My Three Circles

jny published on
3 min, 483 words

The final project during treatment was called the Three Circles project. Because the treatment ranged from addiction to mental health to trauma, it obviously seems to be suited more toward the addiction angle. Nevertheless, I wrote my own with depression in mind: what is Essential to being healthy? What warning signs show that I might be headed down a dark path? And what are signs of "relapsing" into depression?

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My True Self

jny published on
5 min, 902 words

When going into treatment, you're "assigned" several projects that you are supposed to complete. The first one that I did was called "Inside Out". I chose to do mine as plastic mask and filled the inside and outside with words describing just that: how people see me on the outside and what I feel (and hide) on the inside. And as I did it, I realized something about the way the projected reflected myself that really kind of wrecked my mind.

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My needs

(and asking for them)

jny published on
2 min, 318 words

It's a very weird but common thing to say but one of the things that I benefitted from in treatment was learning how to ask for things, specifically for things that I need.

Some small examples: at one point I remember sitting in a circle with one guy slightly in front of the exit. It made me anxious (because survival instincts I guess) so I politely asked if he could move slightly. I also learned to say "No, I don't want this" to a particular group we would all take part in. It reminded me greatly of the church teachings from my younger years, only instead of God it was just more new-agey. I dreaded going to that class, but I would go anyway. But I also gained the ability to -at any time during the group- say "Ok, I'm leaving now."

The asking for help goes beyond that though. If I'm not dissociating, I have a much better grasp on asking for even the small things I need. It honestly releases such a large amount of tension; I don't have to look forward to things knowing that they will be extremely uncomfortable.

But the thing that was crucial to me was what happened in treatment; I didn't magically do it on my own, it was learning how to ask. How to build up the courage to ask the man to move his seat. Asking people if I need a hug. It's not just courage, it's also self-compassion, self-worth, and practicing trying to view the world correctly.

All this only started at treatment and it's continued on, though I'm still working on it. It's very easy to slip back into the mindset of "I don't want to bother anyone". But it's amazing how such a small difference can make me feel so much better about myself. Like I am worthy of what I'm asking for.