When they say recovery is a rollercoaster ride from hell, they aren't kidding.
The past week and a half have been very challenging for me here in residential. I disappointed myself not once, but twice. By the second time I was so far down in a hole that I couldn't see light above me anymore. One day I didn't even get out of bed until 5pm. I refused to go to meals and groups. I had regressed back to a stubborn teenager refusing to go to school. The next day I did get up and do everything I was supposed to do. And every day after that. I sat there on the couch crocheting and occasionally giving a sentence or two of advice to one of the other girls when I could gather enough energy to push air past my vocal chords and out of my mouth. My anxiety level was higher than it had been in years. My meetings with my team were not going well. They were upset that I had not been completely honest with them about certain things which greatly affected their ability to treat me properly. I had let them down. I had let my husband down. I had let myself down. I wanted nothing more than to just crawl under a rock and disappear.
.......Fast forward 10 days. >>
This past weekend was when everything abruptly started moving again. If I had to come up with a metaphor, I'd relate it to a rusty old train that has been stalled on the tracks being started up for the first time in months. Its movements will probably be a little jarring and jolting, the wheels will undoubtedly squeal and squeak and groan in protest, but once it gains enough momentum it will be running as smoothly as it ever did.
On Sunday my husband brought our son to come visit me. This visit was different than previous visits as his sister was not with him. (She was up at her grandmothers' farm for the week helping to care for the alpacas and tend to the garden.) It was also glaringly obvious that he preferred Daddy over me when he was upset or frightened in his surroundings. When he was fussing and I would try to pick him up, he would become increasingly agitated and try to leap out of my arms towards my husband. This did not sit well with me. My tiny bit of self-worth I had left completely vanished. I wanted to go home. I NEEDED to go home. I NEEDED TO GO HOME RIGHT THAT MINUTE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD SOMEONE SIGN THE DAMN PAPERS AND PACK MY SHIT NOWWWWW!!!!
So, you know, my husband panicked (just a little) when my affect suddenly went from mostly-mute/depressed/anxious-Beth to irate/anxious/can't-you-see-I'm-all-better-and-they're-killing-me-here!!!-Beth. I couldn't sit still. I had zero patience. No tolerance for things I deemed unimportant or not related to my new discharge plan that I had in my head. This plan also included completely skipping over the Partial program. Who needs Partial?? Pfffttt!!! IOP (Intensive Outpatient Treatment) is almost the same thing, right?? (No, no it is not.) I was in disaster mode and was convinced that my kids had forgotten me. I needed to get home and undo the damage I had done to our relationships and screw all of this other crap.
I blame that day of craziness on Motherhood.
The final turnaround happened out of nowhere. I was sitting in my room listening to my music on my mp3 player and it was set to shuffle going through every single track I have. Right after "Fight Song" came one of the Marine Corps cadences I love to walk or run to. They remind me of bootcamp. I can hear the gear shaking in the background with each foot hitting the ground. I can feel the sweat on my back and energy and adrenaline coursing through every single cell. I can see the clouds of dirt trailing behind the formation as we progress. And I can hear the voices of the Drill Instructors calling out the cadence for us to keep us together and motivated and focused. I am literally transported right back to the Island even as I type this.
When I heard the Drill Instructor's voice, I immediately snapped out of whatever woe-is-me attitude I had been in. Yes, I had fucked up. It definitely wasn't the first time in my life that I'd done that. I have also taken far more steps forward that back since I've been in this place. Yes, it sucks that I had to be away from my family for so long. But if I hadn't have come and had continued to do what I had been doing....odds are I wouldn't have lived through the summer. I think it's safe to say this was the better choice. Homesickness sucks, but it is temporary. The alternative was not. So what if I didn't agree with every single word that was said while I was here? I cannot expect people to know the ins and outs of me after just 7 weeks. Especially when I am not very helpful with the "sharing" part. I have picked up so many helpful coping skills that I can bring with me anywhere I go for the rest of my life. I have more confidence in myself that I have had in an extremely long time. I have more drive to do what I love to do. I actually remember what I love to do. That is such a HUGE THING!
So I step down on Monday. I still won't be back to work for a while. The partial program is 6 days a week, all day long. And after a few weeks of that - it's another step down to IOP. And then....I'll be released back into the wild.
Thanks for sticking with me.