I’m trying to adjust to life outside the hospital and learn to care for myself again. I’m starting over intentionally. I crashed and burned really hard that last month in the hospital, and it would be natural to give up. But with the magic of meds, friends and therapy I found a way out.
Think about this. In the last 86 days since my first day in the hospital in mid-January, I have spent 58 days locked down in the hospital and 15 in outpatient treatment. That leaves 13 on my own. Of course I have to figure out how to live again!
But I have a plan. <You who know me are not surprised that I have a plan, are you?>
One of the many topics gone over and over and over again in the hospital is that of The Areas of Wellness. Depending on which literature you read / professional you talk with, there are 6-8 areas that each person develops and balances interdependently with the others:
- Emotional (including mental health)
- Physical (including nutrition, exercise and managing illnesses)
- Social (including how we spend time with others)
- Spiritual (including finding meaning and purpose in our lives as well as connection to something deeper or greater than ourselves)
- Occupational (including how a person spends time, including jobs)
- Environmental (including the space we inhabit in the spheres of our lives, even nature)
- Intellectual (including how we learn and challenge our minds all life long)
- Financial (including how we budget and spend money)
These areas of wellness are the building blocks I’m using to restart my life. Each of these areas has been disrupted and overturned in the last 6 months. When I fell apart in the last month(s), each of these areas became highlighted, crashed, and left me in a place where I had to start over.
Starting with my emotional/mental health. I could barely care for my personal needs at all for a while in the hospital until we got a decent med cocktail going. And even when I was beginning to feel better I resigned my job because I just can’t work when I can barely take care of myself.
- Emotional - attending the outpatient program; taking meds
- Physical - eating nutritional meals, exercising for 10 min a day (This is a big one for me – includes grocery shopping and cooking!)
- Social - interacting with people face-to-face each day; social media
- Spiritual - reminding myself that I am part of balancing the level of good in the world
- Occupational - doing the building blocks
- Environmental - cleaning my house a piece at a time; fixing mechanical and cosmetic things on my car that have been put off
- Intellectual - reading each day
- Financial - paying bills on time
This is going to be very hard. I still have an energy deficit. And I’m still trying to figure out how not to be in the hospital.
If you are looking for some concrete way to help me in the next couple weeks, you can check in with me on one of these, or help me make one of them happen. I’ll be very happy for whatever help you can offer.