When I set my mind to achieving something, I have almost always succeeded. At my core, I believe that it is just a matter of knowing what the expectation is and working hard. So it is only natural that I would apply this same philosophy my recovery.
Me at home: How can I be this sick after all this bed rest? What is going ON with my breathing and where is this pain coming from? I can't afford to be away from work --there is so much going on and these e-mails just keep coming so it is good I am answering them from home. The laundry is piling up and there is no milk and geeze the toilet needs a good scrub. I didn't get the muffins made and I didn't take those items to the donation box and I was going to clean out the fridge and pantry today --OMG I am such a loser! I can't do anything right even when I have all day? I can't even GET BETTER. I feel like I would rather just pack it all in..what's the use anyway....
Expectation of doctor: Go to hospital because nerve pain will not cease after 3 weeks and mental status has deteriorated. CHECK!
Message to myself - I will be fixed!
Learned and followed: "Handbook of Expectations for Patients in Adult Mental Health 'Gen B'". (ie. do not: have pointy things, ropey things or drugs --do: attend and participate in all groups/meals/exercise, take all meds, be considerate of others, see your psychiatrist ever day, etc.) CHECK!
Message to myself - I will be fixed!
Attend 8 week adult day treatment program from 9-2 or 3 every day and see therapist once a week and psychiatrist when requested! Participate! Take notes! Learn! CHECK, CHECK, CHECK, CHECK!
Message to myself - Wow I have a lot more issues than I thought ....but I have 8 weeks to get my shit together. Who wouldn't kill for 8 weeks of self-reflection? Don't waste it! FOCUS!!! Tick-Tock for goodness sake!!!
Attend 8 week aftercare program once a week and see therapist every other week. CHECK!
Message to myself: Sheesh really? This once a week thing is really getting in the way of my housecleaning, gardening, knitting, more cleaning, painting, grocery shopping, relaxing, baking, cooking, running errands, checking my e-mail, making lunches---how did I ever have a job and do all this stuff? I can't have a job and do all this stuff!!! I can barely get all this stuff done as it is??? And I am not really even doing any of it all that well--I mean after all I didn't get the muffins made and I didn't take those items to the donation box and I was going to clean out the fridge and pantry today --OMG I am such a loser! I can't do anything right even when I have all day? I can't even GET BETTER ---even with all the help I have had I feel like I would rather just pack it all in..what's the use anyway....
So here I am. I have overscheduled my "recovery time" in an attempt to appear: successful (after all you don't want to look like a failure after all that time and help); valuable (my spouse goes to work each day--I "should" be able to handle absolutely everything else --along with new projects without any hiccups); useful (when I was working I had a purpose---what exactly is my purpose now? what am I supposed to be doing each day? There has to be a "right" answer!
And this Monday, when I saw for the first time since November, the psychiatrist who treated me while in hospital five months earlier, I acknowledged my "failure" to be "fixed" between bouts of sobbing and hyperventilating. Six weeks ago I thought this was going to be an appointment where I set my "back to work" schedule.....
I will spend some time trying to understand the high expectations I put on myself and read some from the books on my nightstand. I still find it very difficult to take in and retain anything I read (including fiction and simple instructions) so it will be slow going. (There it is again, that belief that if I just this is just a matter of applying myself---but I have to apply myself right? I'm not magically going to wake up being able to balance it all?)
Maybe the concept of balance is the real problem. Maybe it is like a juggling act---a small--non-professional juggling act where you only have 2 or 3 balls going...not my usual 12 or 14.
Is balance realistic today or is it a bygone concept?