That photo is currently the outside world to me. A rectangle of sky above the tall walls of the secure smoking area on the ward.
It feels weird to be locked in. I haven’t experienced this before. I have no recollection of being admitted to the ward, so it wasn’t until my wife took me out for a walk that I realised how incarcerated I am. There are three locked security doors between me and the outside world. There are metal bars on all the windows.
I cried when I saw the reality of that for the first time. But I guess that doesn’t mean much. I’m crying on and off all day at the moment. But today, I noticed that I already feel somewhat institutionalised. I hate this place with great intensity, but when I was talking to my wife about going home, I felt really fearful of stepping off hospital property and back into the real world.
A nurse checked in with me today for the first time since I arrived here. She actually came to my room to ask how I was doing. It was a paperwork thing, but I appreciated it nonetheless. She gave me this proper hard talk about how I have to take responsibility for myself and stop expecting other people to do the work for me. She told me I shouldn’t take my wife for granted; and in her view by not committing to myself, I am not committing to my marriage. It broke me down because I know she’s right.
Tonight I’m hit with what feels like a tidal wave of cold, hard, reality. I have a shitload of work to do and I have to actually do it. I can’t keep treading water. I can’t continue to sabotage myself and my treatment. Life is just going to be long and awful that way. Or short and horrific for my wife, which is an option I have to take off the table. I have hurt this woman who loves me so very much, the past few days have been almost as agonising for her as they have for me. She deserves something better.
But the thought of having to change things, to try new things, to work hard and apply myself is frightening. However, when I put it into perspective, it isn’t as frightening as the prospect of being here again. I swear this place is mainly designed from a ‘scared straight’ methodology.
This morning I found out that the psych ward is especially scary on a Sunday. I had a mostly sleepless night, and got up at 5.30 to make some tea. I was greeted with this.
Lets be clear, I’m not at all against people having their faith. But overzealous religion from unhinged, psychotic, angry people does in fact scare me.
Later, this cross (that looks like it could have been painted in blood but I’m telling myself it isn’t) had also appeared. It upset me that people had occupied a room that is allocated for quiet reflection in this way. But maybe I am being oversensitive, or unrealistic to expect very sick people to behave in a socially normal way.
It’s just another reason I fucking hate this place. Have I said that already? I do really fucking hate this place.