30 Day Forecast

Start BoldlyWednesday was my last day in partial hospitalization.  It was a surprise.  I went to the scheduled appointment with my counselor to talk about my progress and the work I’d been doing on my discharge plan.  When I asked him when he thought I might be ready to leave the program, he said, “I’m thinking today.”  I took a deep breath, swallowed hard, and said, “Okay.”

Because I know recovery isn’t about feeling perfect or feeling done.  It’s about practicing new behaviors in spite of how I feel.  It’s about The Work.

Every morning in the group, we filled out a plan for the day.  It included things like errands and chores, what we planned for exercise and relaxation.  We kept track of our sleep patterns, listed things we were grateful for that day, and our successes.  But at the top of the page, we rated how we were functioning.  On a scale of 1-10, we noted how well we were able to perform our daily tasks, not how we felt.  That distinction was important.  Emotions, moods, and thoughts changing like the weather can make a person feel dysfunctional.  Noting objectively that we got out of bed, ate breakfast and washed the dishes, drove to group, and made plans to see a friend afterward proves that we can still operate in the world even if we don’t feel like it in the moment.  What we do matters.

And while I feel much more stable emotionally, it’s a high pressure system that comes and goes.  The practices I put into place and actually perform every day will help me weather what comes next.  And next.  And next.

And there’s a lot of Work to do.  It’s mostly planning and monitoring, but it’s also reinventing myself as a social creature.  I’ve written here about my tendency toward isolation, my resistance and anxieties where other people are concerned.  So, I’m trying something different.  I’m attempting to let go of my old notions of Support Systems, Intimacy, and Soul-Matedness, and simply ask people to Play with me.  I plan something I want to do (like see the new X-Men movie or go for a walk) and just invite others to join me.  No huge expectation.  No smoldering resentment or disappointment.  Just play.  And it’s amazing to me how easy this is.  Simple.  For a mind that complicates and twists on a regular basis, simple is good.  Real good.

As part of my discharge planning, I have a list of goals for the next 30 days.  These will determine the nature of my practice for now.  And they will also help me make these changes into habits that, hopefully, will carry into whatever weather the future holds.

It’s up to me.

It always is.

I’m on an Adventure.

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27 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. PAUL SUSAN
    May 30, 2014 @ 06:40:14

    I’ll play with you.

    Reply

  2. Dee Silbaugh
    May 30, 2014 @ 07:18:36

    You will do great. I really enjoyed our get together yesterday. I hope we can do it again
    Ask me again anytime.

    Reply

  3. Littlesundog
    May 30, 2014 @ 09:03:41

    You reminded me that in the “plan for the day” I need to make room for gratefulness and to take note of my successes. Often I tend to think about what I failed at or didn’t accomplish. There is much to be mindful of in a day, and it all matters… and it’s all good!

    I’m happy you are writing again. You always manage to inspire me!

    Reply

  4. Secondhand Surfer
    May 30, 2014 @ 10:46:39

    hell yes!

    Reply

  5. Ocean Bream
    May 30, 2014 @ 11:02:50

    What I liked especially about this post were the thoughts on ‘Play’. I loved that idea, actually, because while it may not be on the same level as yourself, my own interactions need more of this Play. What a fantastic way to approach it. I have a mind to try. I wish you all the best in your journey!

    Reply

  6. pegoleg
    May 30, 2014 @ 16:23:15

    Thinking of people as playmates – that’s an excellent idea. Easier on them, if all they want to do is see a movie and not become somebody’s emotional rock, and easier on you so you’re not crushed by disappointment when they are not rock-like. Good plan.

    Reply

  7. David Kanigan
    May 31, 2014 @ 04:40:32

    Glad you are back on your feet Sandy.

    Reply

  8. Maggie Wilson
    May 31, 2014 @ 06:44:39

    “On a scale of 1-10, we noted how well we were able to perform our daily tasks, not how we felt. That distinction was important. ”

    This caught my attention. For the longest time, I’ve avoided the “I do” focus because I was following the wisdom of “I be” as in we are human beings, not human doings, stop racing around do, do, doing.

    But.

    The strategy you describe is valid. Stuff *needs* doing. And if we can perform our tasks and acknowledge those achievements, well, yay!

    Happy adventures, Sandy and thanks.

    Reply

  9. radiatingblossom
    May 31, 2014 @ 12:31:22

    Always thinking of you Sandy Sue…

    Reply

  10. Kitty
    Jun 01, 2014 @ 13:29:47

    This one really touched me. When I look back at all the years I was raising my kids I often wonder how I was able to do everything I did. The depression was ever-present, but somehow I got out of bed and kept things going… and not one of them starved to death in all those years! The truth is I’m not sure I would have survived all those years if it hadn’t been for my children. It sounds too simple, but getting out of bed and feeding them was more than I thought I could handle some days… but I did it and that is good. We must remember to congratulate ourselves on the baby steps… and just keep taking baby steps.

    I saw the new X-Men movie yesterday and I thought of you the whole time! (Especially when Logan was on-screen, which was almost every moment.:)

    Reply

    • Sandy Sue
      Jun 01, 2014 @ 13:49:18

      I love that I remember some of those years with you (not that I love what you had to go through). X-Men would have made an awesome Shallow Date!

      Reply

  11. Kitty
    Jun 01, 2014 @ 18:18:41

    The PERFECT shallow date… like YOU!

    Reply

  12. Marie Astra
    Jun 01, 2014 @ 20:30:36

    I missed you and had to look back to find this posting. There have been so many other distractions. Hope you are doing ok. Thinking of you! 😀

    Reply

  13. LindaNoel
    Jun 11, 2014 @ 19:00:25

    I thank you so much for all these postings about your recovery plans…I have hit my bottom and am scraping my ass bouncing on it for too many days, weeks, months, etc…. This will help me & my therapist get me into action.

    Reply

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