(This post will be a mess. I don't have the emotional desire to review it and correct spelling. So, that's me.)
Saturday, March 31, 2012 10:32 am Mental Health Hospital
I stayed at Laura's house on Wednesday night so I could get up early and pick up my medication the next morning and not have to travel far. I woke up and prayed, journaled, other stuff, other stuff, dressed and was out the door. My head felt clear. Traffic was easy. Picked up meds. Casually walked three miles in effort to keep the commitment to myself to walk (at least) an hour (at least) a day. I was making done checkmarks in my iPad calendar. Smiley face. I went about my day and for the most part it went well, though I could feel myself getting anxious.
Nurse: Robin, I need to take your vitals.
Me: Ok, and may I have a pair of socks?
My anxiety kept growing greater and greater. I was afraid of being alone and afraid of being with anyone. Especially for the first time I took the medication because I didn't know. I dunno, I ain't a doctor and I never took no stuff like this before, judge yourself. The dark scary cloud was there and the dark cloud along with the anxiety is never good. I called George, who was at work at the time. I needed to stop driving. George: come by the job. Me: cool. I sat in the parking lot and the clouds didn't separate and the anxiety didn't lesson. Me: I gotta go to the hospital. I'm scared they might keep me. But I gotta go. So I went.
Nurse: Bingo tonight! Bingo tonight! You wanna play Bingo, Robin?
Me: No, thank you.
They kept me there, as I assumed they would. As much as I didn't want to be there, I knew it was where I belonged.
Side note- If you need help, get it. Be embarrassed, feel weird, be too good for it later.
I can stay awake for days at a time. Then when I'm in a place where I can sleep, without any attachments to the place, (without concern for dirty dishes or the ringing phone or who knocks on the door) I crash. I think that's why I love hotels so much. Thursday night at the hospital they gave me meds that had me rest well. So well. I didn't really wake up wake up until almost 2 the next day. I needed that kind of sleep. I felt so much better. No clouds. No anxiety. No cops chasing me. That's my paranoia. The cops, when I'm extra anxious, are chasing me. All cars around me are undercover cops. And "cops" ya dig? Not police. For some reason in my paranoid state they are cops. Everyone crossing the street, in line at the donut shop, at the gas station, they're all cops. And they all want me.
When I woke up I was cool. I thought I could just thank the nice people for a bed and turkey sandwich and just declare myself well and deuce out. Sike! Seventy-two hour hold, Son! Nurse: The ambulance is here to take you to xxxxxxx Hospital. Me: Oh yeah, no thank you. Nurse: No, you need to go with them.
Side note 2- Get the help you need. Who is to say that the cloud, or whatever you call your dark moments, won't be back? The cloud, the thoughts, the anxiety, the poorly dressed undercover cops pretending to be just crossing the street or whatever your thing is.
They gave me my things from the safe. My phone (my precious phone). I started texting and doing some last minute promotions for Red Stories, which is today, by the way. In the ambulance I called my mother and sent texts to a few friends.
When I checked in last night mostly I just slept. I was in the psych ward and there was psych ward drama but there was plenty of staff to handle that.
Side note 3- I openly say things like psych ward, anxiety and paranoia because they are truthfully uncomfortable for me to admit. But we find ourselves in uncomfortable situations sometimes. And better to get the help we need than to hide behind our shame. Our shame, our silence, our fear has not protected us.
As much as I don't really want to be here, it's the best place for me right now. Red Stories will go on tonight without me. I'm ok. Hungry though because I skipped breakfast. Mostly because I didn't feel like eating with everyone. I skipped "group". I skipped exercise because I don't feel like exercising with everyone and also because I can't wear a bra in this place and the guy two doors over keeps calling me "fine" and I'm just not doing it today. So there.
11:59 am Saturday
I went to lunch. It was ok. Writing is necessary for me. I would go flip without this pencil that is only almost as large as my pinky finger and the few sheets of paper they ration out to me to scrible my thoughts onto.
Nurse: What's your name?
Nurse: Oh, somebody called for you. I don't remember the name. Guess you were at lunch.
Dear Robin, Breathe. Breathe.
K (patient): What's your name?
K: Why you keep stayin' in your room?
Some other guy: Before they cut your hair off, what did you look like?
Me: They never cut my hair. I always look like this.
Some other guy: Oh.
Then I remembered that the German doctor was starring at my head and I wondered why he didn't seem to believe I was a writer. Oh well.
This post will be
Nurse: Quiet time! No phone! Quiet time!
So of course someone wants to use the phone.
Nurse: Quiet time! (Because quiet time has to be said loudly.) Stay in your room or the TV room.
And I know what you're thinking, Yay TV room. But nope. We watch dolphin documentaries because Cold Case makes That Girl sad and He gets angry if This is on and Neither of Them are comfortable with That. So for now will be cartoons and dolphin documentaries and you probably didn't know that many documentaries existed about dolphins but there are plenty.
Anyway, this post will be longer than it should be. That's because I'm not sleepy anymore and I'm only writing to be writing. Deal with me. I'm waiting for 3:00 to come so that I can get something from the vending machine. Of course I can't actually get it. I have to give money to the nurse and he will get it. I have no idea of what the selection is, but whatever. After 4 I can give my clothes to the nurse and he will wash them. Good. They need it.
Dear Roommate, I don't know if they told you about me or not but I've been pretty anxious and so when you use the bathroom with the door open then the sound of you peeing gets on my nerves. Maybe it has nothing to do with me being bipolar. Maybe it's just because that's nasty. Thanks, have a nice day and sleep when I sleep. Thanks.
