Before I go any further, let me explain why this current series of posts has the title that it does.
When I got committed (committed myself? Take your pick…), a bunch of people asked what they could do to help. My husband, the smart man that he is, told them all that what I would need was coffee and chocolate once I got out.
Now I’ve been out of the hospital for three, and I still have a few pieces of chocolate left, and there is enough for one more drink on my Starbucks card. Not too bad.
So, back to the story…
I got to the psych ward.
It was up in Houston, and I’ll even include the name: Bellaire. The reason I’m telling you what it was called is because I found it hysterically funny to say that I was the fresh princess of Bellaire, and most of the women there were much younger than me, so they just looked at me funny when I said it. Ah well. What can you expect from crazy people?
Anyway, so I got there, and I had to get checked in. Easy, right?
The guy who checked me in was nice and funny, and he suggested I get my bloodwork done and checked for thyroid issues because I said that I was depressed and over-eating, and he said that most people who are depressed don’t eat.
We chatted a bit, and I don’t remember how it came up, but I had to get in a smart ass comment (of course), and I wound up telling him that I might be crazy, but at least I wasn’t a Trump supporter. And he replied, “Well, we can’t commit people for that. Yet.”
While he walked me back to the ward, we joked around, and he told me that his mother was a Trump supporter. I told him my father was, and we empathized with each other about how some of the people who should seek help don’t.
And then I was locked up.
It was that simple.
I lost everything I had with me.
They took my computer. They took my phone. They took all my pens and pencils and notebooks. They took my clothes, leaving me in a set of blue paper scrubs.
All of the stuff I had with me to keep what remained of my sanity was locked up, and I signed off that I would get it back. Eventually.
In the meantime, they showed me to the room that I’d be sharing with another patient. The room wasn’t too bad – two beds, two bookcases, two small tables, two “trash cans.” (The trash cans weren’t. They were paper bags. Everything was a paper bag. They were apparently massive afraid of what would happen if we had access to plastic trash bins.) There was a window, but it was mostly covered with film, and it was tall and thin. I couldn’t really see out of it. The bathroom was attached, and it was okay, but the only issues were that the door didn’t have a lock – or a top or bottom – and the shower curtain was held on with Velcro straps. I’m sure the idea of Velcro straps sounded good; it would be safer. But it was also a massive pain in the ass because they would come undone, and they were so high up that it was impossible to re-do them yourself, leading to an open shower in a somewhat open room in a somewhat cold place. Ugh.
I didn’t get to find that out about the shower yet, though. I didn’t have anything with me, remember? I asked at the front for shower stuff, and I went back to my room and laid down for a while. I don’t remember if I ate dinner or what it was. I wasn’t that hungry, and I really just wanted to sleep and try to get used to hanging out in this crazy place.
My paper scrubs were starting to bug me by then. They were too big, and the pathetic drawstring on them had gotten too tight in a knot and wouldn’t open or close anymore. Because of that, I was stuck with them being a bit too loose, and they wanted to fall down. Plus the pants were way too long, and so I basically anywhere I had to walk meant hiking up and then holding up my pants. Fun!
At that point, I still hadn’t met my roommate. That came next. And it was possibly the most interesting part of being there.