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{the deep darkness} thoughts | December 13, 2015 |

December 16, 2015  •  13 Comments

I wrote this on Sunday afternoon, December 13, 2015. My last full day of my 4 week and 4 day stay in the adult psychiatric unit. I share because I care.


 

Sunday afternoon.
Cloudy.
Dreary.
Dark.
Suddenly awake.
Thoughts running through my mind.
Look at my phone--the only clock to tell me how long I slept.
4:06.
Turn on over-the-bed light.
Grab a pen and blank white paper--all obtained by asking a nursing assistant weeks ago.
Remembering thoughts.
Pictures of the past 4 weeks and 3 days.
What a trip.
A long trip.
The appointment with my therapist.
So kind.
So caring.
So loving.
A sister in Christ.
Like a dear friend.
I tell her the details.
She knows this is a big deal.
She is very concerned.
But kind.
Not condemning.
Not judgmental.
Not harsh.
I cannot believe she cares and is so kind.
I tell more details.
She calls my husband into the room.
She and I know what must be done.
She tells him the details he does not yet know.
She tells us we need to make another trip to the ER for psychiatric evaluation.
She cares.
She cries.
She prays with us.
The drive to the hospital.
Third time in 5 months.
Contemplation.
Am I really doing that bad--do I need to go?
Waiting.
Thinking.
Hearing--the sister on the phone, calling work for her brother she brought from Washington County Hospital after a work accident with a chainsaw.
His bloody knee soaked through his jeans.
Hearing the impatient waiters in the ER.
Don't they know this is a hospital?
My years of being a waiter at the hospital with my husband tells me it could be hours.
So I sit.
Too "sick" to really care.
And wait.
Thankful to be near a window.
My name is called.
Cause for excitement until I remember why I'm hearing my name.
Walking through the ER.
Sitting on a bed in the "ER overflow."
Same exact bed.
Same exact "room."
Anxious.
Waiting.
Telling "my story."
Humiliation.
Nothing new for me.
Waiting.
Telling my "story" again.
I know how this works.
Trying not to think.
Blood draw.
Poke.
Ouch.
A different kind of pain.
Waiting.
EKG.
Heart pounding.
Talking to psychiatrist.
Thankful.
This time the doctor was a kind, understanding, easy-to-talk-to woman.
The decision.
Admitted to the hospital.
Nothing new.
Not quite as scary this time.
Wondering.
What will it be like this time?
1st or 2nd floor?
I hope 2JPW.
Been here enough to have a "favorite psych unit."
Waiting.
Wondering.
Only 6 hours after arriving at ER.
My bed is ready.
A goodbye kiss for my husband.
Riding in a wheelchair.
Is this necessary?
I can walk.
Been sitting in ER for 6 hours--exercise would be good.
The locked doors.
Very familiar.
This locked unit I walked past so many times going to appointments for my husband.
NO idea what was behind the double set of locked doors.
NO idea it would be my home away from home someday.
A familiar face.
She is one of the most kind, gentle, nursing assistants.
I know her from before.
Follow the procedure.
Not allowed to keep my clothes.
Putting on the hospital gown, blue pants and robe.
Tie it tight.
Try to hide.
The nurse is nice.
I know her from before, too.
Telling my "story."
Lost count how many times.
Room to myself.
Know from experience--the psych unit is a busy place--private room won't last long.
Can't do anything.
Don't want to do anything.
I remember this place is cold.
Ask for extra blanket.
8:45 at night.
Lay down.
Go to bed.
Awake.
Morning.
Mourning.
Can't get out of bed.
"Breakfast is here!"
Get up.
Get ready.
Go to breakfast.
Still wearing gown, pants, robe and hospital socks.
Want to hide.
Back to room.
Lay on bed.
Numb.
Lifeless.
Breathing.
Eyes shut.
Time passes.
So much happening.
So little happening.
Knocks on door.
Vital signs.
Move to another room.
Anxiety.
When will I get a roommate?
Will she be messy?
Will she bring germs and share an illness with me?
Who was in this room last?
Germs!
Please clean my room!
Laying in new room.
New room.
Same bed.
Anxious.
Numb.
New roommate.
Not happy.
Give her time.
It's always rough when first arriving here.
Laying in bed for days.
Eating small meals.
Not hungry but nurses and doctors don't like it when patients don't eat.
Thought of desserts and sweets sound disgusting.
Depression is showing.
Asking permission.
Bothering the staff.
They are so busy.
Babysitting all these adults locked in this unit.
Can I get some towels?
Can you turn on my shower?
Can I have my phone?
Can you charge my phone?
I'll get my own water.
I drink too much.
They don't have time to refill my little cup that often.
Can I have more toothpaste?
CLOTHES!
What a joy to get my own clothes.
Still no shoes or belt.
They have to keep those locked up.
I cannot be trusted.
Thankful to get my own clothes.
The shower.
It all comes back.
This seems so normal.
Stand in front of the sensor or you won't get any water.
Ouch!
The water can get hot.
I don't care.
This is normal.
I am thankful to be "clean" and wear my own clothes.
Noise.
Yelling in hall.
Normal.
I remember this from before.
Not alarming.
Cursing.
Swearing in the hall.
Screaming.
Safe in my room.
No concern of mine.
Thinking.
Wondering.
Contemplating.
Why do they do this?
Eye opening.
Not quick to judge.
I am locked away in the unit, too.
The bad thoughts return.
Even in the hospital.
They know no limits.
I have a plan.
Should I do it?
It's dark.
I could get away with it.
I want to.
My children.
Alarm.
Sadness.
Anxiety.
Finally tell nurse.
I cannot be trusted.
Heavy duty sleep meds.
Sit in front room near nurse.
Sleep med hangover the whole next day.
Visitors.
Better than medicine.
Comfort.
Hope.
Love.
Care.
Piano.
Listening to other patients play.
Enjoyable.
Relaxing.
Hiding in room.
Laying in bed.
My blanket.
Soft.
Warm.
Much better than the thin, chilly, scratchy, plain brown hospital blankets.
Comforting.
A piece of home.
Thankful.
Noise.
Bright lights.
Room checks every 15 minutes around the clock.
Can't sleep.
Vitals in the morning.
Talking with an audience of doctors and students each day.
Stage fright.
So thankful for my resident doctor.
So kind.
Gentle.
Mother of one little one.
Understanding.
Caring.
Enjoyable to visit with.
"Taking a break."
No cooking.
 
