOG AND DECIDED I’D TRY AND FILL IT OUT. HERE GOES.
Name: LIZ Date: 8/27/15
Primary Emotions: SADNESS, ANGER, OVERWHELM, DESPAIR Intensity (0-100): 90
Prompting event (for emotion, who what, where, when):
WAS HAVING FLASHBACKS. THEY CAME ON SUDDENLY. REMEMBERED STUFF AROUND MY ABUSE. STUFF ABOUT BEING RAPED. COULDNT GET IT OUT OF MY HEAD AND SPIRALED THEN.
Interpretation (beliefs, assumptions, and appraisals of the situation):
THIS IS NOT HAPPENING, IT CANT BE. ITS NOT FAIR. I HATE FLASHBACKS, I HATE MEMORIES, I WISH IT WOULD JUST STOP.
Body changes and sensing: FEELING LIKE PUNCHING SOMEONE, PREFERABLY MY ABUSERS, WANTING TO CRY, FEELING ALONE AND FRUSTRATED.
Body Language (facial expression, posture, gestures): EYES TEARING UP, SCREWING UP MY FACE, HITTING MY HAND ON THE TABLE
Action Urges (what did I feel like doing, what did I want to say):
PUNCHING SOMEONE, CRYING, LASHING OUT, REACHING OUT TO SOMEONE, CUTTING.. Taking PILLS. .
What I said or did in the situation:
EMAILED MY THERAPIST, DRANK A CUP OF COFFEE, LOOKED AT MY EMAIL, PATTED NITRO.
After Effects (secondary emotions, memories, thoughts, state of mind, behavior):
THE ANGER TURNED TO OVERWHELMING SADNESS ONCE THE RAGE SUBSIDED. FELT LIKE JUST CRYING MY EYES OUT. NEEDED A HUG FROM SOMEONE.
(expectations) and the root emotion (anger.)
Function of Emotion: ????
Other possible interpretations:
I SHOULD USE MY COPING SKILLS, IF I DO, THEN PERHAPS I’LL FEEL LESS INTENSE EMOTIONS AND BE LESS TRIGGERED.
New Intensity (0-100): 50
I met with our OT Mark today. We had met two weeks ago and started a plan for going back to college. Basically we did a kinda care plan and a plan of action around my anxietys. Its called anticipation and preparation. Today we were just finishing it off. I almost didnt make it this morning, as I went to bed quite late and so when it came time to get up I was being lazy. But eventually I got out the door and I’m so glad I did. Mark has written everything out in a kinda bullet point format. He’s going to email it to me as soon as he gets a chance. Then it will be up to me what I do with it. I plan on giving a copy to my key worker in college, and I told Mark to put a copy in my file for Dr Barry to read. I also plan on sharing it here and with some other friends. Mark suggested that once I start college that instead of me going to meet him once a month at the day hospital, he could come to me instead. This I thought was a great idea. It will also save me some money on taxi costs. The school are ok with him coming to see me there too. They know him as he’s attended meetings on my behalf with the manager of the college and the college psychologist. It actually makes sense for him to come to me otherwise I’d be trying to get to our appointment for 8:15 AM and then on to college and I’d be about an hour late as the classes start at 9 AM. Mark told me that between now and my start date if I need anything to feel free to call him and he even said that next week if anything comes up for me and I needed to see him he would be able to slot me in. I doubt I’ll need to see him though before I start. I will probably call him after my first day though just to let him know how it all went.
