I recently spent a week in the hospital in the "Behavioral Health Unit". That's a politically correct way of saying the Psych Ward. I had a breakdown and my thoughts took a dangerous turn. For once I not only wanted to go to sleep and not wake up, I seriously considered a way to do it. I had the means, I have lots of medication in my home and I could just go to sleep and not wake up.
These thoughts scared me. I reached out to my mother and told her I needed to go to the hospital. Then I went to sleep. When she got off work she and my aunt came to my house, my aunt took my girls and my mom took me to the hospital.
It was very late when I got there, my first night I was examined for tattoos, scars, and bruises. My phone, purse, and shoes were taken from me. I was given a room and I went to sleep.
I was scared my first day. I didn't know anyone and as someone with social anxiety, I was pretty close to terrified. There were some very nice people there who talked to me and included me even though I mostly sat and listened.
My experience in the hospital wasn't what I thought it would be. There was a lot of free time where we sat around talking to each other, watching TV, playing cards, reading books, or talking on the phone. There was some group therapy and we got to go outside to an enclosed area a couple times a day. The food was basic hospital food (I lost a pound over the course of my week in there.)
We were told when to wake up, when to eat, we had to ask permission to shower, our medication was handed out to us at certain times a day and our moods were tracked at medication time we were told when to go to sleep too, although most of us had gone to our rooms by that time already.
There were two visiting days and only one when you could bring children. I saw my mom on both visiting days but no one else came. I was glad the girls didn't come. I didn't want them to see me in the hospital. I missed them so much but I didn't want them to have that memory. I talked to the oldest Princess on the phone while I was in there but the youngest princess didn't know where I was. I just told her I was somewhere trying to get healthy. How do you explain it to a 6-year-old?
I spent 5 days in there. I was so happy to get out but I'm still having trouble adjusting. The structure was something I need in my life but it's something I'm not good at. I feel like my family looks at me differently now. They seem to look at me like I'm fragile, like I'll break at any minute.
My relationship with my now ex-boyfriend fell apart. We have split up because I couldn't reach out, because I feel so different now. My emotions are so strange to me and I don't know how to handle them. I feel like I'm lost and I'm searching and searching but I'm not sure what I'm searching for.
Depression and Bipolar Disorder are scary things. They can completely turn your life upside down. They can lie to you and make you feel the deepest despair. Bipolar Disorder can make you feel the highest of highs and then crash you down to the lowest of lows. It's a hard life and many of us don't survive it. If you know someone suffering from these disorders please reach out. You never know how you could change their lives with even the simplest gesture. It's real and it hurts, that's all we want you to understand.