First of all, I want to thank all of you for your kind words of encouragement. I finally took a step toward my own wellness this past Tuesday. I checked myself into the mental hospital, or, as I prefer to call it, Camp Loopy.
Because it really was kind of like a summer camp for kindergarteners, if said camp took place mostly indoors and every door was locked. Later, I may try to tell in more detail about the three nights I spent there, but for now, I’m going to go with a top ten list.
Top Ten Ways a Mental Ward is like Kindergarten
1. Circle Time: We went to “group” where we played show and tell and some of us were kind of obnoxious about it. I once had a Kleenex box pointed at me in a threatening manner.
2. Walk in single file. We walked in single file lines to the cafeteria and the hospital staff had to count us to make sure no one got lost. I proposed a game of hide and seek while the staff wasn’t looking, which the staff didn’t think was so funny, but my fellow Looneys did.
3. Use your imagination. We were told to relax and picture ourselves on a sandy beach. One Looney who was a veteran said “Like Afganistan?” with an evil smile.
4. Cut and Paste. Once we cut rocks and diamonds out of paper – rocks for the hard things in life, diamonds for the good things. One guy just glued his whole page to the black paper instead of cutting the stuff out. I wondered why I hadn’t thought of that. We didn’t get to keep the safety scissors.
5. You get to color. One guy colored a picture of Tinker Bell, and asked what color to make her dress. I said red because she’s kind of a tramp. He agreed and added red lipstick too. Then he gave his picture to one of the techs who actually hung it on the wall.
6. There were stupid rules. Like no keeping food in your room, even if the other people (it was mostly men) ate like hogs and all the snacks in the common area went fast. One tech dude stole my graham crackers. I wasn’t happy.
7. Keep your hands to yourself. No touchies here. This was not Mental Mingle.
8. Meltdowns. You could usually count on someone crying or throwing a hissy fit.
9. No cell phones allowed. Everyone had to share the phone but no one limited their calls. And yes, kindergarteners have phones now.
10. Time Out. Since you can’t leave, you’re pretty much always in detention.
Anyway, I’m still working on recovery, so bear with me a while yet. But the skies are looking better. Especially since I can see them now.
Yikes! I would have expected more streaming so, say, authors who have professional designations and their own blogs would be put in a different group from those who needed coloring therapy. Ahh well, if nothing else it’s a lesson in the fact that it can always be worse. Hope you get well Alice – our thoughts and prayers are with you.
Ha, yeah, blog writers could totally form their very own mental health group. Wait, you do all work on a blog . . . for free? 🙂 Thanks very much for thoughts and prayers.
Yay! I’m so glad to hear this.
You cut rocks out of paper with scissors? It seems like there should be a game in there somewhere.
They were probably too afraid rock, paper, scissors might become violent. I could see that happening. Paper covers rock? WTF??? Smash.
You actually got to GO to the cafeteria? When I was in they always brought the food to us in those rolling insulated thingies so it was never actually hot when you got it. And depending on which ward you were in – I’ve done time in both – you didn’t leave the ward at all until you were discharged.
But I’m glad you’re doing better. We’ve missed you.
We had the choice of whether or not to go to the cafeteria. At least in the ward I was in – they put me in DDU, which was mostly veterans, substance abusers, depressives, or all three. A lot of people refused to leave their rooms and go. I always did because A: I wanted to choose my food and B: I wanted to get out of that room for a while.
I’ve missed you guys too. After deleting my facebook account once or er seven times or something I’m back on there now.
I’m glad you’re feeling better. I know those places can be a trip but, they do sometimes give you the best of care.
I never would have thought it, but I actually grieve for that place. It was the first time in my life I did not feel responsible for someone else. I miss that aspect of it, more than I can say.
Sometimes we all need a good rest.
I’m taking the serious in the fact that you are really brave to admit you needed help. Many of us are still afraid.
I’m taking the humorous in the vet who referred to Afghanistan in imagination of a Sandy Beach (it wasn’t funny but was hilarious at the same time) as well as the fact that you suggested hide and seek session.
That fucktech that stole your snack needs to sleep with one eye open…serious? Or not? Bwahaha.
Thank you for the update.
Don’t be afraid to get help. I was terrified, I mean like scaling my husband like a cat terrified before I went in. I can only speak for the unit I was in, but it wasn’t scary at all. Mildly annoying at times, but not scary. I actually miss the whole “no responsibility” aspect of it now. Don’t worry about the stigma. You are more important. Besides, many people are finally coming around. And those that don’t are fuckwads that steal graham crackers.
The vet lady was pretty funny – just the “Screw you I’ve seen bombs” look she gave the ultra happy people was great.
It’s good to see you can have a sense of humor with this.
I’ve always wondered if it is dangerous to run with safety scissors….
I’m not sure, but apparently spoons are dangerous. They gave us yogurt and ice cream in the room, but no spoons. Cause you can apparently shank someone with a broken spoon. You learn so much there.
No spoon for ice cream and yogurt?? How’d you eat it? I guess they were testing your gymnastic skills??
The first time we used the lids to scoop. After that we smuggled contraband spoons from the cafeteria. Of course, it depended on who was on staff as to whether or not spoons were dangerous. Some didn’t care. The rules pretty much changed from day to day.
Proud of you.
Thanks so much, Mer. Hope you’re doing okay. Missed you.
I hope these three days helped, and I hope you are on the path to recovery.
And watch out for that Kleenex, you could wiped out.
Hang on, I have to recover from that hilarious kleenex pun! Yeah, really, it was funny when she pointed the box at me for emphasis. Those days definitely helped, but its a long road to recovery. I got pretty cocky, but you have to take it slow when out in the real world. Scary out here with all the Tea Partiers and whatnot.
Would it help if you just stop reading the news for a while? I mean, Ursula the Sea Witch or Cruella de Ville are evil, but at least they don’t try to take away everyone’s health insurance (even your sucky one) or sell a gun to every crazy person with a wallet? (That’s my ploy to get you to continue the Disney series)
Actually I get the majority of my news from you! I try to avoid it otherwise. And it’s nice to know someone wants me to continue the Disney series!
Here, try this for some GOOD news:
I LOVE that song. They played it in one of our group sessions, and when I got home I downloaded it to my mp3. Insanely catchy! Also, I went to church Sunday. They have some kind of weird ideas, but they are good people and another source of support. Also, one of the things they talked about was shame and fear, and I thought of “grace” like you said. 🙂
Yay! 😀 I’m so glad you’re back, Alice. Hope things keep looking up for you.
I’m glad that your starting to feel better. It’s amazing how fast this shit sneaks up on us eh?
Take your time coming back and take care of you! xo
Thank you. It does sneak up on you, but when you look back you can see how it was building, building, building. Still, I felt totally blindsided by it. Like why am I so bad now? Why can’t I keep pretending? Maybe some people can do it longer?
I get it, kleenex boxes can be terrifying!
You take care, Alice. Loads of hugs.
Thanks, Miss Four Eyes. And here I always took great comfort in kleenex, especially with the lotion and the Vicks scent. I could snort those all day.
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Oh, Sheila, you are so full of crap! Do they have mental wards for spambots too?
Sounds a bit like being in a community… Only we still get responsibility. I’ll keep on praying for you, my dear. Xxx
My husband actually said the same thing – that it was like being in a convent! Thank you for your prayers.
Bet there’s more sex in a loony camp than in a convent though… 😉