The Friday before Mother's Day, 2 years ago, I found myself in a different place. I had given up on my life and situation, made bad choices, and was PEC'd to a Mental hospital for 5 days. How's that for an opening sentence!
I'm reminded of how dark and low I was. I'm reminded of feeling hopeless, feeling that I would be better off dead. I had succumbed to depression so bad that I had no defenses to fight it off - and I didn't want to fight anymore. Some say that this is selfish. I say that when you are that low and in that moment, you just want your pain and suffering to end.
I remember the ER triage nurse being kind. I remember her not having any judgement towards me and I remember her treating me with respect. She encouraged me to "always be honest so that my caregivers could provide the best care possible to me". I never forgot that. I remember the psych ward upstairs at OLOL. I remember large guards escorting me there. I remember the green paper scrubs that I had to wear that were 3 sizes too big. I remember all of my personal things being taken from me. I remember the screaming and arguing of other patients. I remember sitting in a chair for about 6 hours waiting on the next move. I remember having a blank stare while sitting in that chair. I remember being questioned by a Psychiatrist. I remember a Social worker coming to tell me that I had been placed at a Mental hospital across town and that an ambulance would come to take me there.
I remember seeing the EMS stretcher come in. I remember them pointing to me. I remember two female paramedics helping me on it, covering me with a blanket, then pulling out restraints. Quiet tears began to fall. I asked if the restraints were necessary. They told me it was their policy for PEC'd patients.
The trip across town was bumpy. I had no idea which direction we were going. I remember radio chatter, being unloaded and wheeled in to a cold building.
I remember my admit nurse and her kind, bedside manner. I remember her compassionate approach to my admittance. I remember feeling worthless and stating over and over again that "I just don't care what happens to me". Again, depression. My stay at this mental hospital was for 5 days. One of those days was Mother's Day Sunday. It was gut-wrenching to not be with my sons that day.
This night and the weeks leading up to this night, 2 years ago, have left a mark on my soul. I'm different for it. I'll never forget it and I think about it often. More details of my stay are in past blog posts if you desire to know more details.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month. This week is also Nurse's week and Sunday is Mother's Day. With that said, depression and past sexual abuse trauma don't disappear and I have a mental illness called depression and PTSD. In my experience as a patient, I have been personally shown what a trusting, compassionate, non-judgmental nurse looks like. I strive to be that way with my patients. Shout out to all of the caring, hardworking nurses out there. I am thankful that Mother's day will be completely different again this year and I can spend it at home with my family.
Shout out to all who struggle with mental illness. It's unpredictable at times, causing difficulty in daily life. My stay in the hospital has brought many silver linings to my healing and progress and I'm thankful for that. I've learned that, for me, it takes patience, prayer, strength, meds, and determination to continue to make progress. I need all of those things daily. Hugs to all who struggle, much love to fellow nurses, and happy happy Mother's day to all of the moms out there.