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The Hard Questions I Didn't Have Answers to Before I Checked In to a Psych Ward

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October, 2014

Broken, I felt broken. My leg shaking, mind racing, I was thinking, “What did I do to deserve this?” In my mind, everyone had forsaken me, nobody loved me, and I didn’t deserve to live. I felt like I was not good enough. Not good enough to live. Not good enough to love. Not even good enough to take one more step on this earth. Pretty much everyone in my life had abandoned me, so I thought why shouldn’t I just abandon myself?

“I can’t handle this anymore…”

“I’ve had too much…”

“I hate myself…”

We had been to guidance centers and doctors offices, and they all said the same thing, “Can you handle your thoughts until the medicine we give you starts working?” I didn’t know the answer. They asked me, “Are you a risk to yourself or others?” I didn’t know if I was going to hurt myself. I didn’t know. I sat there in the social worker’s office listening to him moan on about the different options. I was so distracted by my thoughts I couldn’t accept the help he was trying to give me. The help he was offering wasn’t enough. Even though I didn’t want to hurt myself, it was like my thoughts were consuming me. All I wanted was for the thoughts to go away. But, they wouldn’t… I felt hopeless…

These thoughts are what brought me and my mom to the psychiatric hospital a few days later. When we parked our car, I took in the exterior of the place I would probably be staying at for a while. It looked friendly, nice even. Not like a place full of demons. Not like a place where my demons were going to be fed off with medication, intensive therapy, and someone following me around making sure I wasn’t going to hurt myself every minute of every day.

We walked inside and immediately were greeted by a friendly face. A face that showed sympathy towards me. A sympathy that at the time I did not want. I felt pitied, and that was the last thing I felt was needed. I was in tears, and I didn’t want to be there, even though I knew I had to be. She asked us to sign in and sit down in the waiting area. Minutes later we were walked down a hallway to a room where they wanted to evaluate me. That’s when my rock bottom truly became rock bottom. I told them all of my feelings. That was the first time I was completely honest with myself and my mom about the situation. I told them I didn’t know if I was going to hurt myself. I told them everything… I told them I didn’t know if I wanted to live. My mom had tears streaming down her face. Her baby was gone. The girl she once knew had faded away. The girl who used to jump up and down when she saw a new episode of “Doctor Who” no longer jumped for joy. Instead, her baby no longer saw the point in living.

My mom signed one of the release papers that said it was OK to restrain me if necessary. That’s when it truly became real. I didn’t know if I would be alive the next day. I didn’t want to live anymore. Life was too much. Life had taken me in and suffocated me with its huge hands. My heart that was once full of innocence and hope was full of despair and anguish. So many things were running through my mind. I was being committed. I didn’t want to be committed. I had no choice. My mom and I both knew we had no choice. I couldn’t go on like this. The girl I once knew was buried under so much dirt that I couldn’t find her. I told my mom that I would be OK… I didn’t know that to be true. But, I had to say it. Because that’s what you do when you love someone. You tell them it’ll be OK even when you know damn well it might not be. I didn’t want to get out of the chair. The chair I felt like I was physically bound to. I felt suction-cupped to that chair. If I got up I was finally giving in to getting help. I wanted help. But my demons didn’t want me to get help. I didn’t want to leave my mom sitting there in tears. But I got up. I ignored those vicious demons and got up.


I got up…

She hugged me, the lifeless me, and walked out the door by my side. They took my suitcase and walked me to the doors. The doors that once opened would soon lock behind me. Would I see my mom again? Would I survive this? Could I survive this? Am I strong enough? Will I ever see the beautiful blue sky and glimmering sun again? The sky I so loved to look at and daydream about my future was no longer that sky to me. It was just a sky… It looked colorless and dead.

Many more questions plagued me.

Will I ever be me again? Who am I? I felt like my soul had left me and I was walking around as just a shell.

I broke down. I cried. I bawled. I screamed incessantly in my mind. I looked back one more time and wished I was going out the front doors with my mom. I gave her a look that said it all. Even though I didn’t love myself, I loved her. She was keeping what was left of me alive.

The doors shut and I was on my own. I didn’t have help from anyone I knew. I was in a psych ward fearing I wasn’t strong enough to hold on to tomorrow. Fearing I would cave into the thoughts in my head and decide to end things.

I saw people who were my age and I thought they were nothing like me. But why was I there? I had to be like them to be in the hospital. I thought I had everything together until things came crashing down.

I kept thinking, “I am in a psych ward with people who are really sick…”

I realized then I was sick too.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.
If you need support right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255

Follow this journey on Then Rose the Phoenix.

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Thinkstock photo by sudok1

Originally published: January 14, 2017
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