I went this afternoon to meet Karen R, who used to be dr Barrys social worker, but who is now team leader. She still does some social work though, but mostly when people are in patients in the hospital. She kept one or two of her former clients when she changed positions, and luckily we were one of the people she kept as a client. Today we met up to talk about the funding for transportation, and also I had recently applied to the same organisation who fund my transportation for some extra hours for an aid to help me with housework etc. So we had to discuss the logistics of all that. Karen asked me what I wanted to use the hours for if I got them, as the case manager in the organisation who is going to provide the funding wanted to know. I said I’d like to get some extra help around my house, with coleaning, as having a dog who sheds hair a lot its near impossible to keep the place clean unless its vacumed almost every day. So there is that. Then I also told Karen I wanted to join spinning classes and need a ride to get there so the aid could help with that too possibly. So she wrote those things down and she’s going to send an email back to my case manager about it. We also talked about the ongoing appointments that I have, as the case manager had said if the organisation had a clear schedule of when I needed taxi’s they could reinstate my funding for them. So we figured that I need them for my appointments weekly with Dr Barry and Karen O the nutritionist, and once a month for my appointment with Mark the OT. We also put in that I may use them to go to the basement club but that it wont be that regularly once college starts up. We didnt want to leave it out of the costs though as then I’d never be able to go unless I payed my own taxi fare. Karen said that she’s going to send another email with this info to the case manager, and in the email she’s going to tell him that she’s happy to write to him once a month with the journeys I’ve taken, so that he has a record of how often I am using the taxi’s, so its on file. I was happy with this idea and I think its a good idea and I hope he will too.
After the appointment with Karen I saw Dr Barry. A lot of our appointment was taken up with me telling her about the stress of last week, when I came in she said she’d been reading my notes and saw all what took place about the funding for taxi’s, and the school stuff. I told her I never ever want to go through that level of stress again. I told her my mom had been an invaluable support to me during last weeks crisis. She noted that my mom and I seem to be getting along much better nowadays than say a year ago. She said she noticed how our relationship has changed. I agreed. In the past year mom and us have gotten along far better than we’ve ever done in the past. We talk more, do things together more, she’s more of a support to me in so many ways. We have a much better mother daughter relationship. Whereas before she got on well with my sister and not so much with me, that dynamic has changed and I am so thankful for that. Dr Barry asked me if I was excited about starting school. I was like yep I cant wait. I talked to her about Mondays therapy session. I told her we’d worked with some triggered parts around triggers surrounding school and their anxiety around that. She thought that it was great that we’d spent time working with these triggered parts. She said that even with the stress of last week, that it shows a great level of healing that I went to therapy on Monday and spent the majority of the time working with the triggers and triggered insiders. Of course we did talk about the stress of last week but the whole session wasnt spent on that. She kept saying to me how resourceful I am and how she knows Eileen says this all the time, and she is just echoing eileen on that. She said I have huge potential and am really intelligent and that will stand to me. I told her I was a little worried too about starting and it not working out due to past experiences in education where it didnt work out for me. I told her my mom is kinda pressuring me to do well, and for things to work out. How she is saying I need to grab this opportunity, see it through, live my olife. I told her my mom doesnt have words for a lot of things but she uses phrases like its your life, your getting older not younger, you need to take this opportunity and see it through to tell me how she feels. She doesnt have words for the issues surrounding my mental illness. But the other day she did say to me that I was doing really well with all of my issues. That was her way of saying I am proud of you without actually saying it to me. I told Dr Barry that there is no way I could sit at home doing nothing all day every day. She agreed that this would not be a good idea so she was glad the school situation worked out for me. I told her I dont care what mental illness I have, I am determined and I will not let it beat me. She said I was really high functioning and that made me so proud. I work so hard to be high functioning and not let my mental illness drag me down. Dr Barry said that I am more than my illness. My mom thinks so too but she just doesnt have the words to say it in the same way Dr Barry does. Today Dr Barry said to me what my mom is trying to say is I am more than being unwell, I am more than my hospitalisations etc. I told Dr Barry that I am grateful every day for my whole team. They keep me ticking over, stable, because of them I can lead a very full and rich life. If I did not have the weekly support from both Dr Barry and Eileen I may be in a different position. I said I know that most service users dont get the same level of support that I do and I know how incredibly lucky I am. In a way my diagnosis of did as complex as it is allows me to have the extra support. For that I will always be grateful. Allie wanted to have a little time to talk to Dr Barry today but we ran out of time so it will have to wait until next week. I did tell her how Eileen had read the in my heart book to the kids on Monday. I didnt go into too much detail as I wanted to let allie tell her herself. It was a great appointment, very productive as always.