From the week I spent in a psychiatric facility this past fall.
I carried a little black notebook and golfers pencil around the hospital like a child with their security blanket.
My only comfort other than the Ativan.
Im leaving this here as a reminder to myself and others that mental illness is FUCKING REAL. It is so so so good to get help when you need it. You are not “crazy.” Get it out and let it out. Talk to someone. Don’t let anyone bring you down. It may feel like the end of the world but it is NOT the end of your world. There is still so much out there for you and much more life to live. You will learn to love yourself again. Give it time baby, give it time.
The day before:
This weight is so much to bear. I feel as though my entire life has been shaken from its foundation. I don’t know what to do other than leave California. How do I stay in a place where there is a reminder around every corner? I cant stop crying. I threw the vase across the room. This is all too much. I feel so much. She was the best and worst thing. I loved her with every fiber of my being. She was always the strong one… she still is. I don’t remember what its like to be alone. I feel like i’m dying. I guess she could love her better than I can. I guess towards the end I couldn’t be what she needed. Sad is not the word I am looking for as I cannot find the words to describe this emptiness I feel. I don’t know how to be without her. I…
The following days; unknown actual days, time given where recorded:
I know its Thursday but I forgot the date. I’ve been sitting in a psychiatric unit since early yesterday morning when I felt the need to try and kill myself.
When you feel like dying from the moment you wake up to the moment you close your eyes to try and sleep I guess there is something truly wrong with you.
I didn’t stay in extended care where I am now but in the holding part of the facility.
I slept for 16 hours……
Dazed in and out from the Ativan. God bless Ativan.
Im not allowed to have my phone, my things, and I’ve been in hospital socks because they confiscated my shoes. Because well … laces.
I was allowed to take numbers out of my phone. Andrew, Matties Alizabee….. I have hers memorized… I want to call her so bad but I know its not good because I here. I need to breathe. I must understand that step one is to rebuild myself and my foundation. To rebuid this life from scratch. Im trying to be okay but what do you do when you can barely breathe. When it feels like your heart has fallen out of your chest. The one you were supposed to spend the rest of your life with no longer feels the same way. No longer loves you. Everything is breaking down, I want to lose myself in the rubble. This is incredibly devastating. I just need some help. Help getting my brain back together. Theres a sun roof here and its nice. Im waiting for another psych eval. I keep watching the sky through the windows towards the ceilings. The clouds look so milky today. The trees outside are oddly twisted. A representation/reflection of my insides? It smells clean here… but doctors office medicine clean.
short brown hair. throws tantrums. wants hugs. loud. distressed. frazzled. beautiful green eyes. psychotic. over sensitized. strung out. lovely voice. floats through the rooms in her mind.
i feel for her.
i hope for her.
She needs to reach her ultimate comedown.
I hope she comes down someday. She’s slipped off to sleep on the floor.
I want to play music. I miss my instruments. Theres a guitar here apparently. Someone made me an origami frog. I found it on my nightstand. I don’t know what to do I’ve never had these thoughts so deeply as I do. I think Im going to nap now. I feel very overwhelmed with numbness. I don’t know what else to do.
Phone call with Ari: “So much is waiting to meet you.”
I talked to Mattie on the phone. She saves me over and over again.
Im glad i’m here. I needed this. Its felt good to get some actual rest. I still haven’t been able to eat. The Ativan helps me sleep. It all just hurts. Do you know how hard it is to just not call her?
7:40 This is torture. I need some snugs so bad.
Im moving to Arizona, its happening. It will be good, it will feel better. I hope at least. She said she admired how I loved with everything I had. I did. With every fiber of my being.
Its cold here. I feel wild. My brain doesn’t feel right. There is a lot going on. I want to sleep but i’m waiting on a phone call from Mattie. I don’t know what I’m doing. Im on a lot of sedatives.
Side note: I wasn’t keeping much food down for two weeks. I had lost ten pounds and my anxiety was so bad that if I was to eat I would immediately get queasy and vomit.
I am stomaching some food for now. I think its the medicine thats helping. Tea is okay, I want a cigarette and a cup of coffee so damn bad.
My mom is calling me on the hospital phone.. All we can do is cry.
I have a window by my bed, it makes rest sound more pleasant.
Joe: completely unaware. winds his fists. white helmet, also sweet. smiles. does not talk.
Some people here flip lights. (?)
I am so tired. I just want my ativan and Mattison.
I want to sleep forever. Sleeping helps.
Alex the nurse: Man bun. wears plaid. funny. sweet. gives me candy which I have to hide. tells me im pretty.
I have to get reevaluated to get more Ativan. I practically threw a fit because all I want to do is sleep.
I m trying not to miss her, I am trying really hard not to call her. I just sit in the phone booth and cry. I sat in the common room and cried because I didn’t want to be alone in my room.
Morpheus: guitar. bloodshot eyes. nicotine gum.
Please call me back. I need to hear something good on the line.
9am: I wake up every morning to someone needing to take my vitals. They let me go back to sleep for a little bit. It already a hard day. I am woken up again to get my blood drawn. Taking my vitals, taking my blood, little bits of me. Whats even left?
