Fire Drill

My plans for the day, such as they were, were upended. Or rather jostled. My teen stayed home from school which really shouldn’t derail me seeing as I only have a very part time wisp of a job and they know how to feed themself. Unfortunately, right now it doesn’t take a lot to suck me back onto the couch. (I am becoming quite good at Quordle though.)

Lack of productivity is one of my deepest and roilingest wellsprings of shame. (OK now I’m trying to resist the distraction of wondering what a wellspring actually is and also whether it makes sense to put deep and roiling together given the whole still waters run deep thing but oceans are deep and get whipped up so… Ugh. Whatever. This is why I never finish any writing.)

But I don’t want to let writing frustration suck me into the whole shame self recrimination failure vortex.

Today I just want to focus on the importance of fire drills. My mental health was in a tailspin last year. In July I got connected to an amazing Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) through Advocate Christ Hospital. I was initially a little worried about the virtual format (I was so over teaching via Zoom) but it ended up being perfect for many reasons which I hope to write about later.

The providers frequently reminded us to practice skills and revisit insights even when we are not in crisis-hence the comparison to fire drills. Sounds obvious when I write it out but maybe I would not have needed the IOP if I had done a better job holding on to what I’ve learned through years of therapy, including a similar partial hospitalization program in 2018.

Today I was able to dodge the shame self recrimination failure vortex because I remember what I learned last summer.

( 3/4 update: and I gave myself permission to post this even though I wasn’t “done” because I ended up spending the evening wrangling with Verizon. I can always pick up this thread another day.)

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