I was released from the local psych ward (sorry, Behavioral Health Unit) on Saturday. My regime of meds wasn’t working and I had become so depressed I was feeling suicidal. I wasn’t thrilled about going inpatient, but I knew that I really needed to.
It was as scary as you might imagine. I was in for six days and during that time I was not allowed to have visitors, or any of the clothes that I brought. I was given a set of scrubs and a pair of mesh underwear. I could only leave my room during certain times, like for meals or group therapy. The staff all wore masks and strictly enforced social distancing, which I thought was a good thing.
My fellow inmates were interesting. There was a woman who never for a moment stopped bothering the staff for things that she could have done herself. This same woman’s room was across from mine, and she would sit on her bed and just stare at me. They eventually put her on the “other side”, which was apparently reserved for crazier people than myself.
The day I left, the nurses were screaming at a man to shower because he was covered in poop, and he was loudly refusing.
Not going to lie, these things made me feel a bit more sane.
I also met some really nice people – I had three different roommates during my incarceration and they were all pretty nice, particularly the last one, with whom I became fast friends. There was also a really sweet guy I talked to a lot who prayed on the day I left that I would get released. He claimed that his prayers for people always worked, and this time he was correct!
A lot of other people were in sort of a zombie-like state from getting new meds. My doctor there – the same shrink I see on an outpatient basis – started me on a brand new med for bipolar that just came out of trials. I was the first person out of his many, many patients whom he prescribed it to.
Usually these meds take a good few weeks to start working, but so far so good. I am very tired and having some muscle weakness, but I think that will start to go away soon.
While inpatient I had group therapy twice a day, and I met with a social worker daily. It was more helpful than I can say. I learned coping skills, new ways of dealing with stress, and just having listening ears was a big help.
All in all, I think my trip to the nut hut was absolutely necessary and wound up being a very good thing.
So, there’s that. I’ve been working on my novel since I got home, but unfortunately I am having to do it in the notes on my phone because the edition of Microsoft Office on my laptop is being a big bitch. It’s fine for the time being – the text on my phone is huge – but I’m going to have to come up with something long-term.
I’m in a really good mood. It feels amazing. Take care.