Today I had what I would consider a really hard day. Only thing is, it wasn’t… I woke up tired and got on the van to Scripps. When I got there I saw Janice, which made me very happy. She said Jim wanted to talk to me so we went to talk with him and in a few sentences he said I was being discharged and asked if I wanted today or Friday to be my last day. What? I’m sorry, what? Of course I said Friday. Really? Wtf? I went back to Janice’s office to talk. She was not happy. Neither was I. There are few things I make more clear than the fact I need notice. But we had a really great conversation. I appreciate her honesty and openness. It’s special.
I decided to write instead of going to first group. What was I feeling? I don’t know. There isn’t quite a word. Surprised, confused, angry… and excited. My whole body was tingling. I wrote about what Janice said about me and the program and my life. And I couldn’t figure out the excitement. I know I don’t belong there and I’ve been fighting being there since the beginning. But I hadn’t found the right time to let go. This morning I wanted to shout, “I’M FREE!” Lol. It sucks to be leaving at the very time I’m making the most progress, but I’m excited to be free from the drama, free from the system I can’t change that continues to try to break me. I get to sleep in and I get to try something new. What, I don’t know. Something new. I wish I had more time to figure out what to do, some time to plan. It’s NOT standard for them to just dump you. But I think I’ll be okay. I know I’ll miss Janice. She is an important part of my life, and Barb. But I don’t think I’ll miss Scripps. I don’t know where I’m going, but I’m glad I was here. Friday will be my last day.
I thought for a few moments about what I have learned, what I have gained from being in the program. I think the main thing is Acceptance. The constant talk and reminder of the ideas of acceptance and mindfulness and awareness and just being with what is are keys to my progress right now. Until recently I didn’t really understand what that meant. That it’s okay to just be. Be. To see things for what they really are. To tell the truth. To cut through the bullshit. I’ve learned when it’s worth it to fight and when you should just walk away. But I’ve stayed. And I’ve learned from that too.
Now whomever made up last week’s treatment team has decided to walk away from me. And you know what? That’s okay. They don’t have what I need. Kiwis in a shoe store. Karen Salmansohn says in “How to Be Happy, Dammit! A Cynic’s Guide to Spiritual Happiness” that you shouldn’t try to buy kiwis in a shoe store. In other words, it’s pointless to keep trying to ask people for something you know they don’t have. I know that I can still learn from Janice and Barb, but the other groups are like looking for kiwis in a shoe store. It’s simply not going to happen.
I would usually be pissed at the stupid bastards in a situation like this, freaking out that I’m losing everything and the whole world’s falling apart. I don’t understand why I’m not. Maybe I’m riding the high of my birthday yesterday or the adrenaline of the news or the busyness of the day, but I haven’t felt upset. Really upset, that is. Something has changed in me. Something is different. I believe I can make it without them. I believe I can succeed. It’s an awkward feeling I like. I can make it.
As I got in the elevator today to meet Mags for lunch I didn’t want to go back. I just wanted to walk away. I wondered if I get to choose to walk away from this. When do I get to choose to walk away from mental illness? When do I get to choose to say, “I want my life back now. I want to be normal. I want a job and money and benefits and independence. I want my life,” and have it work? Do I get to choose? If I walk away, when will I be back? I know stability doesn’t last forever. I don’t want to crash and burn for years again but I know it will happen. When? I feel strong now and I want to stay strong, but when I’m not will I have the strength to come back? It’s been 6 years since my life stopped for mental illness. It’s been a LONG six years. I want my life back. But I don’t know if I’ll be strong enough to get it back again. (sigh) Such a pickle. But I’ve decided that staying here is not an option. It’s a long climb back up the mountain but staying at the bottom is not worth missing the sunset. (sigh) I like that. I want to see the sunset again.