Steenie’s Intensive Out Patient Shenanigans – Day 1

November 28, 2012 at 5:13 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

Today was the first day I decided to go to an intensive out patient program. It was recommended to me by a failed ER visit earlier this week. I was hoping for my own psychiatrist, but most in my area are booked until March.


March seems like an awfully long time to wait to talk to someone while you’re having a psychiatric crisis doesn’t it?


It’s 7 a.m.. I lay awake after an estimated three hours of restless sleep. I weigh my choices. I can either go to school and face reality, or I can stay in my pajamas and head to the nut house. 

My mother barges into my room shouting. Apparently if she comes home to find me still wallowing in bed, she is kicking me out of the house. Typical.


She leaves for work, the house is quiet again. I pick at a bagel and take my morning meds. The amoxicillin for my tooth tastes weird.

I look at myself in the mirror, I start to cry. How did I get like this?

Baggy purple eyes, ratted hair, swollen cheek. I look like a homeless street fighter.

I manage to make it out of the house and into the car. I pocketed a vicodin for later.

I get to the building, the “Edgewood Center” and fill out what seems like an endless stream of paperwork. I suddenly become thankful that I have rad health insurance.

I sign in and am shown around the facility. I am assigned a pager and receive a folder full of worksheets and informative pamphlets. I can’t help but laugh at the pager, bulky and old looking. It’s covered in deep scratches and worn off numbers.


I walk into my first group session 20 minutes late. Everyone stares at me and I suddenly feel the enormity of things. This is the first step, I tell myself. I’m going to get better. I have to get better.

I sit through the rest of the hour, listening to other people’s stories. They’re boring. Not like mine. One girl complains how she’s spending her birthday here and she relapsed yesterday on xanax. I laugh because heroin is her drug of choice, she was just feeling lonely. I thought peer pressure was for children. I’m not like her, she’s an idiot.

Another girl is constantly interjecting about her own experience with heroin addiction and how she goes to meetings and has abusive boyfriends. I tune out and start to doodle on my folder. She’s arrogant and tries too hard. I’m not like her, she’s exhausting.


An older black woman talks about how she couldn’t leave the couch this thanksgiving while she visited her family in Houston. I feel bad for her. She seems lonely. She allows herself to be controlled by a prior relationship. She seems obsessive. This was confirmed when she admits to hiring a private investigator to follow around her boyfriend to see if he was cheating. He was ans she still couldn’t cut things off. She makes me sad. I don’t want to end up like her.


We take a short break, I talk to my appointed doctor. He asks me questions for an hour. I tell him the same things I have been regurgitating for the last 72 hours. I’m sick of talking about it at this point. I’m not special, my problems are irrelevant, just make me better already. I don’t need to dig up my inner demons, I just need some Valium so I can function daily. 


I go back to group. They’re working on a worksheet about coping skills. Depression: go exercise, meditate, watch a movie. Anxiety: exercise, meditate, talk about it. Fear: take a benzo and forget about it.

It makes me want to vomit. I have google, I don’t need this nonsense. You people are inane and wasting my time. Is any of this really news to anyone here?


We break for lunch. I drink a carton of chocolate milk. It reminds me of grade school. I miss those gross lunches. 


We go back for the rest of the group session. An older woman, maybe 40, starts to talk about her overbearing mother in law who passive aggressively picks on her. I was rolling my eyes until she gets to the point where she starts to talk about killing herself. She said she wanted to go in the garage and turn on the car and fade away. She then couldn’t bear the harm that it would do to her husband and kids. Her solution: they should come in the car too. She discussed this with her husband, she said she could read the kids Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. They would fall asleep and they would all go peacefully together.

This woman scared me. I felt badly for her but this was another level I was not expecting. This woman let a fragile old lady bully her to the point where she was ready to murder her whole family and kill herself.  This was when I decided I do not have an illness. I do not need help. This lady needs to be locked up before she hurts someone.


After this darkness, it was my turn to speak. I told them how I was a 21 year old student that’s had a hard time lately. I told them how I would have melt downs, how I wouldn’t sleep for days, how I can’t function very well these days. After explaining the nonsense in my life, the doctor stopped. me. She asked me if I realized that while I was talking about some traumatizing things, that I would laugh about it. I told her, my problems are nothing compared to that poor lady who wanted to murder her family. Every inconvenience and issue I have is trite and pathetic. I don’t really have problems, just things I like to complain about. I have it good.

She asks me to not compare myself to others. She tells me I have real problems. I still don’t think that’s true. Oh, some one died. That sucks. I need to get over it. There are lots of worse things out there and I should be grateful that I am as lucky as I am. Complaining just makes me feel like a pussy who can’t appreciate what I have. Like I have room to complain, you know?


After this, I get paged back into the nurse’s office. She gets more of my medical history and demands a piss test. I comply. Tomorrow I have to get up earlier and get blood drawn while fasting as well. They want me to quit drinking. I told them i’d thin about it. After all, i’m not there for substance abuse, i’m there for mental illness. If I want a beer, why should my mental state keep me from it? Seems trite to me. 

I then went to get my meds filled and got sticker shock. There I was, thanking whatever false prophet that I have health insurance. Being sane and well is not cheap. This opportunity is one that should not be wasted.

I’ll see how tomorrow goes.  




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