I know you’re probably wondering what the hell even is group? I still really don’t know myself. What I do know is that it is an outpatient intense therapy program with other attendees and also 2 weekly days of individual therapy sessions which are about an hour each. You speak about endless topics and learn ways of coping and bettering your life. The clinician I will be with is the same who completed my Assessment. That is a score right there because if you read my last post, you’ll know I felt a connection with her.
Yesterday I was having a really hard time staying calm because everything financially that could go wrong did and I started to fall down the rabbit hole FAST. I felt myself as I would on a roller coaster. I feel myself going up and up, just waiting for the drop to come. And it doesn’t. And all of a sudden I am flying so fast. Of course in that state my boyfriend could do nothing right. He takes so many beatings but thank god he has the faith in me he does because he knows this will one day be controllable…which is a huge goal for me. If I get manic and I blackout, the anger and impulsive moves come haunting. Yesterday when I did go black, I was very angry and I packed my bags and my dog and I left. I drove which is the last thing I should have been doing in that frantic state. I put myself, my dog, and other drivers in possible danger. That right there is something I am prioritizing to fix. It will be my first goal in group to learn better coping skills to calm me down during these manic messes. They will happen in the future. I will get triggered and I will do something I will regret even though I have no idea that I’m doing it. Fucking scary, right?
So anyway, I told you that for a reason. I woke up today, well more like jumped, with really shaky hands and a huge pit in my gut telling me I can’t go to group. What happened yesterday wasn’t fully over. I still felt manic. But I got in the shower and put some music on and I got my ass out of the house. I spoke with a close family member on the way there to make the ride easier and to help calm me. It did help a lot. I walked into the front building where you check in with a check in my hand and I asked for a certain form I need for medical reasons that I sent last week. I expected to have it. My Doctor told me to send it ASAP so he can fill it out. It wasn’t ready yet I was told. I explained the importance of it and a blonde female at the front desk opened the file I sent in and asked me if that was the correct document. I said yes. She continued to scroll down showing me it was not filled out. Along with the scroll, she really enjoyed telling me it can’t be filled out today. I continued to try and get this somehow fixed and asked what time the Doctor is coming in and blondie said he isn’t in today at all (he came in at 1:30PM). They offered absolutely nothing besides the advice that it isn’t worth sitting to wait for. They will send him a message. That is what I was told. Then they have the nerve to ask for my payment for my outpatient program. I declined and said I would pay when I receive the document I need. Now I get where they were coming from I a sense, but working at a Mental Health Facility you would think they would have protocol to help or find help if someone is in a manic/panic…whatever it was! No, this girl just sat and loved every moment it. And her coworker next to her had nothing to say because come on, we all know they will have their backs. I sat down and I felt it. My heart was jumping up and down (you probably could see my boobs bouncing that is how fast and hard it was beating). The front desk sat there as I tried to calm myself down and I couldn’t. I started to get frantic and my thoughts were getting more and more negative. I finally stood up and was a manic mess. I ran out the door and at that point I was not in any shape to even drive. And if I did, I didn’t want to come back. I didn’t want to go and be around a group of people at that time.
As I left, a woman ran to me as I walked to my car and she had my Doctor on the line. He filled the paperwork out with me on the phone with no problem at all and constant apologies for the way the employee acted. It took ALL of that to get a document filled out in less than 5 minutes. The woman helping me is the supervisor nurse on staff and she was so excellent. She stood with me after I got off the phone and talked to me and helped me calm down so I could drive. I didn’t want to attend my first group in that form…I just didn’t feel comfortable. And I was late already. I want to pay for a full day that I am supposed to have. Tomorrow is a new day and I will begin again.
