Letters from Camp, Part 1

My dear friend,

It has been two days now and so far I don’t really like it here. I don’t feel like I fit in. Mostly I feel like it’s too much; that I shouldn’t be taking time away from my family or my job to listen to other people talk about things I have never experienced or things I already know or things that just don’t seem like they are relevant to my life. Except some of the things we talk about seem highly relevant and some of the other campers are actually quiet similar to me in terms of life circumstances and flawed coping mechanisms. Mostly I am terrified that I belong here.

The first day, after two hours of group, I had a near-panic attack and seriously considered escaping back to my house, my home base, my safe place. Except that home is actually not so safe for me much of the time. Home is where everyone needs or wants me very badly, immediately, and simultaneously. Home is where I am mommy and honey but rarely, if ever, myself. Home is where I have felt compelled to alter my central nervous system to withstand the screaming anxiety and crushing depression that goes along with my continued, ill-fated attempts to do ALL THE THINGS my broken brain has convinced me are necessary to be good and enough.

So I didn’t go home that first day in treatment. I washed my face in the public restroom down the hall from the center, swallowed my sobbing as best I could, and went back to learn more about how to be well again.

Today was still mostly terrifying but I didn’t cry. Maybe tomorrow will be better. Honestly, I will keep going even if it never gets better just so long as it works. Dear god, please let this work. I am so tired of fighting this battle. I miss my life and myself.

All my best,