I tend to be a pessimist, not naturally looking at the positive. I truly had to teach myself to be grateful for the things I do have in life. Gratitude, however, has helped me in many ways. For example, it helps me lift my thoughts off of the negative. I, being borderline, still may experience sudden shifts in emotion towards the negative, but practising gratitude has helped me have a more positive basic outlook. I still can’t say I’ve turned into an optimist, as I still see the future more as a threat than as an opportunity. However, when it comes to the here and now, I am more happy with what I do have.
Also, gratitude spreads kindness. When I take everything for granted, people don’t feel worthy of doing things for me, because I am not appreciative. There have been times when I was really tense and asked for a walk. I still cannot prevent some irritability if the staff can’t take me on that walk yet – am working on that -, but I can make sure I show appreciation when they can. That hopefully makes them feel less frustrated at my irritability when they can’t meet my needs or wants.
This week started off particularly negative. I had severe temper outbursts on both Monday and Tuesday. However, when I talked to my psychologist on Wednesday, I was still frustrated but a little calmer. I was able to talk over one of my outbursts with the nurse who had been in charg eof my care on Tuesday, after I had talked to my psychologist. I was able to appreciate my nurse’s attitude and apologize for my own the previous day.
Today, I had a meeting with my social worker and came back truly grateful. We discussed my support needs for when I’ll move out of the institution and in with my husband. The nearby autism center had recommended I get an autism coach, but I feared they would not be able to provide the out-of-hours support I’ll need when my husband is at work. We’ll therefore need to get the mental health supported housing agency involved for this. My social worker wasn’t sure which would be the closest care office and thought it would be the nearest major city. The town our apartment is in doesn’t have a care office. Turns out however that there is a care office right on my institution grounds, which is about a ten-minute drive from my apartment.
My psychologist is going to get the outpatient treatment team for personality disorders involved for community-based support. This will likely mean just a weekly or biweekly meeting with a community psychiatric nurse and medication monitoring. My psychologist said I only need med monitoring, but I disagree. After all, if I end up in severe distress again while living independently, like in 2007, I don’t want to have to jump through a dozen hoops to get more help. Back then my GP managed my meds and the crisis team didn’t have a clue about my situation but ended up being called every so often by the police, because there was no-one within mental health services responsible for my care. Ultimately I landed in a crisis while in another city.
My social worker applied for me at the supported housing agency and is hoping to get a meeting next week. If not then, it’ll be in a month, since my social worker will be on vacation after next week.
The most exciting news is yet to come. My social worker asked when I expected to move out. I said I had my hopes up that it’d take only half a year. At that point she said: “If we can get all care in order by the end of the year, would that be okay with you too?” Of course it would! Of course, she didn’t promise I could be discharged at the end of the year, but I have my hopes up a bit.