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I've been to more groups in the last three days than i have in my whole life. One of the things we agree to being in this unit is to attend all the core group sessions (5+ per week). It's actually not as awful as i thought it was going to be. I think i've gotten over a lot of the fear of groups i had when i was younger. My fears around opening up seem to be more around opening up to family, in-laws and colleagues these days - complete strangers are okay. I still hate cognitive behavioral therapy, but thankfully that's only pushed in a couple of groups.

I'm realizing i need to build a structure into my life, especially now that i'm not working in an office. I keep shying back from structure because i've always felt so trapped by that 9-to-5 lifestyle (bla bla i want to be an artist etc). The truth is i don't need to build that specific structure just as long as i have something consistent. In hospital i have to do the 9-to-5 because meals come at a certain time and groups happen at a certain time, but when i get out i can set my own hours. And then i need to stick to it. I need to stop getting absorbed into whatever i'm doing and losing days because whether it's work or play that i get absorbed in, there's always something else that suffers.

It kinda sucks getting told that all these things that are "just" healthy behaviors for most people are critically important behaviors for me. The other day they talked in not-so-gentle terms about relapse and crisis (read: suicide) prevention. It's all there - structure, social support, eating well, sleeping well, exercise, spirituality, the works. In the 9 years since i was diagnosed i've usually picked a few things out of that list and gotten them sorted so i think i'm doing good, but i've never really tackled everything together. I don't always want to, you know? Stupid illness can be fun sometimes heh.

Aaanyway i'm rambling. Things are better. I still get overwhelmed when i think about work or anything else triggering, but at least i can see a future now. I am on almost exactly the same drugs as i was back when i first went through this whole thing in 2001. Go fucking figure. How different would my life have been if i'd stuck with proper treatment then? Sigh. Probably no different because i was still a dumbass 21-year-old. My new haircut makes me feel like i'm 17 again. That's an interesting place to be for me. I wanted to grow it out but it was at that annoying stage and the barber on the corner only charged $12, which is the cheapest haircut i ever paid for. I look like the blonde one in a boy band. Slight step up from a Hanson brother. Perhaps.

Tonight i play dumbek again. I've missed two weeks of practice for our show on June 5, so that will be interesting to catch up on. I guess i'll just have to practice in the park around the hospital. Such a hard life :-)
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