My therapist has been trying to convince me to go into a DBT intensive outpatient program. I have been avoiding it because I am agoraphobic (I don't ever leave the house alone) and it's a hassle in terms of getting there. My disability attorney convinced me to do it because she said it would be very helpful for my case. I am scared though.
Anyone have any experiences with IOP they want to share, good, bad, or ugly?
This morning I went to my daily IOP where I had to fill out a daily report card for how I had done during the 24-hours since leaving IOP and it was not a pretty report card either. In the past 24-hours I have purged, cut, and anorexia is in control of my eating; let’s just say I wasn’t looking forward to having to turn in my report card especially since my therapist was running this morning’s IOP session. Part of the IOP sessions are what they call mindfulness exercises; exercises designed to help you get back to center and slow your mind down so you can deal with whatever is going on around you. So far they have not been helpful as I have not yet been able to slow my mind down enough long enough to focus on the exercise. However, sometimes it takes something little like a Life Savers candy to make you realize how out of control things have gotten; or more appropriately just how out of control you eating disorder is. For one of the mindfulness exercises a bag of Life Savers was passed around the table with everyone being instructed to take two Life Savers and to be sure they kept one for the exercise. When the bag came around to me, I took it and instinctively checked the nutritional information printed on the bag; serving size – 4 candies, calories per serving XX. This of course means each candy has XX/4 calories in it, which in the grand scheme of the universe is nothing, but…I found myself in an internal debate with myself about those XX calories (which represented the first calories I would have consumed today). I will admit the smell of the candy was enticing and for a moment, I considered eating the candy and my anorexia could go to hell. That was just one of many thoughts that went through my mind but it was not the thought that won out in the end. When it came time for the exercise we were instructed to take the candy, hold it in our hands, feel the candy, the raised lettering on the candy, and then to put the candy in our mouth. That was where the exercise ended for me; the internal debate with myself resumed and in the end anorexia won when I tossed the candy into the trashcan. I’m not sure which I’m more upset with, myself, my anorexia, or the therapist for having a mindfulness exercise that involved food…guess I’m upset with all the above for various reasons. Sometimes it only takes something as small as one piece of Life Savers candies with XX calories to make you realize how bad your eating disorder is. Since I could not bring myself to eat that piece of candy, it tells me my ED is the one currently in control… I've been able to live with my anorexia in remission for a long time, so I know I can get back to that; it's just so f'ing hard sometimes and this only helped show how far I still have to go
Okay, long story short: I'm currently in an IOP program, they were planning to release me on 11/29, even though I've been having suicidal ideations. My therapist said that the program shouldn't become a crutch for me. They pushed back my graduation until 12/6 after I said that I didn't feel completely safe. I didn't even know I had a set graduation date until a couple days ago. I have outpatient therapy and medication management set up but I don't know how I'll get to the therapy because my car is broken. I got to thinking about how I've heard that people with BPD can become too comfortable in hospitals and whatnot and that they prefer it to the outside world. Which can be true for me. And it might be happening in my IOP right now.
But if I just filled out a suicide risk form on the same day I'm informed of my graduation date, doesn't that seem kind of weird? Doesn't quite mesh in my mind that I'm ready to leave. I said that when I've been feeling bad lately, I've thought to myself that at least I can make it through a day or two to get to IOP. But then I'll have a therapist I might not be able to get to perhaps once a week? What if I do something stupid? I'm frightened of myself lately. I explained this. Other than this, I've found this program much better than others I've been in.
My therapist says I've made a lot of improvement and I've been using my coping skills more. But I still feel like shit.
I became hysterical in group over this and I never cry in front of people. I'm about to cry now about it. I think this program might actually be a crutch, and they might be right. I don't want to leave it. So perhaps typical BPD getting too attached?
I am starting a partial hospital/intensive out patient program tomorrow and I am getting more and more anxious about it by the minute. It's just that it's new and new people and talking about stuff and AAACCK!
I do feel positive about it and think it will help.
However, if anyone feels comfortable enough to share their experience with this I think it might help me to like, mentally prepare?
If you guys could help it would be really awesome. Thanks.