Revisiting the Psych Ward

Don’t worry, I haven’t been re-admitted! That wouldn’t be the end of the world – after all, I’d only be re-admitted if I needed it – but, thankfully, I don’t need it right now. However, I have been back to the psych ward I spent so much time living in last year.

In 2013, due to extreme depression and anxiety, there were four months when I spent as much time in hospital as I did at home. Thankfully my wonderfully plastic mind has redacted most of those months out of my memory banks, but I remember the good bits: laughing hysterically with some of the patients who’d become friends, the nurses’ names, the times hospital felt like a haven rather than a prison.

I’ve attended the same building as an outpatient quite a few times since then: my medications bloke is housed in the same building, as well as some other services, but I hadn’t been back on the ward until a few days ago.

One of my very good friends is “in” right now having a course of ECT. Obviously, I’ve been going to visit and support her.

In 2010 I also had a lengthy hospitalization, in the city I used to live in. I also went back to visit, this time to help out a friend who only had accompanied leave (i.e. she wasn’t allowed to leave the hospital without a responsible adult). She needed cigarettes, and so called me up to come walk her to the shops. When I turned up at the hospital, one of the nurses laughed and said to her, “So this is your ‘responsible adult’?” Way to make someone feel good, lady.

Going to visit my friend these last few days has been a completely different experience. The staff were friendly and welcoming. for a start. I even saw one of the clinical coordinators who’d helped me out last year and clapped him on the shoulder. “I haven’t forgotten I owe you one,” I said jovially. “Only one?” he replied. Apparently favours accrue interest!

Even being in the place felt good. I wasn’t overwhelmed with gut-wrenching fear. I didn’t feel panicky. My friend just happens to be sleeping in my old best (weird!) and even going into that space felt OK.

I’m pretty chuffed that I could go back to a place in which I had suffered a fair bit last year, and feel good about being there. The place is a good place. My friend is in good hands. And should I ever have to be re-admitted, I know I’ll be OK, too.

14 Comments

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14 responses to “Revisiting the Psych Ward

  1. that’s amazing! thank you for sharing – reading this gives me hope.

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  2. That’s a really great state to be in! You definitely WILL be OK – especially if you can remember everything you just wrote 🙂

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    • Ah yes … unfortunately our memories sometimes let us down, don’t they? Still, I know I’m stronger each year that goes by. Thank you so much for the encouraging words. I really appreciate them. XX

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  4. It always feels so peculiar going back to hospitals as an outpatient. I’m glad you were able to feel comfortable enough to visit your friend and to talk to the staff. When I go back to hospital as an outpatient or visitor I usually wait outside or in the reception because I’m too scared to go onto the wards. Actually, the first time I visited someone after a hospitalisation, I was told by one of the nurses that I wasn’t allowed on the ward so I guess that’s where that fear comes from!

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    • Yep, that would do it, all right! 🙂 Silly duffers.
      I must admit that having a psych nurse basically laugh at me back in 2010 was disconcerting, but you just grow through those things, I guess.
      Also – and isn’t it odd that I’ve only just remembered this? – my very first every psychiatric admission was in 2008. I didn’t have to go back to that building until I went as a visitor in 2009, because my psychiatrist back then had his rooms elsewhere. Walking into that building as a visitor for the first time was VERY confronting; I remember I felt a bit weird for days. Still, we live and learn. I do recall that my treatment there wasn’t particularly good, so that may have had something to do with not feeling great about going back.

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  5. What a wonderful post.

    It takes a strong individual to reconcile two vastly different emotions into one beautiful positive. I hope that your journey remains hopeful into 2014 and beyond.

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  6. littlefabgirllost

    Thank you for sharing this. I wish you the best of luck on your journey! You will be fine! 🙂

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