October 24th, 2010

When I was first diagnosed with bipolar I was “checked into” a Psychiatric Hospital. After I was discharged I was given the opportunity to participate in an intensive group therapy program that ran from November to March, Monday to Friday; 8 hours a day. The program’s cost is covered by our Provincial Health plan. I was on  medical leave  and my Psychiatrist wanted me to do this program, so I was given a referral to take it.

The first day of “school” I was very nervous. The group is made up of 12 people in my phase (phase 1) and 12 people in phase 2 (who had started the program before us). I was told ahead of time that no one in my immediate group was diagnosed with bipolar, but everyone in the group had some sort of mental illness.

During the second week we had an exercise in one of Dr. S’s groups to draw a picture of a rose bush. I am a TERRIBLE artist, but we all just laughed about it. Then we had to put our pictures in the center of our circle and each group member had to comment on the picture. The group members were all very kind about my picture because I had won them over with my charm and good humor LOL! Dr. S was the last person to comment on my picture there was a long pause and his trademark smirky smile came across his face. He announced “Hiding Something”.

I didn’t like what Dr. S had said and I immediately was ready to go into battle with him on why I am the most open and direct person he would ever meet. Why did I get mad? Because I was hiding something and he was right. During therapy I was putting on a facade and wasn’t willing to get down to the guts of my issues. I wasn’t willing to show weakness in front of these people and tell some of my childhood horror stories . It didn’t matter that it happened when I was a child, I still felt I had to put this tough person front. That was my shield and often is to this day.

That night I went home and really thought about what Dr. S said. I decided I had 2 options I could be a seat warmer in therapy or I could actually do the work and dig up this crap in my past. The next day I brought my shovel.

Thanks for reading.