Exciting, Bittersweet News

Dear WordPress friends,

I have exciting news: I graduated from my outpatient hospitalization program on Friday! After four weeks of intense group therapy and medication regulation for my depression and anxiety, I was released into the “real world” to soar with the skills that I have/ am gaining.

In case you hadn’t seen in my previous posts, here is a bit of background on me and my situation.

I struggle with anxiety and depression. I have been aware of this struggle for years, but it didn’t get really bad (to the point in which I was considering suicide) until last spring. I was hospitalized for a week. Following hospitalization, I continued to see a therapist and psychiatrist. Then over the summer I struggled with another intense wave of depression that forced me to cancel my dream plans. I got through both of these rough patches, but halfway through this Fall semester, I was hit really hard again with depression. I was “about to throw the towel in” and therefore was hospitalized for a week. Again. Finally, it occurred to me and my loved ones that I need more than just weekly therapy and monthly psychiatric appointments to get me out of this mental rut. So a week after being discharged from the hospital, I began going to an outpatient program for mental health.

Now that you are informed, let’s get back to the exciting point about how I just graduated from the program!

I am very proud of myself without a doubt. Retraining my brain and focusing so intensely on my mental/emotional wellbeing is not easy. I am a fighter, and a damn strong one. I have helped myself in so so many ways, and that makes me glad (but not entirely happy).¬†It seems that graduating from a mental health program should be entirely a happy event. However, for me it is bittersweet. No, of course I do not want to stay in an intense mental health program for all of my days. But now, without it, I don’t have a giant safety bubble surrounding me, guiding me. My independence has been returned to me. I’m scared because I have to watch myself more carefully concerning my safety now. I’m scared because my responsibility for myself just shot up by about 30%. And I’m sad because I loved the community that outpatient provided. The patients I met there are some of the most pure-hearted people in the world. I’m going to miss being so honest and vulnerable with them and seeing the most private, damaged parts of them become slowly patched up and filled with warm glow.

Now that I’m out of outpatient, I’m back to sitting in coffee shops and writing my time away, avoiding a certain question of impending doom… “What next?” I’m a planner. I think in the future. This isn’t a healthy habit, but it’s what I often do. I’m on medical leave, I’m home for Thanksgiving. and all structure in my life has just fallen out. I depend so much on structure and plans and a set path for my future, that now it almost feels as if the basis and foundation for my life has fallen out too.

I’m trying not to let the “What next” question get to me. I’m trying to focus on living here, in the moment. I’m sitting in my home bedroom blogging, Thanksgiving is around the corner, my family and friends love me loads, all here in the moment.

Oh, and, just one more time: congrats to me for all of the AMAZING work I’ve been doing! This too shall pass. Woohoo!

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