9:30 I don’t have much of an appetite still. I started my period and I think i’m bleeding onto my leggings. Theres decaf coffee today. It feel semi-normal. I need a nap already.
I cant lose my job because of this. I need to go back to work soon. Im just exhausted still. I need that small bit of normality left.
I think Mel is awake. She seems lucid and okay. I hope she’s okay at least.
Im having a mini meltdown and need an Ativan. The skies look pretty and I want to go outside. I want a cigarette really bad.
?: Im feeling better in this moment. I want my anti-anxiety medication. Im supposed to call Alizabee soon. I am incredibly thankful for her. I cant even believe it. What a beacon. Just like Ari. Beacon of joy in this world, what a life. Everything looks so green right now outside. I think its the anti-depressants. They make me kind of grit my teeth and everything is very bright. Makes me breathe again.
I know I can bounce back from this. Ill be fine eventually. I have to understand that this is now my life. I don’t know if i’ll ever love anyone the way I loved her.
I just snapped at my nurse and she made me take something to “calm me down.”
Heath: new. sweet. empath. funny. I thought he was an employee at first. beautiful energy. cries a lot.
Melissa seems to be having a bad day. She’s wailing and doesn’t want her medicine.
Ativan, Paxil, Venlafaxine, Vistrial, Klonopin, etc. etc. etc.
Manic episode: Sun on my skin on an odd warm November day. How it can make you feel more alive on the not so good days. Brighten myself from the outside in. Grind your gears… or just your teeth. They’re brightening me from the inside out.
12:25 : My parents dropped off clothes with the office an hour ago. Apparently they have to dig through them for contraband. I just want clean underwear.
3:00 : I left her a voicemail. I said I wouldn’t call but here you are.
It okay. Im kind of numb through it all. Its fine.
Alex: He’s back. Im having a meltdown. He’s trying to calm me down. Asks if I need a nurse. No sir. I think I’ve already had my max.
3:20 : She called back. I’m doped up on Ativan and crying. She said she feels like a disease. I don’t know what to feel anymore. I’ve made my own messes. We made this bed together. I try to tell her this is a long time coming. It was just the last stone in the basket that I could handle.
7am next day: I’ve been sleeping on and off since the phone call. 14 Hours roughly. Breaks to take meds. Breaks to take vitals. Breaks to take another blood sample.
I think I want to go home soon. I just have to do whatever they say.
They keep it so cold in here. They say its to keep us from spreading colds but I dont know.
I don’t know who to call. Its so early. Im still not keeping much food down.
Two tangerines and some crackers.
The sun is out today.
I think I’m missing her less. Is this too soon already?
I wanted so badly to just curl up and die or well drive myself off that cliff.
The medication is helping keep these thoughts way.
I don’t feel so much anymore.
People here, no matter the situation, are mostly good to each other. Heath was still hungry after breakfast but they wouldn’t give him anything else to eat so I shared an orange and then Theo shared his apple. He sobbed.
Time for vitals.
They let us outside for a bit. The sun felt so good on my skin. Someone threw a tantrum so now its roundup to get us all back inside.
Melissa made herself a toga. She doesn’t seem lucid. I gave her some clothes, she seems pleased.
They’re having a meeting. They’re also deciding if I am “stable” enough to go home. The DR is here as well to see what medications need to be adjusted, added or taken away. I talked to my social worker, the one who helped me my first day. The one who needed to see the cuts on my thighs. Who sat with me as I wept waiting for my team to assemble. She says I seem better.
So much is waiting for you – Arielle
I feel good today. I talked to her on the phone again.
We had such a beautiful friendship and maybe one day we can have that again.
Not now but maybe someday.
I think i’m ready to go home. I just want to be back with my sister.
Melissa is having a meltdown because they wont give her Klonopin.
They keep offering her Ativan but she says its not the same.
Another man is pissed and yelling at the staff because they won’t give him Xanax yet. Apparently the drs having re-evaluated him yet.
Time seems to go by very slowly here. Especially with the sedatives. They numb me out and make everything feel semi slow. I think I like the Ativan a little bit too much.
4:25 : The DR still hasn’t come to see me so I might stay here for another day or so.
The head nurse is paging the DR to come sit and have a talk with me.
Im pretty anxious and I want an Ativan. Im afraid to ask. I want to go home and it may be a sign I’m not ready.
I know she is not in love with me anymore but hearing her voice on the other end of the telephone saying I love you felt good to hear. I think I’ll always love her. Miss her. That girl. She wrecks me.
4:45 : Andrew called. Im not allowed to be discharged yet.
I miss J.
Things will never be the same.
Progress in your heart first, Kristina.
Ativan at 7:30. Alizabee called. I love that woman.
Theres a new patient today. She’s in her early 60s. She keeps picking at her hair and arms.
My thoughts are racing with you.. Tonight is the big art show you’ve been planning for a month. I wish I could wish you well but she may be there. I can’t call knowing that. I also just don’t want to bother you anymore.
I hope the Ativan kicks in soon.
2:30pm: I’m going home.