Partial Hospitalization – What?

Glad Christmas Tidings to you coming from the Tengesdal Home in Crestview Apartments. It is great to rejoice in the celebration of the birth of our Savior Jesus the Messiah.

The past couple weeks have been rather brazen and breathtaking. I began partial hospitalization group therapy with St. Alexius Medical on the 14th. Uff da. The plan is to work on my PTSD, untreated traumas through life, anxiety, depression, and the whole job loss and major life change. All I can say thus far is that it sucks. Really. It sucks the air out of me.

The Partial Hospitalization Program – Group Therapy (PHP) is Monday through Friday, 8 until 2. It is all outpatient, meaning we go home at the end of the day’s session. A typical day for group therapy is 8 to 9 with a nurse check-in, 9 to 10 is a social learning activity exercise, 10 to Noon is intense group therapy, Noon to 1 is our lunch break, and 1 until 2 is a random group activity. Then we head on home back to our own personal lives. Once per week, we meet individually one-on-one with a social worker, and then also once with the Psychiatrist, who happens to be the one I have been seeing for the past couple years.

For me, it is very troubling and difficult. I am not used to opening up all my deepest woes and muck with a group of strangers, face-to-face, people I will never see ever again. In addition, there just is way, way too much overpowering positive energy. From 8 to 2, we are in group. The only alone time to breathe is going to the bathroom.

One result of all this rooting around in my troubles and trauma is that the unconscious is awakened and stirred up. Therefore, the nightmares have been intense. The Prazosin helps some; but if I take too much, I get light-headed and dizzy when I stand up. Part of the therapy has been to write down those nightmares. In the past, it has always been easy to write down my weird dreams, but I never dared write down the troubling nightmares.

The three main themes in these jarring nightmares that trouble me the most are: concentration camps with conversion therapy, sexual assaults, and shaming and shunning. I had a really bad one Wednesday night, and it gnawed at me Thursday and Friday. I took their advice and wrote out the dream on Friday after getting home from PHP-GT. It did help some.

So, for the now, it all sucks. But, it is a four-week intense program with a week of taper-down. I have finished seven days, and hoping it will get better and I will learn how to cope. This whole sudden-life change trauma has really done a number on me, hard.

On the job-front, just finished the twelfth week of unemployment. Sixty plus applications have been sent out, over 20 just in North Dakota, and no interviews. None. It really, really has been a bust to my ego. It is just like dating life — what is wrong with me, am I too this, or am I too that, or what what?

I’m getting no feedback from any of the over ten job rejections thus far. Each rejection has a “donotreply” type of email address, and all have been through their online application process. A google search showed that this is a common practice so companies cannot be accused of discrimination or such.

The plan was to drive up to Kenny and Kristine’s to the family farm for this Christmas week, but insurance is a stickler with the PHP, so a week off is not possible. Celebrated Christmas Eve and Day with one of my chosen-family whom I have known from Dakota Stage. I might drive up this coming weekend, as Mom’s birthday was on New Year’s Day. However, that is a three-hour solo drive, so I will evaluate that come Friday. It depends on how dour and suicidal I am, if I can make the drive or not.

Also, I am in rehearsals with the next play at Dakota Stage. Rehearsals, and design projects, they are really helping me with coping. Even purposing to spend less time on personal Facebook has been helping some.

And, that brings us to the final week of 2017. WHAT an incredible year! I wonder what adventures will arrive in 2018. I mean, come on. I never expected ever to make it to Alaska, and there I was summer of ’17. Never ever thought I would be going through such a difficult life change, at age 51, and here I am. What I can also say is that I remain ever grateful for those friends and family who do check in on me. It means the world, especially since I am a horrible reacher-outer person.

Grace and Peace to each of you.