Day 3: entertainment in a psych ward

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I woke up on Friday during vitals again: bright and early at 5:45. Thankfully, I now had something that I could use to keep my mind off what was around me and that I was able to focus on: coloring.  It would be my savior for the entirety of my stay.  I was also given another surprise that morning from Miranda.  She had dropped off two of my books from my nightstand and surprised me with my own coloring book that was of dogs and cats.  She knows me entirely too well and loves me more than I deserve.  I was so excited to be able to color in my own book instead of copies from the 2 books the ward had (they were severely lacking when I was there in both markers and books, so I donated most of when I left).  Finally having something to do, I plopped myself down on the table and set to work.  I’ve never been one to color, so my first page was horrifically bad.  I ended up throwing it away in horror.  This day would be the day I attended my first group sessions as well.

Now, for those that don’t know, the ward is set up with a very strict schedule.  Every day you know what will happen.  It becomes very comforting when you’re in the throes of mental illness.  Vitals are at 5:30. Coffee put out at 6:30.  Breakfast at 7.  Meds at 8-9.  Group at 10 until lunch at noon.  Group after lunches until visiting hours at 3-5.  Dinner at 5.  Group again at 6.  Night meds around 9.   TV/phone/play time until sleep.  New nurses come on at 7 and 7.  Every. Single. Day.  It does make the days go by very quickly.  The only variance is what the groups are, and they are posted theme-wise all over, only the specific meeting changes.  You see your psychiatrist every morning during group times.  Snack time is in the evening and it’s the only time you get “unlimited” snacks.

Friday was a very important day for me in my stay.  One of my very close friends at work, whom I call my “work wife” came to visit me.  She was one of the ones that urged me to check in on Wednesday when I couldn’t remember my wreck.  We haven’t been as close as we used to be recently, but I was so honored that she would come to a psych ward for little ol’ me.  She is big into coloring and so brought me some of her books she doesn’t use. I was so grateful. I actually cried about her visiting me after she left. I still constantly color one of her books she brought me in my current group therapy.  I so adore her and I’m so thankful for her pushing me to get better all the time.  I work to emulate her calm assertive energy every day and she’s such an inspiration to me.

Of course, Connor was also there, and so he got to sit and meet my work wife that I talk to him about constantly.  I was glad he finally was able to see how amazing of a person she is.

The other huge thing that happened to me was my new roommate.  Jamie came to the ward in the late afternoon.  I walked into our room while she was having her skin check and getting the run down from the nurses.  She looked like a teeny and scared puppy.  She was so miserable and so sad looking.  My protective instincts immediately activated and I knew I had to watch over this sweet little thing.  At this point, I was a staple on this one single table and would color all day.  People would file in and out as they wanted, joining me for a few minutes and then moving on.  I guess I was the only one with the desperation to color all day. I invited her to come sit with me. She was too upset to color, but at least she wasn’t alone.

Connor, when I called him early that morning was very upset that I wasn’t willing or ready to check out on Friday.  He still didn’t think I belonged there and his protective instinct was in overdrive.  He wanted me home.  He missed me and was worried sick about what was happening.  I missed him and home too, but I was not ready to leave. I needed more time to get myself steady and comfortable with my diagnosis of bipolar II.  I needed more time to get MRIs and nerve blocks done.  I needed more time protecting Jamie.  I had to wait until Monday, I had more work to do.

Obviously, there was a TON more to this day.  I’ll have it all down in my book, so perhaps in a year or 20, it’ll be out, and you can read it then!  Of course, I’d love any and all questions and feedback!  Let me know your thoughts!

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