That seems to be the question.
I have spent all of my life saying, “No, no, no, under no circumstances, absolutely not, I never want to be put (or put myself) in a psych ward.” I have a friend who has been hospitalized on several occasions, and she said it made her feel safe and taken care of. Me, I can only imagine feeling trapped and regimented and told what to do, when to do it, what to eat, which meds to take and when. . . Well, if I weren’t crazy upon checking in, I certainly would be after a day or so.
I have to be in control, you see. I have to decide what I want to eat, and whether I want to eat it at three in the afternoon or three in the morning. I need to be able to run to Starbucks when the urge hits me. I need to be able to lay in bed on days when I just cannot face the world, not made to get up and “interact.”
But twice lately I have been seriously thinking about the unimaginable, about “committing myself.” I am not a danger to myself or anyone else. But the first instance was close to a month ago, when I was very out-of-control manic. I felt like I hadn’t any other options, and that if nothing else I would be in an environment where I could get the kind of close scrutiny and observation that I needed, and hopefully something helpful for the mania.
Thank God the drugs I did have kicked in that day, because I don’t want to be scrutinized and observed. I’m not a research project or experiment.
Today, the catalyst for these thoughts was a great deal simpler. I woke up. That’s all, I woke up and couldn’t go back to sleep. And I thought about having to face the world, and the day, and talking to people, and having responsibilities, and even just not being able to shut out the things dancing around and around in my brain. And it got me thinking about the hospital. After the last time, I even went so far as to ask my doctor if I were to do it, which would be the best hospitals in the area.
I want somewhere to hide. From myself as well as everyone else. I don’t really think that hospitalization could provide that, from what I have heard. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a private room, and that alone would push me over the edge. The nurses and doctors coming in to give me medications, to check on me, to encourage me to/make me go participate in group and individual therapy sessions. . .
But I don’t know what to do. Will someone please help me figure out what to do?
How the hell could a hospital help me, anyway? I’ve been on every drug, no exaggeration. Would you like to talk with my psychiatrist, because he’ll confirm that for you. I’ve had 16 rounds of electroconvulsive therapy, which only made me worse. I’ve tried IPSRT and CBT and EMDR (which are all common types of therapy for bipolar disorder), and I didn’t find relief from any of them. What could the psych ward of a hospital do that hasn’t already been done?
There’s just this one thing. The fact that after a lifetime of saying, “Absolutely not,” to the idea of inpatient treatment, I have now thought seriously about it twice within the span of a month. And on my own, without suggestion or coercion or manipulation.
The thing that made me so angry about the ECT, in retrospect, is that no one asked me why I had suddenly changed my mind on something I had been so violently against. So I guess the best way to end this would be to ask that question myself: Why am I seriously considering changing my mind on in-patient treatment, when for all of my life I have been against it?
The best answer I can think of is that I’m scared, and I’m lost, and I don’t know what else to do. Does that count? Is it enough for me to do it? It’s most certainly a far better and more legitimate answer than, “Because my doctor told me I have no other options.”
Maybe since I have had these thoughts so frequently, it’s a sign that I’m headed toward an inevitable action. And certainly if that’s the case, then it’s much better to bow to it now – when I can do it myself, instead of being forced into it, when I can ask the questions and get the answers that I need, and when I am still coherent and competent enough to be an active force in my treatment, and get the hell out if need be.
Moral of the story: Sorry, no moral today. It’s just all way too much right now.
© Ruby Tuesday and I Was Just Thinking. . . 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ruby Tuesday and I Was Just Thinking. . . with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. This work is protected under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.