There are so many wonderful people in this world. It worries me though to see the type of people that work in the Mental Health field. The most attentive care I’ve gotten was from a non-profit company. A really nice girl came into my hospital room one of my stays and she talked to me and put a bracelet on my wrist with her phone number on it so I can call at any time if I have thoughts of taking my life or any thoughts I can’t handle on my own. I’ll never forget her. From experience, being in some facilities I have had to be so incredibly careful how I acted and what I said because these Doctors will throw you right into involuntary without a thought because they can. Because they abuse their power and they make patients feel like they are in fact crazy. The stigma of mental illness in this world has grown so much in a positive and supporting way and it is so great to see. But when I was in that hospital, the Doctor that followed me threatened to throw me in into an involuntary psych ward as a threat, not as a treatment. I was asking questions. I cried because I wanted to go home. I was really scared. I just woke up out of a 30ish hour sleep in ICU and I was completely lost and I felt helpless and trapped. But that just doesn’t matter. God forbid you actually act with emotion, they will throw you out like you’re garbage. When I was in involuntary care once after an episode I had prior to all of this drama, I was told I couldn’t leave the hospital unless I took a shot that medicates you for a month. This medication is actually called InVega. I didn’t want it. I didn’t trust it. But I had a flight to South Carolina with my boyfriend for Christmas with his family who I call my own and I was not missing it (or maybe I should have). So, I caved. Give me the shot. I’ll take it! I just wanted to leave. They gave me the shot in 2 separate doses (over 2 days) and they discharged me soon after. My trip was completely ruined because I felt the worst I have ever felt in my life. I was a mess. I felt like I was out of my body and had no control at all. I was completely numb and scared and uncertain of what my body felt still because this medication is in my body for 4+ weeks and I can’t stop it. I binged drinking because it was the only thing that could help me act semi normal for a short period before I went to bed. I looked forward to sleep every single day while I was there. I didn’t have to think or feel or try. My boyfriend’s family didn’t see me at all for who I actually am.
This all is being brought up because of how I felt today and a reminder of how I have been treated before. Do not ever let anyone belittle you because of your mental state. People really do take advantage. And don’t just take something if you don’t feel comfortable. Don’t allow a Doctor to force you to take anything in order to get yourself out of an environment. There are laws and there are our human rights. Also, take a deep breath and keep your cool the best you can. I am actually pretty sure it is illegal what they did forcing a medication on me in the state I was in. I just wanted out. If I could go back, I would have done everything in my power to fight back and not take that shot because I did NOT have to. I will never make that mistake again. And if you’re reading this, neither will you I hope.
Sooooo, with that said.. Just to wrap this up, I know I said a lot through this post and it shows many examples of different times I was treated improperly. I am not an angel. I haven’t always been the nicest person. I am not proud of how I have treated others in my past. But again, IT IS NOT OKAY. If you work for an oncologist and the patient checking in seems stressed, angry, or sad, don’t act the same way back and use your behind the desk powers and completely lose any of your professional being to be negative in return for your own selfishness. What if that patient had a bad night of chemo and was up all night sick? What if a family member of a patient is overactive with questions or demands to see the Doctor? This person could have just been extremely worried and maybe anxiety! Maybe they struggle with Mental Health struggles. Do we all know exactly how to handle somebody we love going through something like that? No! We can freak out! I am not making it right, what I am trying to say is regardless, the workers at the desks in Doctor offices or hospitals should be trained and know how to help the situation and not make it worse for someone. Be kind and smile and try to make the visitor’s day better. This could happen at any office; a primary, a neurologist, an orthopedic, a nursing home or assisted living, and so on. We have bad days but part of a position is to leave that at home and do the job you are assigned. But my biggest lesson of all is to not use up my energy on someone/something so SMALL. I will however make sure it is known at the outpatient program because if somebody was in my position in that office, they could have left and done something tragic, or driven and caused an accident. Or maybe they would give up the idea of the therapy because of what a front desk (the face of any company) caused them. Not a good look.
We could not ever know what someone is going through. If I wasn’t already in such a bad state (I was going on a 3 day hypomanic state at this point), I would have not reacted. I would have left and went to group and expressed it there. I wouldn’t of given her the time of day. But she knew I was very anxious and worried and stressed she used that and poked me and poked me until I frantically lost it and walked out. I know we all have our bad days, believe me. But workers in the medical field have to leave their negativity at home. People are counting on you to make them feel comfortable and hopefully happier. If you can’t, you’re just not fit for that position.
To a better day tomorrow….