Tuesday in DBT group, someone commented that she likes the word ones (mindfulness exercises) “except when Donna’s here”. I told her she could look forward to doing them in 2016 when I wouldn’t be back. Sierra said, “So things are going well then? We should talk later.” There wasn’t an opportunity to talk to her after the group ended, so I sent her a rambly e-mail that I instantly regretted.
I said that in terms of avoiding acting on negative urges, everything was great, but in terms of having those urges, things were possibly worse. I said that I wished my car accident had been fatal and had a plan to do something about that if things weren’t improving by the beginning of next year. I said that I’d either be fine or I wouldn’t, and it didn’t much matter either way.
Surprise, surprise, instead of replying to me she forwarded it to Sadie. I was not in the mood for therapy yesterday and strongly considered calling to cancel, but if I canceled at the last minute she’d probably send the cops after me, so I went. I walked in and said, “I don’t want to be here.” Sadie asked, “This office or this planet?” “Both,” I replied, although at that moment I didn’t really want to be dead, just very strongly did not want to spend 50 minutes talking to her.
Sadie asked about a plan, and I said that I was scheduled to work alone on New Year’s Day, and although I was giving life a few weeks to start working out in my favor, if it didn’t I intended on overdosing that day, because I would have “lots of pills” at that point. Sadie asked when I see Brent again. “December 31st. That’s why I’ll have lots of pills.” She said, “You do realize that he’ll know about this plan and probably won’t give you the pills?” Shit. Although I didn’t quite mention to her that the plan involved a combination of pills, two kinds of which I have access to right now whether he gives me anything or not.
By the end of the appointment, she was very concerned about the idea of letting me leave. She said that although I have goals such as staying out of inpatient the whole year, she doesn’t care whether I accomplish those, she just wants to make sure I’m safe. I told her inpatient doesn’t help, and she said, “But it provides supervision until these feelings change, and they will change.” Yes, and then they will change back, over and over and over again.
She was also hesitant about the fact that I could not promise I’d call for help if I felt like moving up the timeline on my plan. At first I said that I didn’t know how to tell when I needed to call. “When you started forming this plan would have been a good time.” She was concerned that I hadn’t e-mailed her like I usually do when I’m having a rough time. I finally acknowledged that I probably would know when it’s necessary, but…I hesitated. “Never mind.” She was even more concerned that I was holding something back from her. I eventually did say, “I might not want to call for help.”
I swore to her that nothing would happen before the 1st. There are far too many plans – concerts and comedy shows and Christmas celebrations with family – and if she sent me to inpatient and I missed out on those moments it would just make everything worse. She said that I absolutely had to sign a safety contract if I wanted to go home, and I signed. It’s been a long time since she made me do that, and Brent and Jan have given up on getting me to sign.
There was a lot said in those 50 minutes, about finding purpose and figuring out why I have such a depressing view of human existence (“we’re all a big accident”). About keeping things in perspective and having realistic expectations for what life will be like. Then I mumbled, “The holidays suck.” That’s not entirely true. I have a love-hate relationship with the holidays. There are things to enjoy (sending cards, giving gifts, ordering a snack tray from Figi’s, letting my cats come to the basement on Christmas morning as we sit around the tree and open gifts). There is also a lot of pain, as described in O Christmas Tree.
I told Sadie about ruining grandma’s last Christmas. She tried to persuade me that I didn’t ruin it, that I did what I could to make the day special despite some tough obstacles. I was starting to get a little choked up. I mentioned not being there when grandma died, and she said that she wasn’t sure we’d ever talked about the circumstances of grandma’s death. Oh, jeez, not the topic I wanted to get into at that point.
I struggled through explaining why I wasn’t there, and why I was so ashamed of that fact. I did not break down into total sobbing, but there were tears on my cheeks. This was the first time I cried in front of Sadie in the whole 19 months I’ve been seeing her. I got done, unable to look at her, and said, “Can I go now?” She said, “But we have 2 minutes left!” Seriously? I mean, I couldn’t actually go, because she still had to force me to sign a safety contract, but had I not been tortured enough for one day?
When I got home I had an e-mail from Sadie, offering me a half hour opening she had on Monday, in case I wanted to come in a little extra until I feel better. It was a sweet offer, but I will be at work, and I don’t really see what good it will do to see her more. She can’t wave a magic wand and make my stress go away and make my memories not hurt.