My Mental Health Journey Through an Intensive Outpatient Program – Part 11

After yesterday’s Zoom session, today was back to normal, in person, IOP. And, unlike yesterday, we had a big group. I’m torn about whether I like big group or small group better. I get less work done during big group, but I stand out more during small group. I guess it’s a tossup.

I had one of the shorter check-ins today. Probably because I was one of two people to check in yesterday. I talked about my afternoon and evening clearing snow and how the intrusive thoughts were less present while I was busy. Unfortunately, I can’t just be busy all the time. We also speculated about the intrusive thoughts being context specific. I have thoughts about crashing the car while driving, but not other times. It’s definitely something worth thinking about.

We had two Valentine’s Day themed topics today. The first was self-love. We took a little quiz where we had to choose how often we felt or did a statement. Zero was never and five was always. The statements were things like “I believe that my feelings are valid” and “I do not say negative things to myself”. I mostly gave myself ones, twos, and threes. There were no zeros, and the only five was for “I would be comfortable seeing a movie or eating at a sit-down restaurant alone.” I see movies by myself all the time.

Then we had to identify five hurdles to loving yourself. Mine were not believing that I deserve it, being afraid to bother other people (not wanting to ask for what I want or need), lack of energy, lack of time, and negative self-talk. Next, we were supposed to write ourselves five positive messages. I really struggled with this one. All I could think of was Stuart Smalley from SNL. “And doggone it, people like me.” I didn’t come up with any serious ones. Something else for me to work on.

Finally, we talked about attachment styles. There are secure and insecure attachment styles. Secure is healthy and insecure is less so. Under insecure there are anxious, avoidant, and anxious-avoidant. Anxious just means constantly worrying about a partner’s availability and commitment. Avoidant is being aloof and emotionally detached. Anxious-avoidant is a mix of both. The good news is that I check most of the boxes for a secure attachment style. I do have some avoidant tendencies, but, overall, I didn’t score too badly here.

That was it for today. See you tomorrow.

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