Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Exotic Neurotic Hotel, Part 3

Time seems to stand still in Hotel California (you can check in anytime you want but you can never leave!).  The days drag, even when we have group.  We count down time by smoke breaks.  And then there is the weekend.  Nothing to do.  Nothing.  Saturday I arranged for Hubby to bring us a movie and a box of popcorn.

No one really watched.

But J and I sat together and watched and talked a lot.  He and I had grown quite close by this time.  And...he admitted having feelings for me.  And it was mutual.  Who falls for someone in the psych ward????  Turns out it is fairly common.

Think about it - who else can really understand what you are going through except someone in the same position.

Psych ward romances...sneaking a held hand, and back scratch, a hand on a knee.  We were careless - we suck at being surreptitious.  But we speak every day still.  We formed a bond, just like I did with T, that will never be lost.  We all went through something together that our spouses, boyfriends, what have you will never be able to totally understand.

More than anything while I was there I wanted to be held.  Nope, can't do it.  The physical craving was so palpable that it took everything in my power to not curl up into J's arms and say "fuck them" for the 20 seconds it would take for staff to catch us.  I even managed to sneak into his room for a kiss.  The bummer was that it was so fast and so daring and scary that I don't think either of us enjoyed it.

Having your medications overhauled is NO JOKE.  I spent the weekend on a roller coaster of epic proportions.  Around the same time a patient was brought in who had obviously suffered some incredible trauma as she would just break out into screams, crying, "NO, NO, STOP!!!"  And just plain screaming.  Blood curdling screaming.  It set me off soooo badly.  It was a bad night on the ward.  K (young woman who always seems like she's tripping and talks like she has Tourettes) was on a rampage.  The new woman was having panic attack after panic attack, and we had a wrap up that left me a mess.  Curled up in a ball, damn near screaming.  One of my friends, well, 2 of them, wrapped themselves around me and held me so tightly.  To make me feel safe.

It took everything in my power to not just SCREAM.  I remember asking for J.  We aren't supposed to touch, but in this case it was overlooked because it was helping.  They even overlooked J holding my hands (even after we had been reprimanded for "touching") and the nurse finally gave me my Seroquel and a Klonopin.  Once calmed down they took me back to the community room, and I lay down with my head on J's lap (again, overlooked) and fell asleep.  I was so dopey when it was time to go to bed that they had to have 2 people support me to get to bed.

J had become my rock.  We had admitted that there were strong feelings developing.  But we were careless.  And we were reprimanded, his room moved.  But still, we couldn't keep from sitting by each other, talking.  He got me through so many moments I thought I would lose it.

We realized that I "sundown" - evenings are really rough.  J spoke to the staff after my breakdown and made sure to put a note on my chart about the crazy mood swings of the weekend.  The weekend psychiatrist would only note what you told him, but not make changes.  Dr. Du was not pleased that the weekend doc didn't up my meds to help.

The all over the place feelings of the weekend were so scary.  I hated it.  It took everything I had, my friends had to keep me from completely losing it.  I am so thankful to have been in hospital during the time my meds were rearranged.  Being home would have been a TERRIBLE idea.

Weekends are also boredom central in there.  Maybe one group a day.  As always, counting the minutes to smoke breaks for our 10 minutes of freedom outside in the sun, in our cage.  Nowhere to walk.  We did get some extra time outside while they transferred the new woman to an acute unit because she had us all on edge.  We were so thankful.  The whole time I was there the worst weather we had was a light sprinkle.  So being outside was great.

Sometimes I would lie down on the patio and just watch the clouds.  We had to go outside to attend meals at the Manor House, so I would take my shoes off and walk through the grass up the hill rather than use the stairs.  On the way back I would lie face down in the grass, breathe it in.  Who cares if they looked at me funny.  It helps me.  So I did it.  Any chance I got.  You do what you need to do to help you through your time in there, and then when you have to face real life again.


  1. Damn weekend doctor! Can't wait to read more!

  2. I think this could be a book. Keep writing!!! We'll keep reading and cheering you on.

  3. I agree that this could be a book.

    I can't imagine being there when that new girl was checked in. That would have been rough.


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