Probably should have been my first post and no, it’s not hot and steamy like the 50 shades one. I wish, but quite the opposite.
I came home from work one day and sat on the couch. I knew my husband would be on vacation the next week, so he could take care of the kids and house…which meant it was time. Time for me to ask for help. I told him I needed him to take me to the hospital, the mental unit. Closest one was an hour and a half away. I had never asked for help from anyone, but I couldn’t take it. The things going on in my head, the constant anxiety, depression so deep I really didn’t care if I died or not.
So, I texted my bff for life and asked her what I could bring. Answer was pretty much nothing but a book and for me to write phone numbers in it so I could call family since I wouldn’t have a phone. So I took out my contacts and jewelry, put on my goofy looking glasses and left in the dress I wore to work.
It was late afternoon when we got to the hospital. We had to go in through the ER. It was so crowded with crying babies and hurt people, and I had to stand in line and tell the admittance woman I wanted admitted into the psychiatric wing. So I sat and waited for what seemed like forever. They finally got to me, but made my husband leave. They escorted me to a glass room surrounded by police. I had to strip down and put on the dreaded gray gown and socks. Boy did I feel sexy. I was still considered to be in the ER but instead of having my own room like the “sick” people did I had to share it with three other people while we were surrounded by police.
I was so afraid. Had I made the right decision? I could see the police going through my items and locking them up, meanwhile there is a man sleeping to my right snoring. Wish I had what they gave him. They later took him back and then the baker acts came in one at a time screaming and cussing the police,while I lied in the middle bed trying to ignore the world. Found out the more you fought the sooner you went to the unit. Yet, I stayed calm because that is how I always have been. One of the older Officers came in and held my hand and told me it would be ok. I had tears streaming down my face but was feeling a little better. I just didn’t want to be around these people who were being so mean. Finally around 1am they brought me back into the psychiatric unit to be processed. They told me I couldn’t keep my book….it was a hard back. Damn I didn’t even think of that. The normal rooms were full so I got to stay in the special wing and the room right next to the processing room. Unbeknownst to me, at the same moment I was being processed a man I will call Pete was walking into the ER to admit himself.
Some people came in and asked me a bunch of questions. Its all a blur to me. They asked if I wanted to go to another unit since they were overflowing. I said no, this room was fine. Why not? A mattress with one blanket, nothing on the walls, not even a bathroom, but I could close the door…..and I did. There was no sleep, people came in getting processed screaming, kicking and cussing. I heard them haul some off to other hospital:s. Next thing I know it was day 2.
I believe it was a Wednesday. I asked to eat alone . I wasn’t ready to go out in the common area yet. There was a little table area they brought my food. No-one else was in the room, which was what I wanted at that time. There were a few more rooms on that side with some men in them. Which made me very uncomfortable. I didn’t understand why they didn’t have men and women separated in the wings at least, especially since we had 1 shower and bathroom to share. So anyway, I ate and went back to my room to sleep. There was nothing else to do. A nurse aid woke me up and asked me if I wanted to go to group, I decided sure why not? What was I going to do sit and stare at blank walls all day. First time I walked through the common area which was separated by glass. I guess usually my area was for the bad cases but since they were filled I got a special room. I was taken to a room and sat down around a table with several other people. Not sure who sat down first but I ended up sitting by Pete.He tells me he sat by me because I didn’t look “crazy”. Heck that was about as crazy as I could look. Gray gown and socks to match, glasses, no hairbrush, no make up. At least we can laugh at it now. Everyone went around and shared why they were there. I hadn’t talked to a doctor yet, as far as I remember,but maybe I had..I was still undiagnosed anyway. I heard many diseases….from autism, OCD, schizophrenia, Bipolar, drug addictions, and Pete was in to detox because of alcohol. All of the sudden I knew Pete was safe. I had someone to talk to. Maybe because I saw two uncles drink themselves to death, and here he was trying to get fixed. I am not saying the others were not safe, but something told me I had made a friend.
They sent us on to color some pictures. Very childish ones too but it gave us something to do. Then back to the common area for lunch. Oh by the way, the movies lie! There were no games in the common area, there was a phone with a 3 inch cord (god forbid you try to hang yourself with everyone around you, and a television with some protective screen. The food wasn’t so bad and now I had a friend to sit with and someone to talk to. The doctor came in soon after and we talked….he told me I had PTSD, Borderline Personality Disorder ( Bipolar 1 was added later), Panic Disorder, Anxiety Disorder, Intermittent Explosive disorder, and depression with suicidal idealization. What the hell? So I cried a little. Pete said, “it looks like you made some progress anyway.” So I ate, watched a little t.v., they took my new friend somewhere and I went back to my room until i was time to eat. Then visitation time. Of course my husband was late….which didn’t surprise me but he brought me a warm sweat shirt and jeans they let me where. God was it cold in there. Then bed and the screaming began again.
Told you this wan’t a steamy story like the 50 shades, but it is what it is….which was boring as hell. I finally asked for a book but I didn’t read it much. Doctor gave me new pills at breakfast and I passed out cold until they came to get me for group. I really don’t remember that one. I believe they talked about our different diseases and what caused them and how they were treated. I do remember something wet underneath the table. We all got new socks So skipping back a day I asked the social worker if I could go home on this day. I was pulled out of group to be told “no,” even though I self admitted the doctor wanted me to stay one more day to watch the medicines. When they tell you you can leave when you want when self admitted….they lie. Barbecue time. They had us watch a boring movie and then we went out to eat. Most fun I had. I played connect 4 with Pete. Then everyone was doing their own thing. One guy was running around, the kid that likes to sit in every doorway was sitting on the ground. Oh I forgot to tell you about him. Anytime we walked anywhere he sat down in each doorway. Some sort of OCD I suppose, but no one passed him or made fun of him. One patient did say “Dude, if you ever try to run they are going to catch you so fast.” Patients were scattered, mostly keeping to themselves. It eventually got hot so the orderlies said if someone makes a basket they will let us go in. Then it was Pete who had to make the basket. Let me tell you something about Pete, baseball star? Yes. Basketball star during detox shakes…..no. We finally were able to go in. Pete was told he could go home that day. Even though we were lectured about not keeping in touch with patients, Pete slipped me his information on the way out. I suddenly felt alone again. No one there I felt like I could talk to. They finally moved me to the “normal side.” That night was full of more crying than screaming and they gave me a roommate in the middle of the night. She cried all night.
I know, you are thinking finally she will shut up. I sat at a table with two women, one was my roommate. I think she was just sad, the other woman swore that her husband had put implants in her that controlled her thoughts and actions. I felt so bad for her, she was definitely delusional. Then a young man who cried over every thing. Especially if he thought he hurt your feelings that day. He gave everyone his information. I did not keep that paper. I just stayed in the common area that day and waited for the doctors….praying they would let me go home. Finally was told I could be released and signed he paperwork, called my husband on the 3 inch corded phone and waited the two hours it took for him to get me. I finally could go home. Went straight to the local counseling unit in our county and made an appointment with the psychiatrist and counselor. Don’t ever go home first or you may never complete treatment. And for the curious….I waited about 2 months and got in contact with Pete. We’ve been friends every since. I wouldn’t recommend it for most people, but sometimes you know you can just trust someone who helped you through a hard time to be a friend.
***Update to 2 years later. Pete ended up being a stalker and tried a murder suicide so we could be together forever. Restraining ordet still in place. Don’t keep in contact with anyone from the hospital, period. I haven’t been admitted since even though I have thought about it. I divorced my husband less than a year after. Separated much sooner.