Ok seriously I have to stop writing because I can go on forever. Yall know that. And some things just shouldn't be posted and my should and shouldn't post filter is already threaddy.
Sunday, April 1, 2012 about 3:00 am
I won't post this...maybe. But I'm ready to go. I have slept for the past three days. I've eaten a little, talked to the doctor, talked to the doctor and talked to the doctor. I had a few visitors, thank you. Thank you so much. I have taken my meds and now I'm ready to go. I have stretched and prayed. Writing eases my mind the most. Maybe I'll go to group today, at least I'll get to paint.
As much as I'm ret ta go I'm glad I'm here. Under the care of folks who are trained to know the signs of when things are off. I was thinking this morning that I don't know of any other scenerio where I would be disconnected from my phone, Facebook, my blog (I miss my blog), yahoo, hotmail and every other thing I'm on the Internet about. This is the only time I would have focused completely on my care and had a team of people knowledgable about what I was going through to help me. The degree to which I put myself second is rediculous. So while I would have loved my me time to be on some cruise (where I still would have found my way on Facebook and found a way to take care of Some Other) it's not. It's here. I want to believe I'm so different from the others here like you want to believe you are different from me. I'm not. You're not. I dont know that I could live through what some of these people have lived through and survive as well as they have. In like, my journey is my journey and the thistles and valleys still in my shoes may have killed some of you. See, the easiest thing to do is judge.
Sunday, April 2, 2012 around 6:30 am
I just had my blood drawn. I'm "refusing" breakfast again. That term sounds like I'm being all rebel but really I don' feel like walking over to the cafeteria this early. Everyone here is already crunk. And I thought I was a morning person. Oh, that's what they're doing...6:30 is the smoke break and breakfast is at 8. Whatever.
I see how pointless it is to keep saying to myself that I'm ready to go. Even though I am. When I catch myself I try to embrace whatever is good about being here. I keep asking the nurse for paper and they have been very polite to me. I don't want any of them, especially my doctor to ask me what I'm writing. That would be bad. I wish I could have the arts and crafts room to myself. I like to paint alone. And write alone. And be alone lately. I'm sensing a theme.
At 9 when breakfast is over I get to have my clothes washed. Yes! Because somehow I missed it yesterday and they need it. I don't like walking around in these two gowns, one to cover the back and the other for the front. I look like Casper the non-compliant brown ghost.
Sometime after breakfast
Nurse: Hi Robin, what's your goal for today?
Me: To go home. And may I get my clothes washed now.
Nurse: Not until after lunch.
Me: But the other nurse said after breakfast.
Nurse: No, sorry, 4:00.
Dear Robin, Breathe. Just breathe. You knew you needed help and so you checked yourself into the hospital. If you trip off of your clothes in face of the help you are getting, you are a fool.
P.S. I think we're skipping exercise again.
Sunday 10ish am
The doctor said that he wants to observe me one or two more days. That news made me a little sad but I'm breathing through it. One of the side effects of the meds is nausea and I've been feeling a lot of that. Mostly I'm woozy and sleepy and I have very little appitite. I'm not sure how exciting that is to observe. But whatever.
My new plan is to participate in dumb activities. Bingo, exercise, lunch, snack, TV room, whatever. I'm doing it. Woozy or not it's on. If I need to show this doctor change by doing fucking braless jumping jacks, then ok.
Sunday 12something - after lunch
Whatever this chemical imbalance is in me has me go up up up and then low low low. During my lows I have had thoughts of hurting myself. I have never acted on the thoughts, but thoughts, as we know, grow into something. I can't even say the truth of if on this blog. Hurting myself is such a lie. Hurthing myself sounds like I've had thoughts of dropping a can of beans on my baby toe. I've never had thouse thoughts. That's just the nice way of saying what I don't want to say. During my anxious state, I am fighting against the thoughts. The meds are supposed to even out the imbalance. Funny, I used to be in certain situations and say "I'm just not wired for this." Turns out, perhaps I wasn't.
Dear reader, please be kind in your personal comments to me. This was hard to admit. I say it openly here because someone else my feel this too. If this is you, you aren't alone. It happens. Truthfully, I've been saying things like this for years in my poetry. It always ended with some positive aspiration or was sandwiched between some joke or something, but it was there.
Sunday 2:06 pm
I went to my first group session. Partly because I wanted credit for going to group and partly because I was bored. Today was game day. I never go to group so the others didn't jump at the chance to pair up with me. For a little while I pretty much played Connect Four and Chinese Checkers by myself. One of the staff members said to another young lady, "Why don't you play with her?" Talking about me. Except he said it in Spanish, but I understood. She almost broke out into real tears. She may even have, I just didn't turn around to see. "Noooooooo!!!!! Noooooooo!!!!! No! No! I don't want to play with herrrrr!!!" She said that in English, probably so I would understand. Baby, no worries. No worries. (But see if I rush off the phone for you next time.)
This day is an exercise in being with my self and my thoughts I guess. I've done a lot of that in here. Maybe I'm saying this way too late but much of this post will probably bore you, so skip it or read it. I should work on a poem. Should should should. Can you tell I'm bored a little. Boredom, by the way, is my red flag that I'm not focusing on something I should be focusing on.
Monday 6:38 am
I am so clear today. I really feel good. I even look better. I saw the doctor this morning and I'm going home tomorrow. Score. Everything I was resisting, I needed. I needed group and TV room and other human beings to connect with. I needed to write I needed my own thoughts in the still of the night. I needed to be without my phone and blah blah blah.
There's no real close to this post. Just, another part of my journey.
mental health ward
gray no art(ed) walls
beige linolieum floors
no shoe laces
no wire bras
not this only
but this too
in my who I am
earthquaked into days