Written by: Ryan K
Originally posted: 7/20/2015
To follow up on my previous post, the "community" as we call it is a vital part of treatment, but not one that is actually controlled by the center. Aside from our one-on-one meetings with members of our team (case manager, psychiatrist, nutritionist, diet technician), all of the groups are exactly that ... groups. Residential treatment is extremely patient-collaborative, which can be both good and bad. We've had a core group of about six girls for many weeks and naturally, we've seen each other cry, yell, laugh (a lot, surprisingly), sleep, do 7 AM vitals in all of our glory (we did not wake up like this), (seriously, we did not), snore (apparently I did this loudly during cognitive behavioral therapy, after my first and only meltdown here), struggle, succeed, you name it, we've done it together. The bond is strong, and it doesn't hurt that the girls are legitimately incredible. For several weeks, we did not get a new person which helped foster that connection. In the last few days, we have three new people.
New people are generally the following: anxious, crying, apprehensive, fearful, nervous, sweating, attempting to manage heart palpitations, timid and quiet. In my experience, all existing patients are very welcoming and supportive. At 9:30 PM "wrap up" we go around and usually talk about our high and our low of the day, but new people rarely share on their first night. "My low is ... Being here. My high is ... Can I pass?" Everyone else is encouraging, saying their first days were also tough, but it gets easier. We talk often of creating some sort of insider welcome packet with useful information, but this will be one of those things that is brought up a lot but won't ever get done. Fear not, my friends; as an incumbent residential about to step down to partial hospitalization, I'm about to make like Obama and write a letter to the new girl. Here goes!
Dear New Girl,
You may feel conflicted right now, but you are exactly where you need to be. As a current patient who's only a few days shy of being here a whopping six weeks (the plan was three) and about to pack up and move to the transitional house** (the plan was to go home), I have a few messages for you.
Original post can be found at www.ryandoesresi.com.