For the sake of my tenuous sanity, I thought it would be a good idea to keep a diary of my (hopefully short) time in the psychiatric hospital. I’ve overdosed on Lorazepam before, so I’m familiar with the resulting amnesia and confusion. It hangs around for days and the order of events gets blurry.
I was actually transferred here from the general hospital on Thursday night. I was still whacked out on all the meds in my system, so I don’t even remember coming in. All I remember is crying continuously and clinging to my wife and my mum. I felt like a tiny child being left at school for the first time. I was bereft when they were asked to leave.
They psychiatrist wanted to see me to do an intake, but I was crying too much to be able to answer her questions. I could only manage yes or no responses. She did confirm that they weren’t going to section me if I was compliant, which was a relief. On reflection, it just means I don’t have the section on my record – I don’t feel it is my choice to be here. The threat of being sectioned is enough to make me stay.
They asked if I wanted medication and I said no. The thought of swallowing pills at the moment makes me want to puke. I was tired and still drugged enough from the OD to sleep that night.
Apparently I called my wife when I went to bed. I have no recollection of that phone call. I was hallucinating a group of people doing some sort of religious chanting in the corridor. That’s quite worrying, as I haven’t had any delusional symptoms before.
The first day went so slowly. Visitors aren’t allowed in until 4pm on weekdays, so I spent the whole day just counting down to seeing my wife and avoiding the other patients, who are awkward and intimidating. The staff were happy to ignore me, they’ve got a lot to manage with the others.
I burst into tears when my mum and my wife showed up. I had nothing to say to them, apart from to repeat how much I fucking hate this place and to keep apologising for what I did on Wednesday. They brought me some of my favourite sushi, as they know I can never resist it and I wouldn’t eat the food here. Once again, it was heart wrenching when they left. I need the physical comfort of people I love so badly right now, it’s horribly cold and lonely when they are gone. Nobody here really notices that I exist.
I went to bed early as I still felt sick and exhausted from the overdose and the shock of all this. I couldn’t sleep because this place is so fucking loud at night. All around me I could hear women crying, throwing up, slamming stuff around and shouting in what I can only guess we’re attempts at self harm. The staff check on me every hour, noisily sliding up the prison-style hatch on my door and shining a torch in.
When I did eventually sleep, I had night terrors for the first time in months. Three in a row. Men holding me down and breathing foul breath in my face while I was completely paralysed. So terrifying and extra traumatic when I am alone.
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Sending you prayers for strength.
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