Monday when Dr. Du came back I said, "Listen, buddy. This shit isn't working. What're we going to do about it?" Okay, maybe I didn't say it like that. I did let him know how up and down I had been all weekend, to check the note on the charts. At that point we did the last medication increase he would do while I was there.
That's also the day that my bitching and moaning about no physical activities got heard and the techs put on a walking exercise tape. The guys were NOT impressed, but certainly enjoyed us bouncing around. Only V and I made it to the end; the others were self-conscious. But OMG did I feel amazing after we were finished. And my night was so much better.
The next day they put on a Hip Hop tape, kicked the guys out back to throw the football and basketball around, and we ladies got down. I was the only one who made it to the end. Holy shit was I hurting. But again, wow! Did I feel good or what! It was a definite turn around. Did the walking tape Wednesday, too. This is when I decided that exercise would be a part of my discharge plan.
One of those days P was able to come visit again...so worth it. Many of the other patients would come out and watch him through the window. He brought such a light to the unit.
Those last couple of days also saw me becoming the "mama" of the group. I was always checking on others, advocating for them. Making sure they had basic things they needed. T left one of those days and she was sorely missed. But I was beginning to feel like ME. I was sleeping. I remember thinking on Wednesday, "I feel like ME." At least I thought I did. Let's be honest - I no longer am sure who me is. But I didn't feel manic.
I had found I Won't Give Up by Jason Mraz on the tv on demand video station, and it became our theme song. There were some we played regularly, plus some that Peggy our group therapist had given us. We had now basically acquired a Psych Ward soundtrack. And it became so important to many of us. It's a thin line, she warned us. Music can be healing or toxic. Music was something we were holding onto during our free time. It lifted all our spirits. It felt so good. We had found a way to take control of some of our healing, our therapy. It was awesome.
J and I still spent all of our spare time together, carefully. I watched people come and go while I was in there. J even more so. I'm not gonna lie - it felt like "what am I doing wrong that these other people are already gone and I'm still here?" But I could FEEL the improvement. Maybe I was still there because of my ability to help others settle in.
Whatever it was, I was still there. I got the word that Thursday was go day. Wednesday night I stayed up as long as I could all fucked up on my medication to see J as long as I could. Much of my anxiety returned Thursday morning. Inside, the routine was predictable mostly, real life was somewhere else...but now I was about to head back to the house, the real life that landed me in there in the first place. It was a Klonopin kind of day. It was a day of goodbyes. A day of sadness. Yes, sadness at leaving the Psych Ward.
I know, that sounds crazy (ha!) but the stability was so important. The outside world is the scary place once you've settled in there. But the time for hugs (allowed because I was no longer a patient) and walking out that door holding my toddler's hand came.
And that's when the real battle began.