2014 25 August :: 9.07 pm
She's standing in the ashes at the end of the world;
I never elaborated on my hospital trip last November, maybe I was never really ready, but it’s almost been a year now, so better late than never. In so many ways I feel I have changed and so many ways I still struggle daily.
Last November I went through a really rough time. I always tell people even though I get extremely upset, sad, hopeless, etc. at times, as long as I'm feeling I will be okay. About two weeks before
I got committed I was feeling just that, upset, sad; hopeless… this comes and goes to varying degrees. But it was significantly worse this time. I went to my mom for help and we figured it was best to go to the hospital, which we did. This was on a Tuesday night, I spent the night in the hospital, spoke with a doctor and psychiatrist, they set me up with an appointment the following week at USTAT “urgent short term treatment and assessment”, and I was sent home. Unfortunately a week was to long; I couldn’t go to work, I couldn’t get out of bed, and my feelings started to disappear. I spent the next 5 days in a state of nothingness, such unbearable emotional discontent that I disconnected from everything and everyone around me. I just didn’t care. I didn’t feel safe. I didn’t feel like there was anywhere to turn to or go. Not to mention this was taking quite the toll on my mom.
Sunday night came around and my mom and sister had gone to the store. When they came home I was in my bed with a bag around my head drifting in and out, this was not a conscious attempt to commit suicide or anything of sorts, at the time I just wanted to know what it felt like to suffocate physically, as I already knew what suffocating emotionally was like. Regardless, the paramedics were called as well as the police and I managed to take off before any of them arrived. Even I recognize at this point I was a completely separate person. I ran to the person I felt safest with (Greg) my best friend. Eventually he convinced me to go home. When I arrived I was escorted to the hospital by the police for further assessment. At the hospital I was further admitted and detained under the “Mental Health Act” (which I had no idea existed until that point”. This basically stated I was being involuntarily admitted for my/others safety. Now, I get that we only have limited resources here but forward to my “worse than jail” accommodations… Archie Courtnall or PES (Protective emergency services). A place I wouldn’t wish on anyone. It’s a set up with only a few beds, left mainly for the drug addicts and super crazies, two washrooms (not men or women’s, just communal) and an open area with several fold out chair beds and a handful of recliners. This is where people come and go at all hours of the night to be assessed, wait for a bed on one of the wards. I, by some stroke of luck, was able to sleep on a roller bed in the hallway. For others, they slept on the roll out chairs crammed next to strangers. Forget about privacy, dignity, etc. Your basically stripped of all that when you go in. Anyways… I don’t need to elaborate on that, I will never forget it, the people, the (uncaring, uncompassionate) staff, the lack of basic necessities (The single male/female shower had no curtain and urine on the floor), being force fed drugs… I could go on.
After three exhausting, terrifying, enraging sleep deprived days, I got a bed on a ward, 2 North, where I spent two weeks. The ward wasn’t so bad, except for some of the staff and lack of adequate mental help of any kind. The food was good, Monday-Friday they had a craft session for 1 hour and activity group for 1 hour. My family and friends were able to visit and take me out for 20 minute fresh air breaks… eventually I got the privilege to go on my own, but that was later revoked due to a meltdown that wasn’t really my fault (but that is neither here nor there). For the first while I felt like I was only going deeper and deeper into the abyss, I attribute that to PES. As well as a lack of counselling, coping skills, etc. I got more help talking to other patients than I did to any of the staff. I met with a psychiatrist for about twenty minutes during weekdays, whom I never did really talk to, for the simple fact he was a stranger who I could in no way, shape or form relate to, but was expected to tell my life story to. After a week or so I began to “stabilize” and while I wouldn’t say things went good, I was back to my regular emotions (depressed, sad, etc.) at least I was feeling again. Feeling means I’m not crazy apparently.
After two weeks I was able to do a weekend visit home, and boy was I ever happy to sleep in my bed and see my cats. After that I was discharged and was set up with twelve session at USTAT, where I saw a counsellor and psychiatrist weekly. I also was enrolled in an 8 week cognitive behavior therapy for depression and anxiety group. Well I don’t really think I gained much from the group , because I was still so emotionally borderline, it did give me some focus, if only briefly. As far as counselling goes, by no means can I achieve much in twelve session, especially when it was mainly focused on my hospital stay. But I was thankful for it nonetheless.
It saddens and scares me that our mental health system has such a lack of resources (and yes, people may argue at least there is something… but it doesn’t discount the fact that I have feelings and they are real, just as real as someone who has less than me). Not only was I turned away when I reached out for help, but when it got to the point that they couldn’t turn me away I was treated with less privilege than a convicted felon. Here is something I wrote after being force fed Ativan (I refused to take it and was told either you take it or we inject it in to you) I wasn’t being unreasonable, I just don’t like how I feel on drugs, Ativan makes my anxiety worse and I’d rather calm myself down then take it.
Written November 11th 2013
I have never felt more helpless and alone than I do now, here in this place. My entire sense of self and being stripped away, forget any pride, dignity or self-respect. Check that at the door. This place o depravity and sickness that encourages and enforces self “no self” medication and deterioration.
Thoughts, feelings, soul, mind dissipate. This place is a sick joke. Immoral and disgusting, gripped by a silent grief that is horrifyingly real. Sitting, waiting for nothing, the less instilled in helpless and hopeless. Contradictions daily, yet I’m the one not “mentally capable”. Drugs, drugs, drugs start this one, stop that one, take this, take that. Stop, start, stop. You are choice less and voiceless. Because nothing is better than something. How thankful I am to not be able to physically harm myself, but this place has broken every ounce, aspect and entity of my being. None of this will matter though, because I’m sick in the head.
It is still hard to read that. It brings up so much emotion, and even though I am by no means “fixed” or even close to “better” I can without a doubt say that I am nowhere near where I was that day.
2 Bullets in my heads |
Save my sanity