Mental Cleanse Challenge – Therapy and Journal

Today’s challenge is a little more personal than the other ones I’ve been sharing in that it’s not necessarily a “tool” to share with you. If you want to read the more practical self-care posts I’ve done, check out G.L.A.D./ What’s Not Wrong? and 50 Things to Do, Become, or Be. And, if you want the run down on this challenge, check that out here.

While today’s tasks were not “tool based”, it was quite an important day in my little world! Today, I had my first appointment with my new therapist, and I think it went well! It was an intake, so it was like flying a drone over the landscape of my life and getting the distant, overhead synopsis of the general lay of the land. This meant giving a bullet point style recount of basic trauma’s I’ve experienced, running over the hospital and the things that brought me there, and symptoms of PTSD, Depression, Anxiety, and Bipolar and how each of those things manifest in my life – so it was a pretty heavy duty conversation to just have and leave. I understand it was necessary, but listing everything “wrong” with me with someone taking notes on the computer was a little disconcerting. Add in giving the overview of traumas I’ve sustained and I’m pretty done with people for the day.

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That said, she was really  empathetic and seemed genuine. It’s the first time I’ve met with someone since all this started that my work history wasn’t either tossed to the side and ignored or used in a condescending manner against me (as in “Well, it’s just policy. You know all about that because you worked in the field.” in response to me trying to advocate to get into treatment sooner). She was actually familiar with the group home in which I worked by name and reputation. So, her response when I told her was, “Oooh, so your work was keeping you hyper vigilant, too, because those boys can get pretty rough sometimes from what I know.” When asking about my work and schooling, she seemed to actually view those experiences as strengths, rather than this unknown anomaly that she couldn’t integrate into treatment. And that was really refreshing, because my career in mental health has been such a huge part of my identity for the last five years that having it ignored or thrown in my face repeatedly has been pretty discouraging.

When I got home, I wrote about it in my journal and also made note of a few other things that have been going on. I’ve been slacking on entries in my physical journal, so I’m going to try to get better at that. I think it’s very helpful, both for processing the treatment journey and as keeping an in-the-moment log of thoughts and events should I ever write a book or something. (Hey, a girl can dream, right?)

So, that’s day four of my Mental Cleanse. What have you been doing today to help in your recovery or for on-going self care? If you want to share it, I want to hear it! 🙂 Leave a comment below or hit me up on social media!

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