Automatically placed in the hands of the program manager. I am greeted with a black binder containing all the rituals and lessons I’m intended to learn. First thing on the agenda is the rules which contain so many obvious points but I suppose some find them absolutely absurd. It becomes apparent to me as this lady that carries herself with quite a bit of authority over those whom are helpless, that I am a prisoner to my dysfunctional mind.
I am them escorted to art therapy, where we are instructed to pick out crayons, construction paper and markers. Today’s theme is gratitude and the project is to create a collage of all that we are grateful for. Maybe this is a proven method to heal the soul but for me it doesn’t intrigue the mind and to be quite honest I feel like I’m in kindergarten. Just because I have a mental illness, doesn’t mean I’m not an adult that deserves respect. The mediocre classes and assignments are basic babysitting methods disguised as therapy.
As an intelligent individual that suffers from mood disorders how am I expected to be intrigued. Assuming that some sort of activity will provide me with insight and comfort, I am sadly disappointed with coloring classes and meditation that doesn’t include actual meditation. Those with mental illness are grouped together with those that have substance abuse issues. Many may assume that the two go hand in hand but it does not. People that have substance abuse issues are dealing with issues due to their addictions but those who have mental issues seek substance to rectify and alleviate their illness. To put it bluntly if a person with an addiction recovered they would be of sound, body and mind. A person with mentally illness could stop using substances but will always retain the same disorder. How does this help me you ask? It simply doesn’t and thats where our health and medical professionals fail us. We are not to be saved but simply babysat and billed. A sad Realization as I sit and color a tree of gratitude that will never soothe the racing thoughts that formulate in my mind. For I am grateful for all that I have but I simply cannot focus on that as my mind has taken hold of my life and the system has failed me and many like me just the same.
As I look for a resolution to my thoughts, I am then introduced to meditation class that revolves around a fit, water drinking, tight wearing lady who sits in the center and provides insight on the drug industry. We are told that the food industry is Lying to us and sugar is the he devil. Within that moment meant not for not am I deprived of drugs and alcohol but I’am told that chocolate is another form of addiction that needs to eliminated. Not sure of how this will solve my immediate needs but I now understand that all things that you once made are also not allowed. In that moment by defiance is apparent and they will not take away my precious sugar as I have nothing left to hold onto.
The next class is group therapy and it suddenly becomes apparent to me that I am placed in room of addicts that are filled with legal issues and regret. I have no issue with people that struggle from substance abuse, it’s just that I don’t relate. I don’t suffer from the same issues and in that moment I feel isolated. Holding on to the little sanity that I have I pray that I can leave sooner than later. In a group that consists of 30 none talking individuals, I fail to see the actual relevance of it all. I seek acceptance, I search for comfort and I am simply settle for discouragement and mediocrity.