Monday: checking out of the psych ward

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My last day was Monday.  For a short day, it was pretty emotionally intense and busy.  I got up super early again, only having about 4 hours of sleep.  I downed 4 or 5 cups of coffee, and these were the big cups, not the small coffee mugs.  I was exhausted by this point.  Our group consisting of Erik, myself and Jamie sat down before and after breakfast and continued coloring.  Jamie had the most amazing picture of all of us.  It was from the coloring book that my work wife had given me, called “imaginarium” (which I’m naming my book after, since it was such a cathartic and needed release for me).  It was an elephant made of various and random things.  She colored it lots of bright colors and did the background black so it popped.  It was beautiful.  Come to find out, Jamie is quite an artist and loves it.  It made sense, because she kicked our ass in the coloring department.  Erik had a really neat tube-geometric thing, that I can’t even describe.  It was a pattern that he did in a lot of neon colors and it looked awesome when he was done.


Jamie’s amazing elephant


Erik’s “tubes”

Jamie got discharged early that morning.  She was not supposed to be there, she didn’t have a mental illness.  She ended up at the ER on Friday because she couldn’t eat and had lost 11 lbs in 2 weeks.  As a teeny thing, she did not have 11 lbs to lose, so went to her regular doctor to see what was going on with her.  Her regular doctor sent her to the ER, who then decided she had an eating disorder and sent her to the psych ward.  Poor thing went through the ringer over some migraine medicine side effects.  The psychiatrist saw her Friday night and said she shouldn’t be there either but asked to give him a couple days to get her out; they don’t discharge patients during the weekend except in rare cases.

She was gone first thing in the morning on Monday.  I gave her the hugest hug and told her I’d find her as soon as I get out.  I did; it was the first thing I did when I got my phone.  After Jamie hugged me, she stood and hugged Erik.  It was a very, very long hug and you could see her talking to him in his ear.  I have no idea what was said, but knowing what I know now, I can imagine.  Erik had been writing in pencil on the back of his geometric coloring page and gave it to her.  I don’t know what that said either, and as much as it isn’t my business, I’m dreadfully curious.

When Jamie left, the change in the room was palatable.  Erik’s demeanor did a complete 180.  He turned absolutely despondent.  He was so gloomy and looked like someone had stolen his birthday.  His sparkle was gone.  Shortly after Jamie left, there was an AA meeting in the center of the room.  Since I’ve had no problem with any drugs or alcohol (besides some very bad decisions with alcohol), I had no desire to participate.  Erik stayed with me and would occasionally contribute a comment or two from across the room.  Right after the AA meeting was music therapy.  The local university has a group of student musical therapy teachers that come in and bring a bunch of bongos, tambourines and other random noise makers.  They’d sing random peppy songs (one I remember is the Beatles’ Here Comes the Sun which I know well from loving the Beatles).  I’m a very poor singer, but decided I was happy enough and didn’t care what I sounded like, so I belted it out along with the ACTUAL singers.

Poor Erik went in the center of the room and grabbed a bongo.  Erik is a musician, so music is an outlet for him.  He glumly zoned out as he was beating the drums.  I felt so terrible for him.  I hoped he would do well in his next step of healing and become healthy.  I knew that he and Jamie would be together, I just hoped he’d focus on him and his disorder for the next little bit so that he would be well for himself first, before worrying about dating.

I stayed posted in my spot at the table with my ice pads behind me and patiently waited for my nurse to bring my paperwork to discharge.  I was finally done with the ward.  I wanted out.  After a million minutes, I finally got the go ahead from my nurse to get my things ready and head out.  I went right to Erik and gave him a big hug.  I told him, “Erik, you’ve got to take care of yourself first.  I’ll take care of her.  Go get well.  It will be okay, you’ll be okay.  I’ll see you on the other side.”  He replied back to me that he would take care of himself and get better.  I could feel his affection and desperation to see Jamie once more and knew he would do what he could to get well enough for himself, and to be what he thought was worthy of Jamie.  I think he looked to me as a big sister (he’s younger than I, but I don’t know by how much.  Probably a decade because I’m old).  After I hugged him, he went back to the music and completely immersed himself into it.  I’m so proud of what he’s accomplished and how well he’s taken care of himself after the ward.  He’s done an amazing job and is so healthy.  He clearly loves Jamie ferociously and well.

When I finally got out, the nurse had to wheel me out.  I was a fall risk somehow.  Once I saw Connor, I jumped up from the wheelchair and ran to him and kissed him and gave him a huge hug.  I was so relieved and hopeful to be out.  My whole life had changed and was open to anything now.  I still had grandiose ideas about what I wanted to do (part of hypomania), but I was so happy.  I had finally felt the clouds of misery lifting and could see more than negativity and everything being grey.  Things were going to get better.  I was going to be open and truthful and work on my intimacy with people, especially Connor.  I was sure I was going to write in some aspect; I wanted to share my wonderful experience with the world. This is not an experience that many get to have and I though maybe some would be interested in it.

Of course, my first request of Connor was to stop at the store to get me gummies.  I NEEDED them.  We got to the store and I bought three bags of yummy gummies.  I’m still too addicted to them, I constantly crave those freaking things.  I was on cloud nine as we got in his truck to go pick up a new truck Connor had bought me.

I read somewhere like there is no happiness like being discharged from the psych ward.  I found this to be true.  I had finally found a medication that had cleared the grey clouds from my head (temporarily, they came back and I had to switch meds again, which is common) and things were looking up.  I had hope for the first time and things that I wanted to get done and accomplish.  And here I am, finally doing something I’ve wanted to do forever.  I’ve always wanted to write and be published.  I’m self-published on a blog, but hey.  Baby steps.  I’m slowly writing my book, though I’ve been focusing more on the blog recently.  It’s too cathartic for me and I really enjoy doing it.  I’m hoping that it helps people in some way.  I have always wanted to help people.  If this is the way I can do it, then I’m very excited to be blessed enough to have what it is I need to write, and the ability to do so.

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