Group Therapy: Coping Class 1

This was originally posted to my blog, Diabetes Odyssey.

Today was day three of group therapy to help treat my depression and anxiety. Today’s group was a bit different, though, today was day one of two coping classes.

Today I actually felt much better than I have in a long time. I felt virtually no depression, and I only had mild anxiety. I’m not sure if the therapy is helping a lot, or if it just happened to be one of those rare “good” days I have now and then. I guess I’ll find out as the next few days come and go.

As far as the therapy class went, it covered problem solving and Radical Acceptance. We took turns introducing ourselves and then giving a short description of one problem we are currently dealing with that we would like to “solve”.

I chose my issue with accepting and dealing with my loss of independence.

We talked about defining our problem, developing a plan of dealing with it, implementing said plan, and evaluating our results.

Then we talked about finding new, healthier ways of viewing and thinking about our problem.

Then we moved on to Radical Acceptance. Basically this is not resisting life as it is. Recognizing when you cannot change something and accepting that is the way it is. This doesn’t mean you like it. This doesn’t mean you don’t feel the pain. This just means you can reduce your suffering over it.

Fighting reality only causes suffering. By acknowledging and accepting things as they are we spare ourselves from causing more suffering than is necessary. Acceptance doesn’t mean agreement, it just means we acknowledge reality.

At the end of the lesson we each filled out a worksheet meant to put into practice everything we just learned. We were asked to write down our problem and then write how we could see it from another perspective. How can we solve it? Can we accept it? What obstacles do we face that make it difficult to accept?

My problem is accepting my loss of independence. I lost my independence when my neuropathy got a lot worse (painful to walk), and then I lost my driver license due to retinopathy. And finally I had to stop working due to my whole host of compounded health issues.

I suppose I can view this as an opportunity to accept help from those who offer it out of kindness and caring. And I can use the help as an opportunity to socialize (anxiety therapy).

I can find new ways to be independent that I may not have seen or taken advantage of when I didn’t need them.

I am only about 80% ready to tackle this problem… My anxiety, feelings of worthlessness and failure, these are obstacles I need to tackle in order to accept or fix this problem.

After the lesson we did art (I sat with a group, but did not socialize) and then went home.

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Sounds like you’re having a very positive experience. And I love your picture! :smiley_cat:

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Your art has become a metaphor of your lifting depression!

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@Tamra11thank you for sharing this journey. It is something I struggle with as well… I love the art! Hugs.

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When you are diagnosed with diabetes—not as an infant, but as someone old enough to know what it means—you have by definition given up some portion of your independence. At some point, the realization sinks in that life will never be exactly like it was before, and that you will, from now and forever, have the burden of doing something to manage this new thing. The loss can be little things (giving up certain foods) or very big things (physical limitations), but it’s always there. We’ve all experienced it in some degree; I think that’s where the “anger” part of acceptance comes in.

So while many of us can’t pretend to have walked in your shoes, we sure do get the sense of indignation and outrage.

You’re doing a fabulous job confronting this stuff, BTW. Good on you! :smiley:

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This is inspiring. Thank you for sharing.

I am struggling too right now, not only with the type 1 diabetes diagnosis, but with a storm of different things all at once in addition to the diabetes (which it sounds like you can relate to) and am getting sucked deeper into the emotional hole of it all.

Glad to know you are benefiting from therapy–that makes me want to seek outside help as well.

Good for you…taking steps towards progress is something to be proud of :slight_smile:

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