the window unlocks and lifts open.
yes, may i help you?
ya, i'm rachel. i'm here to check in. my doctor called earlier.
ok, just one minute. - pause, break, back - yes rachel we have you here. we have some paper work for you to fill out. are you coming here voluntarily? (a word i would here again and again.)
great. ok ....
and on she went. sign here this gives us permission for this , we can take your picture so the staff recognizes you , dad's beside me - he wants to know how much this is going to cost so we pause, break again and figure that out <breath, i tell myself, breathe, this is what dr queenan said to do, this is what he said to do> we have great benefits back upstairs to sign the papers again ...
hug your dad goodbye, he can come back during visiting hours tonight at 6.
what about my notebook?
no, you can't keep it cause it has wire on it.
wrist band on.
bye dad. i love you.
bye honey. i'll see you later.
two nurses walk me in. strip me down. take my bra and my clothes. i am given a tour of the facility.
this is your room and your roommate t.
this is where you'll get your meds each morning and night. this is where we take vitals twice a day. here's the common room where you can get snacks and eat your meals and get drinks. all therapy is held in this room over here. if you have any questions the techs are always around and your nurse is around to help you. are you ok? i know this can be overwhelming. would you like some water?
water. yes. that would be good.
i sit. holding the water in my trembling hands. observing. i am now checked in to inpatient psych. and this will be my home for the next four days.
my reason for coming : suicidal thinking. not an occasional thought. but deep, thought out plans, it's the only option left, life as i have come to know it has become too much and the only rational 'out' i can think of is to end my life. i will be asked over the next four days many times how i feel, if i'm feeling suicidal, when the thoughts started, what triggered them.
it is a scary and vulnerable place to be. a helpless and hopeless place to be. but, i took the right step. i followed my doctor's orders and went for help.
i like my roommate. she is a god send. we soon discover that we suck at puzzles and that there are only so many rounds of jenga we can play in one day without going crazier than we already are. we get along and one crazy patient named us the bobbsey twins cause really, we never left each other's side. (and on a side note now that i have googled that and know who the bobbsey twins are that patient must have needed glasses cause um - we were both girls!)
it was a one unit floor and there was a wide variety of people there from schizophrenia to cutters, depression, court order, major depression/suicidal (me), homicidal, those who heard voices and saw visions, anger and rage issues, and others who were detoxing.
the stories. oh the stories. i could go on for days. like the lady who asked at every meal if anyone was going to eat all or part of their meal and if not could she have it and would then sit by the return tray area to collect what she wanted. or the few tiffs that broke out. or the lady who would whine at the top of her lungs about her oxygen tank and meds and shower and having someone wipe her ass - like this was a care facility. i named her ursula cause they moved her bed to the door and she would just sit and watch the nurses all day long when she wasn't whining. or the girl who was literally on the phone all.day.long. i have no idea how she had that many phone numbers memorized and had that much to say to people. it was quite literally shocking. whenever t and i would walk by she would be on the phone with someone.
i had visitors. a came. mom and dad came. my brother came. my sister s came. and my counselor shane came. most people didn't have visitors and i had at least two every night. #blessing. in order for visitors to come see me they had to know my patient number which was 713.
there were some good parts. group therapy was decent. i learned some things that will make it onto my blog. i did painting and played apples to apples and wii bowling in rec therapy, all of which were fun. we got 15 min fresh air breaks which were not long enough! that was our only freedom and it was hard not to run. so hard.
i started going stir crazy on day 2 - and though in all honesty i could've used a few more days in that artificial environment - the people were driving me batty. i couldn't take it. so i had to pull it together - fake it til you make it type of stuff - and convince everyone that i was well enough to get out of there. the hardest one was my doctor. he was a cautious man. but it worked out. never have i ever been so grateful to use full sized pencils with erasers and pens!
they switched up my meds which has been good and put me in an iop (intensive outpatient program) which i hope will also be good.
i have had to make a lot of really rough decisions the last week including quitting my job to focus on me right now and moving back home. none of this is what i expected out of march. i cry, everyday, over all that has happened this past week. sometimes the pain is so great i can hardly bear it. my friends have been a huge support as has my family. i know others are praying for me when all i can do is call on god's name and start to cry.
i do not see the point of my suffering right now or my path. it is all foggy and clouded. i am confused and hurt. i thought i knew what i was doing and had life figured out. but i guess looking back there were things in my life that needed to change i just didn't know how to change them and now they are being forced to change.
the good news is : i'm surrounded by my plants.
my mom bought me flowers today. a brought me flowers today.
and when all is said and done, god, won't you use this for my life's good?