They take your phone away, lock it up with the rest of your belongings. You can’t have them in the Psych ward. But they do have ginger ale and water; graham crackers and ice cream; visiting hours and showers. They also have a tv. But there’s only so many times you can watch Chopped before you go crazy.

The boredom is enough to make anybody go crazy.

“…suicidal” it read on my admission form, which wasn’t entirely true. How do you explain to the nurse sitting across from you as he triages you that it’s not suicide you dream of but life? You don’t want to die, but you’re so tired of not living that it feels like you’re already dead. You can’t keep muddling through life the way you have been–walking the wrong way in a blizzard–you need something, a guide rope, anything to keep you upright.

So you wait, the ticking off the clock on the wall the only sign that time is passing–the sky turning from blue to gray outside the shatter proof windows signals that it will soon be bedtime and visiting hours will be over. The end of a day means you’re one day closer to getting out of here. Maybe tomorrow.

I checked myself in. Had a breakdown in a Pastor’s office, gathered my support group who were at work with me, and one of them drove me in–I was in no shape to drive myself.

I was only there 48 hours–enough to let my body and mind reset. Released with the stipulation I’d complete a 10-day intensive therapy program to make sure I’m safe before I return to work.

But what’s safe anyways?

I can be safe anywhere as long as I’m not in my own head, which is probably what they mean. Being safe in your own head is the key to surviving. But I don’t want to survive; I want to thrive.

So a friend drove me in, and I checked myself in, and they took turns sitting with me in the ER so I wouldn’t have to be alone. We’re not meant to do life that way–we’re not an island. I didn’t bring with me a change of clothes because I didn’t expect this–didn’t expect to leave work.

When I was finally admitted to the unit, placed on a “no more than 72 hours” hold, they gave me brown prison pajamas to sleep in.

I feel like a prisoner sometimes, trapped in my own head, slave to my brain’s faulty emotions. But the meds aren’t working.

The meds aren’t working, and finally I have doctors listening to me when I say they’re not working.

“… suicidal” read my admission form. But is it suicidal if the only emptiness you feel inside is because you want to live?

2 comments

  1. Anonymous

    Reply

    As someone who has really struggled with anxiety and random bouts of depression, I envy your strength and ability to ask for help when you need it. Keep the faith and keep strong 💜

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