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.