My Mental Health Journey Through an Intensive Outpatient Program – Part 10

Turns out snow does affect my IOP. Today’s group was over Zoom. And only one other person showed up. We had the clinician and two group members. And the other group member only lasted the first two hours. The third hour was just me and the clinician. Needless to say, it was a weird day.

We started, as usual, with check-ins. Since we weren’t in person, we didn’t have our check-in sheets. So, check-in basically consisted of the clinician asking us all of the questions that are on the check-in sheet. My depression was moderate, but all the other things (anxiety, anger, etc.) were low or zero. Since there were only two of us, the check-ins were quite thorough. It’s funny because I didn’t think I had a lot to say.

In the second hour we discussed self-sabotage. I started the hour thinking it didn’t have much to do with me, but by the end of the hour, I realized that I self-sabotage a lot. Of course, I’m having trouble thinking of examples now. But it’s been almost 12 hours since group and I was shoveling all day and I’m tired. I think procrastination was on the list. Isolating, too. Stress eating was probably there. I just don’t remember, but I do remember that I do quite a few of the things on the list. We are supposed to combat the self-sabotage with opposite action. Easier said than done.

The third hour, where I was by myself, we talked about inner voices. We watched a TED Talk about the subject. It resonated with me because I’m mostly in the IOP for intrusive thoughts. We talked about how thoughts don’t have to lead to action, but they shouldn’t simply be ignored. It’s best to acknowledge the thoughts. Kind of an “I hear you, but I’m going to do this instead.” Then, we talked about how the thoughts are trying to tell me something. Unfortunately, I’m not quite sure what that something is. I guess I have more work to do.

So, that was my IOP snow day. I wish I had written this closer to the IOP itself. I would have remembered more. But the snow wasn’t going to clear itself. Now to sleep so I can get my IOP on tomorrow.

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