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.