So it was about this time two years ago that I melted down completely and went into the mental hospital. Here's some advice if you ever find yourself in the same situation:
1. They're tricky. You're saying, I know, I don't feel good, blah blah blah, and next thing you know you're locked into a psychiatric hold and you can't leave.
TIP: Be prepared.
2. They put psych patients in with the drug addicts and the alcoholics. Guess who's considered the scary ones in that bunch? You could always tell who the psych patients were in the room because no one would be sitting by them. And I can't blame people. I spent most of my time staring into space, sleeping or crying. One of the other psych patients in there with me tried to escape. From a voluntary check-in!
TIP: Stay away from the psych patients. Unless you are one. Then, sorry. :(
3. The days go by with excruciating slowness punctuated by meetings, doctor visits, group therapy, checkups, yoga, meditation, ART TIME. I stayed in my room and slept through meetings, therapy, yoga and meditation, until they finally put their foot down and said I had to go to art time. Which was fabulously fun. Or just may have seemed that way when you've been beaten down by life and staring at the walls of a treatment facility for a few days. Whichever, the point is, art time lets you see grown adults coloring diligently around a table WITH an instructor and helps you get at your inner self. TIP: Don't miss art time!
4. The place where I stayed had a very nice kitchen. I didn't know this at first, because I refused to leave my room through two mealtimes before hunger finally drove me downstairs for supper. My fear of crowds made me very uncomfortable, but the food was great.
TIP: Be ready to face your fear on a daily basis if you want to eat good. Otherwise, you'll be eating crackers.
5. Families were allowed to visit on certain days. I never missed my family so much as when I was locked in and couldn't get out. I had no laptop, no cellphone, no ebook; so I stalked my family on the public phone as much as I could. I had to take my turn, though, because everyone else was doing the same thing. The important thing was they had to come visit me on my allotted day, and bring money. Because I missed them, and snacks.
TIP: STRESS to your family how important family day is, because it's really disappointing if you're one of the ones whose family doesn't show up.
So that's all I've got for now...I'll tell yall later how the next two months went. Really a short time in my life, but it'll stay with me forever.
...And yes, I said she tried to escape. From a voluntary check-in. Ensuring her spot in the IV chair at the nurse's station for HOURS and then the room with the 24-hour surveillance cameras. There's crazy, and then there's CRAZY...