No cleaning.
 
No children to take care of.
No family.
No friends.
Alone with God.
Alone yet surrounded by people.
More sleeping.
Laying in bed.
Screaming.
Out of control in the hall.
Listening to it all.
And wondering.
Not surprised.
Group therapy.
No thank you.
Too many people.
I just need to rest.
Will this ever end?
Just rest.
This life-long "mental illness."
Most likely will die with this.
A blessing.
Romans 8:28.
God has used my trial for good.
It continues.
This ride I'm on.
4 weeks and 4 days locked away.
Slightly better.
About to re-enter the "real world."
For the 3rd time in 5 months.
This time with a "plan."
Things could get REALLY bad again.
Would not be surprised.
The nature of this "illness."
God keeps me alive.
Not much hope.
Always trust HIM.
Probably does not appear as though I trust Him.
But I do.
He is ALWAYS good.



Are you, too, in the middle of this great storm? I love you. I care about you. More importantly--God loves you. It probably does not feel like it. I've been there--still there. Please talk to someone. You can talk to me.
 

 

 
{And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. ~Romans 8:28}
 

Comments

Kaitlyn Love(non-registered)
Thank you for sharing. As a grown child of a mom who suffered severe depression and anxiety, I can say from your kids' perspective that you're doing the right thing by seeking help and accepting it when you need some support. And although I agree that this is often a lifelong mental illness, please know that you have potential far beyond that you can see in the darkness. I hope you find the same joy as I have seen my mom fibd-- grandkids, fulfilling work, the knowledge that you're not alone. Please don't let the dark days blind you to the dawn that will come with the right supports, the right medications, and deeper self-knowledge. Your kids will be so proud of you, like I am of my mom for doing the hard work it takes to come out on top of this illness. You're in my thoughts.
Dixie Young(non-registered)
Thank you for sharing your words, we will never judge you for your courage, we praise you and pray with you and yours.
Dixie Young(non-registered)
Blessings and love to you dear lady, prayers and tears for the wonderful mother and caring wife. You can only do so much and so much you have done. I love you and pray you feel God carrying you through the darkness into the light. We love you and blessing today and always.
Jackie Bower(non-registered)
Amanda, you have a gift of words......and you are a great photographer.....we pray for you and your family every day. You are not alone, you are loved by so many, God most of all.
Deanna Entz(non-registered)
I love you Amanda. Keep holding on to God. I am so proud that you are letting God use you. I will pray. Again I love you. Deanna
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