Sometimes we will be down, so far we cannot even see the light. If someone could just throw us a lighter, maybe we could start a fire, find our way out. We do not care about much, just another hospital visit under our belt, a number you are beginning to hate. I do not tell people about my hospitalizations. I guess that chain and ball, stigma, is still holding some things back. I will tell you , dear reader, that I have been held unfortunately four times. Four – I mean, what the fuck. I know there will be other times in my future. My current psychiatrist has asked me if I needed to be committed to the hospital multiple time. The answer always being “no.”
Instead of the hospital, I often seek refuge with my parents. They live on about twelve acres, part of which is a lake. It is quiet. There I am not overstimulated (unless there are a lot of people over for a holiday). They try to pep me up, bless them. They are not just throwing lighters, they are climbing in and reaching for my hand. They let me rest – take naps when I need or want to. They know I like to go to bed early. I believe that it is better to stay with my parents than to be hospitalized. I still see my psych professionals – therapist and psychiatrist – more than normal.
I wish we all had a place to go instead of the hospital, a place of respite. Do not get me wrong some hospitals are aces. Some have all kinds of therapies available to patients. I have visited such, but I have also been to the ones that leave the television on and dole out your meds while the days pass.
Re-entering the big ole world, following that pinhole of light is hard. It is for you and for the people around you. As Andy Berhman says bipolar disorder isn’t a casserole illness. What he meant was that when someone is sick, people reach out by making food for the sick individual, well, they do not roll out the stops for us. I am just the crazy girl. I would like somebody to make me a lasagna when I get of prison, I mean the psych ward. I would like a homemade pie, hell, I will take a frozen one. Sara Lee is fine with me. It is the act of kindness that we miss.
No one knows what to say. I can understand that and I am sure you can to. Just ask us if we are okay. Ask if we’d like to go get some coffee. We may not go, but being asked, being included helps. It can be a hard transition from psych ward to real world. In the hospital everything is regimented and when we are released structure falls apart. It makes it kind of easy to start that fall back into the black hell hole we lived in before the psych ward. Check in on us. Bring me chocolate or a hot mocha latte. Make sure I know someone cares. I have a very supportive family and I know that is not true for everyone. Find someone who will listen to you. Support groups are great is you can find one after you are released from the hospital. Groups can be intimidating, but if you can do it, join one. Or, if possible, see your therapist more often than you did preceding you psych trip.
I just want you to know that I know how hard it can be. I have been there. Four times so far. Getting out of a psych ward is just as difficult in its own way as getting in.