This is a continuation of Hospital #1, Part 1.
The last thing I want to do is give the impression that mental hospitals aren’t beneficial, or to scare anyone away from seeking treatment. I do think people appreciate my posts because I am very raw and straight forward. I try my best to keep from sugarcoating my experiences or illnesses. This hospital was not a pleasant experience, and I hope you understand that I have to stay true to myself and my experiences.
By the time I arrived at the hospital, it was well past their assigned “bedtime”. I was escorted to my room where I was strip-searched and introduced to my roommate. It started to sink in that I really was in a mental hospital. She was a lovely older woman who tried to take her life because she lost her daughter the year prior. I still think of her and hope she found the strength to keep fighting.
I will try my best to recount my experience, but it is very hazy as I spent most of my time sleeping due to the medication. A nurse came into my room that first night and administered a shot in my arm. I still don’t know what it was, but it was the first of many. The next morning I learned my new routine: breakfast, group therapy, lunch, sometimes individual therapy or another group, free time, dinner, and bedtime.
The building was gloomy as there were no windows, and I didn’t see daylight for the 12 days I was hospitalized. We had personal showers in our rooms, but they didn’t have hot water so I showered maybe two or three times. If you wanted a hot shower you had to schedule a time for a nurse to let you into a separate bathroom they kept locked.
I was on several different medications, though I don’t remember what they were. I think it’s safe to say I was over medicated. All I could do was sleep. I was barely awake during group therapy, and on more than one occasion, I passed out while walking down the hall. I would feel it coming on and fall to the ground, and then I’d wake up in my room. I slept so much that I was told if I didn’t come out of my room then they would keep me longer, so I drug my bed into the common area and slept there.
I wish I had something positive to say about this hospital stay, but it would be a lie. It was absolutely miserable and I hated every second. I really don’t remember much since I was asleep for most of it. The highlight was seeing my family during visiting hours and getting to call them when they weren’t able to come.
Do I think it helped in the long run? Yes. I was put on the right track for therapy and, eventually, I sorted out my medication. Would I ever go back to this particular hospital? No. It was miserable, lonely, and I felt no one listened to me or truly cared about my well-being.
Please don’t let this discourage you from seeking help. I’ve had better hospital visits and they aren’t all this way. I highly recommend doing your own research while stable that, way you can have a hospital picked out if you ever need it.
I know hospitals seem scary, and most often we default to thinking they will be like this one. That’s not always the case. If you need help, please do what is necessary to get you on the path to stability. Go to a hospital, see a therapist, and take your medication as prescribed. If you need a sounding board, remember that your family and friends care and are here for you. We all need help in life, there’s no shame in seeking it.