2-Minute Stories About the Program

"A place where people can come, and be, and their spirit revives."
The Mental Health Day Treatment Program is a place where adults living with a mental illness can enter into a place of safety.

Watch one story here.

Watch a second one here.

Friday Evening

It’s been a busy week but a good week.  A really good week! I feel a very definite shift.

Being accepted by the group – all the horrible, bad things I share with them and being accepted without judgment – has helped me to stop judging myself. Having the group believe there is good in me, having them help me with the Positive Self-Talk and Giving and Receiving Compliments exercises (over and over again) is helping me to let good and bad coexist within me.  I’m not all bad.

We’ve been talking a lot about anger in Stress Management Group. I’ve never handled anger well. I’ve always turned towards myself without even a thought of directing towards anyone else. I’ve always blamed myself for everything. I’m learning a lot about anger. Looking at the three styles of anger I recognize that I am passive with my anger towards others, I am aggressive with my anger towards myself and I am assertive towards only my son.

I’m learning a lot about anger.

As a mother I have been direct, honest and made every effort possible to communicate openly with my son. I’ve put a lot of thought and effort into rules and boundaries with him as he was growing up. I wanted to teach him respect for himself and for others. I did well with him but failed with others and with myself. Now I see that I need to employ the same techniques – specifically relating to anger – with myself and others. 

If I can do it with my son I can do it all the time right?? Right! I know how, I have the skills. Wow, this all seems like so much common sense but I guess it’s because I’ve never really examined my anger before. I’ve been too terrified of it in the moment to confront it or to even examine it after the fact - total avoidance or frozen. I feel empowered knowing I already have the skills. I’m smiling as I write this.

I’ve also looked at my Anger Elevator, noting how my anger escalates (thoughts, feelings and behaviour). My elevator goes to eight floors. My reactions, from the bottom floor to the top are: freeze, guilt, shame, impulsive behaviours, self-hate, rage (directed at myself), self-harm and suicide. In group we talked about building some space around one of the lower floors, slowing the elevator down and maybe even being able to stop it before it reaches the upper floors.

I feel empowered knowing I already have the skills. I’m smiling as I write this.

At first I thought I should try to slow my elevator down around the 5th floor – self-hate – in an effort to avoid hurting myself. But now I see that I can stop the elevator at the 2nd floor, guilt (my default emotion). I can now recognize that feeling of guilt that arises from the hurtful, angry situation. I can slow it all down and acknowledge that I am indeed angry, accept that I feel anger (and that there’s no need to immediately feel guilty) and then, rather than let my anger escalate to harmful actions, I can address it using the skills I have.

About Debi Noye

Debi is a writer, a mental health consumer, and a suicide attempt survivor. As part of her recovery, she has found freedom in embracing her creative side (painting and creating mail art as well as writing), which allows her to be open and honest about living with a mental illness. Debi is passionate about playing an active role in the mental health community, not only as a consumer but also as a friend, resource, and advocate for other consumers. She lives in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.

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