I was hospitalized when I was 22 years old for Danger To Self. Losing The Boyfriend was the last straw to a series of events too hard for me to deal with all at once. Boyfriends always are the last straw, aren’t they?
I had the idea that I would get some rest and recover from my despondency and sleep after five days of insomnia. But it was one of the hardest experiences I have undergone, at least mentally.
My suicide plan was perfect, at least to my mind. Get up early. Clean out the garage and drive my car into it. Soak towels and put them under the doors to prevent smoke from getting into the house. Get a large bag to cover myself and a vomit bag to puke into. (I didn’t want my parents to have to look at me or clean up any mess once they found me.) Turn on the car and breathe in deep. Again and again. And slip away to a place where my heart wouldn’t be constantly beating furiously inside my chest, where I wasn’t feeling in a state of full panic every second of the day. To finally sleep……
I went to a psychiatrist for an evaluation of my insomnia and feelings of panic. She was so kind. She said I needed rest right now and she was going to give me something to sleep, but I needed to go there right away. I was so tired. Imagining white soft covers and fluffy pillows, I said that I would go and get admitted.
My mom drove me to Lankenau Hospital in Philadelphia. A big place. I was in a daze, a dream world. Sleep and rest awaited me. I couldn’t wait to get some peace.
But the door wouldn’t open.
It was locked from the inside. I was getting admitted to a locked unit. My pleasant dream came crashing down into a harsh reality. I was duped into coming here and it was All Wrong. I don’t belong on a locked unit. Where are the fluffy covers and sleeping pill to help me?
I began to sob and look around frantically for a way out. I kept repeating, ” I can’t stay here, it’s locked. It isn’t supposed to be locked. I need to leave.”
Somehow the nurses managed to get me into the unit. To this day I don’t remember, other than a pill getting shoved into my mouth and blissful sleep.
Eighteen hours later I woke up. A shadow was standing over me. A big man. He sat down without asking for permission and stated his name and purpose with mechanical authority.
“I am Dr Stone and I am your psychiatrist. If you make any trouble in here I am going to commit you.”
Just like that and my freedom was gone…..
Written for Weekly Writing Challenge: Cliffhanger