It's a hospital divergence and step-down program, meaning clients come to us as an alternative to hospitalization or because they're being discharged from a hospital but aren't ready to be mainstreamed yet. All clients are duel-diagnosed, battling dangerous addictions along with severe mental illnesses. A majority of them are homeless or in desperate need of long-term care such as assisted living facilities or rehabilitation centers.
The site houses twelve clients on a short-term basis. During their 7 to 12 day stay, the clients are stabilizing on any new psychotropic medications they may have been recently prescribed by the facility's medical team. Many are experiencing withdrawal symptoms and learning to manage their mental health issues without the aid of illegal substances.
The clients are provided with individual therapy at least twice a day and group therapy at least once a day. They also receive case management support to identify resources for further care and living support after discharge.
There is so much for me to learn and loads of responsibility to assume.
RED LIGHT: Practicum details seem to be working themselves out, but slowly. Very slowly. As of now, I'm finally cleared to begin, but still waiting to be scheduled a start date. Any day now. Any day. For now? I'm stuck.
Unfortunately, it seems spending Sundays on practicum site is unavoidable. This comes as a great disappointment to me. I'd love nothing more than to minister and be in community with the church through music and worship. My continued inability to participate is discouraging, and this red light doesn't appear to be changing any time soon.
YELLOW LIGHT: The new semester is in full swing, and I think I'm going to love it! The only problem is, I'm already feeling a bit behind. All my classes and assignments coordinate with hands-on practicum experiences, and since I've yet to actually start practicum... But I'll get there eventually! And my professors have been accommodating to my circumstances.
It's been 90 days since I discontinued antidepressants. Its been a little touch-and-go, but I'm on the mend. I've determined that if my circumstances were more ideal and permitted it, I would opt to take medication again, but at a decreased dose. It feels good though, reflecting on the insight I've gained through this experience of going through withdrawal without medication and then experiencing symptoms untreated. I've grown a lot over the past few years and its interesting to see how this reflects in the management of my anxiety and depression. I'm thankful for the past three months and the challenges that have ensued, and for the most part I feel much better now than how I felt before discontinuing the meds, back when I was overmedicated.
GREEN LIGHT: For a few weeks now I've maintained really healthy sleeping habits. This is the first time in my life I've slept so well without an arsenal of drugs to help me, and I'm so thankful for it!
To better apply myself to practicum (whenever it is I start, that is) I am only working on an on-call basis right now. It's only been one week and it's already made a world of difference! I am enjoying spending time with my wife and doing things together like eating meals and watching movies. Last year we were dieting and doing really well, but the healthy habits were too hard to maintain with my crazy (and overly stressful) schedule. Without one another's support due to never seeing one another, we slowly faded. Now that we are able to eat meals together and have time to hold one another accountable, we are getting back on track. So far, we're only three days in, but we're off to a great start.
For over a month now I've been using my inhaler to treat minor asthma attacks almost a dozen times a day. Today, after just three days of eating healthier, I didn't even use it once! Its amazing how everything is connected to what you put inside your body!
Ariel Castro. Just spend five minutes Google searching his name and you'll learn more about the depravity of man than you'd ever hope to know.
Tuesday night, one month after being sentenced to life for holding three woman captive for a decade in his Cleveland home, Castro was found hanging by a bed sheet dead in his prison cell.
Craig Weintraub, Castro's defense attorney, acknowledged how this turn of events may seem to be for the best, but he followed up by saying, "... we're in a civilized society and no one should really be celebrating this."
Maybe Weintraub is right.
But celebration was exactly how I responded when I read the headline of Castro's death. The heinous crimes Castro committed are unspeakable, and the survivor's of this unfortunate tale will never forget the hell they endured. And so, his death feels like justice.
There are countless people like Castro in the world, but now there is one less. Somehow, that seems like a good thing. Is that uncivilized?