Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Not a good group meeting

Traditional Amish buggy, Lancaster County, Pen...Image via Wikipedia

I'm feeling pretty down tonight. I'm not really sure why. There are a bunch of things on my mind. And it wasn't a very good group meeting tonight. Sort of bizarre and chaotic.

This particular support group is held in the cafeteria of a local mental health hospital. And only 5 of us were from the outside this time. And the group from the hospital was more wild than usual. Whoever brought the group in didn't seem to give them a good orientation concerning the nature of the meeting. Its essentially based on the self-help principles of CBT.

I felt a bit intimidated by some in the group this time because unlike the three previous evenings I attended, these people had a rowdy contingent.

I had been sitting alone at a table, but I actually moved myself from the periphery to be in the midst of the the others. Someone else had to leave because he was being a jerk, and that freed up his handout packet. I had forgotten to bring my copy. So instead of grabbing his copy and returning to my original seat, I wanted to sit where he had been because I like to be "group minded". I isolate too much as it is.

The guy I moved next to had prison gang tattoos all over his arms. They are like flashing neon signs to fello gangbangers in prison and out on the streets. I know such tattoos have all sorts of interesting meanings, like who he's killed and how, stuff like that. But I of course was clueless. I grew up with Amish neighbors and a cow pasture in my back yard. I actually answered a couple of the questions he had during the meeting because he didn't know what was going on really. And I knew what it was like to be new there since it was my 4th meeting.

It was just a weird meeting. And I left feeling sort of negative and down because I had forced myself to get up and go and it wasn't what it was like previous nights.

The one positive thing is that I took a nap beforehand and when I awoke I contemplated not getting out of bed to go. But I did go. So that is at least a minor victory, right?

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Mark Krusen said...

I think the Amish have the right Idea,but that's for another time.

The fact that you went says a lot.Especially coming out of a nap. It's so easy to just say the heck with it. It sounds like you sat next to Stan. Does he really have a "Hillary 2014" tattoo on his forehead?

Seriously though.(I don't go there much) I admire you for reaching out in different avenues and not just wallowing in your depression.

Ruth Z Deming said...

not a fun experience being w/deadbeats, pete. but as always, you shore know how to tell a good story!

sometimes all we can do is TRY, like you did, ADMIT it was a bust, and then go home & write like a mother****

Anonymous said...

Finding a group that fits your needs is hard.

Mark Krusen said...

Is Ruth calling me a deadbeat?

Pyrs said...

No, she got you confused with Stan. [wink]
(The wink was for Stan's benefit but I know it can only lead to trouble.)

Stan said...

Dear Pete:

Here you go whining again; you finally drag your butt out of bed to a social venture out in the real world, are fortunate enough that you meet someone with a little dubious life experience, and you auspiciously label him a criminal deviant with the sole factors relating to a little body art and a strong character persona.

What you didn't see in this mosaic picture was the amazing opportunity! You could have winked at him, asked him out for a beer, and then picked up Mark on your way to rob a 7/11 {Smirk}.

I hope you see now that it not necessarily where, when, or with whom; but who you are as each life experience reflects upon you, and then in turn reflects off you to others. We are either going to be the rainbow in all its shining brilliance and wonder, or choose to be left in the dullness of the solitude painted dark with are worn souls conveying the general notion of a life not embraced.

If you keep up this winking at me like that; you know Mark is going to get jealous, pout and have a tantrum, or just go cry in man purse while sulking on the couch {Laughing}.

Yours Truly,

Stephany said...

Caution this is a rant of sort!

I admire you getting to the group at all, I tend to be anti-groups, places like NAMI and DBSA aren't for me. I don't get uplifted by people whining! (don't take offense, I base this on my own experience!)

They (those groups)seem to endorse and enable whining. Really, why not call them for what they are? it gets people out of the house but that's about it.

I was in mental health court one day and I overheard a bunch of old mothers (older than me--be quiet Stan!)(you too Mark!)wink (am I allowed to wink in here? is this an male forum now? oh wait those purses give it away)

So I decided at that mental health court day I would never be one of those women: "I've been doing this for 30 years". Because it sounded defeated. No hope. Nothing changed.

I sat away from them the rest of the years that would pass over time.

I like what Ruth wrote the other day on her blog asking out loud if hanging out with mentally ill people keeps you mentally ill?

I hate to admit the part about the gang tattoos made me laugh!!

I think I might have caused more trouble than most ppl expect I would in that group!

I bet that tattoo bearing wild guy is just a big teddy bear like Stan.

Pyrs said...

@Stephany -
You said in your comment:
"I like what Ruth wrote the other day on her blog asking out loud if hanging out with mentally ill people keeps you mentally ill?"

I know. It made me think too. That's why from now on I am not talking to any of you anymore. So there.

Pyrs said...

... [wink]

Pyrs said...

Well,that's why I am glad that I can count on you and Gianna to keep me in line when I whine too much. It won't be the last time I assure you.

Ya' know, sometimes I think I simply need a hug...


Awww c'mon.

Stephany said...


susan said...

@Pyrs, I am weaning myself off groups, I am finding more support on line.

Stephany is 29. Don't let her fool you! (Nudge, nudge, wink, wink).

Pyrs said...

Really? 29? I was thinking she was maybe 25 at the most. And she does have nice skin. My face has aged quite a bit in the last 8 years. I wonder if she actually does botox, and she was just pulling our legs with all that healthy-skin nutritional info she put on her blog?
Actually, when you put that picture of yourself on your blog today from the cover of sports illustrated, for a second I thought it was her until I read the caption.

Mark Krusen said...

If you weren't crazy before you met us Pete You will be by time we get done with you.

I don't as a rule like groups either. I have been in some awesome groups but only for short times because things always change the group dynamic and ruin it.

Stephany said...

ha ha ha!

Oh Lord Susan, where'd you get my Christmas card photo anyhow?! LOL

Pyrs said...

@Stephany - Can I be on your list too? ;)

Stephany said...

sure! now i have one person on the list LOL

susan said...


I just turned him on to Koda's blog..... so now Koda has to send him a pawtographed Christmas card too!

Stephany said...

Koda loves new friends, Sammy could get jealous! She might have a kitty revolution and start her own blog! She is totally into catnip.

Gianna said...

I'm late to the party, but I hate groups too...for the same reason a stephany....it's a whine fest..and I always feel worse and I tend to refuse to speak because I don't think like they do...yeah, I can bitch and moan...but somehow my concerns are totally different then their's are and it's always been the case...even when I obediently took the meds...

I never fit in...and also, I've never had "mentally ill" friends in the real world. Here now I have lots of psychiatrically labeled friends but they tend to be unusual and unique...you don't find the same sorts of people in some random group.

anyway it's not whether one is labeled or not that hanging around them will make you ill it's if they believe they are their label and in groups that is too often the case.

that being said, there are some groups that work for people...we have a good group in my home town that is Icarus based...still not my thing but there are some really good people involved and now that I'm an activist I do involve myself with them marginally, but not by attending group.

Marissa Miller said...

I tried joining a Bipolar & Depression Support Group and hated it. I felt like the oddball out. I'm glad that you feel somewhat comfortable enough to have gone back four times.