Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth." Genesis 9:13

Saturday, April 16, 2011

My big step

I have no idea what will come of this.  But it's big regardless.

Last night Dr. Mind told me that I have to find a stronger support system.  He told me that he thought I should get involved with NAMI.  Although I don't remember ever talking about this with him, it's something I have resisted.  I can't do it in the county where I work b/c I work with psych patients.  In the past, long, long ago my previous therapist convinced me to talk to them.  We were looking for support, but I wanted very much to have support from other people in my situation, people who have severe illness but are working, etc. Per the therapist I contacted them, asking if they had any groups that would address the living very differently than my particular diagnosis suggests.  They were unhappy with this (not another patient, it was a nurse who ran the groups) and basically said nobody was better than anyone else.  Which isn't what I had asked, I just knew that while in grad school I had been in a sexual abuse group that I hated, didn't benefit from, and rapidly quit because everyone else believed their lives had stopped and they were stuck by their abuse and I just don't believe that at all.  So nothing I said fit in and I didn't help anyone nor did they help me.  I didn't want to repeat that.  So that was the end of that.

Well, I have searched far and wide and can't find a group that I can go to that meets when I'm not working or isn't in the city where I see Dr. Mind but on a day he doesn't work so I couldn't combine the trip.

I was up most of last night because the stupid cyst and a sick cat,  and thought a ton.  So this morning before I could chicken out because I knew I would never say this, I sent Dr. Mind a letter.  I told him I realized how desperately i need support, that it is not available,  and asked if he would help me develop a peer support group hopefully at the center and if they can't do it for liability if he'd help find a church.  i know that there are other bipolar patients in the agency; back when I was diagnosed it was a much smaller agency, still pretty new, and I was pretty much THE bipolar patient.  Over time this has changed and mostly because of success with me Dr. Mind has now gotten some reputation as good with bipolar patients. I don't know how many he has at a given time, but I know that he's not the only one who sees bipolar patients regularly there now, partly because they've developed some effective treatments based on me.  (Jen the guinea pig pretty much).  So I'm kind of hoping that I can be the leader as needed of a small support group.  I need the support desperately, I have plenty of training and practice in group leadership and when I worked in psych I did psych functioning groups so it's not something I've never done, and doing it this way means it will also likely be a Christian group which is meaningful to me.  I could never just say "help me and I'll do this", but my letter did.  Beats me what he'll think.  I suspect he'll help me although I have a feeling it will have to be not at the center b/c of liability.  I am thinking of doing this 2 Saturdays/month, earlier in the morning so I can see Dr. Brain when needed, because that's simply the only time i can add in a support group.

So, Monday night we will see what happens.


Anonymous said...

WOW Jen - this is pretty fantastic! I have no doubt whatsoever that you'd rock this.

One thing though... by serving as the leader of the group will you be in a position to receive the support you need? Obviously, I've no idea how support groups work but I'd hate it if you had all of the responsibility and none of the benefits.

This is a big step for you I think - a good step :-) You would be such a huge Blessing to others!


Michal Ann said...

WOW! Like B, that word is the first thing that comes to my mind, too. I'm so impressed and so proud of you! You're willing to take a GIANT step that will benefit you, Dr. Mind and others! This is my favorite verse on the subject which became very meaningful to me when I had two babies and an M.S. diagnosis:

Praise to the God of All Comfort

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

It's fantastic that you wrote the letter! You are a woman of BRAVERY and ACTION. You're a blessing, "guinea pig Jen" and will continue to help others as this unfolds.

I'm leaving soon for the volunteer work week away, helping to get the camp set up for summer ministry. I have about 10 hours of travel to get there but it's a beautiful trip (car, ferry, boat).

My kitty saw the preparations and hid for hours but I finally got her delivered to my son late last night. Now to conquer a few more domestic challenges...

I won't forget to pray for you. May you have a very special touch from the Lord this Holy Week and find the company of His people!

Blessings all over you, Jen.

Love, Michal

WinnyNinny PooPoo said...

You would be a great addition to a group and an even better group leader. A fantastic idea!

Jean Grey said...

I know what you mean about finding the right group. I tried going to a community drop in center one day when I was feeling particularly like I needed some understanding- but it wasn't the right place. No one there worked I was just in a different place in my life. I did my time on disability, now I am trying to make it working. And sometimes I wonder if I made the right decision, if I can make it- but I am going to keep trying. So I want people who understand what it is like to spend 8 hours a day impersonating a sane person. I didn't feel any better than the other people at the center, just different, and I was sorry that I didn't fit in.