Visiting my Neighbor in the Psych Ward

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Mid week I wrote about my neighbor trying to commit suicide and how I found her which led me to calling 911. She was originally on a 72 hour psych hold at one hospital, however, the doctors believed she needed to go to an inpatient facility for extended inpatient care. Today, I went to visit her at the new location which was at a different hospital. It was a lock down facility and everything (including my sweatshirt and cash) had to be locked away in a locker before they led us through two sets of locked doors. The ward had a range of people with different disorders, from eating disorders to severe mental disorders. I wont lie, it was one of the saddest and scariest places I’ve been. During my visit two patients had to be controlled by the police and put into a solitary room. The entire place smelled like urine, patients were pacing back and forth, others were rambling on about random things and patients were yelling at each other. My neighbor who is in there for a suicide attempt seemed “normal” compared to what she was like earlier in the week. I’m using the word “normal” for a lack of a better word. I could tell she was drugged up on new medication. We sat and talked for over 2 hours, yet I only saw her smile once. I know this is very hard for her and I miss her beautiful smile.

I’ve been in very dark places before, yet my neighbor seemed in a different world. Sitting there all day with nothing to do seems worse for her then having something to do. She isn’t even allowed to have her calendar to try to figure out her kids schedule. That is stressing her out more. The weekends are for visitors, yet her sister and I have been the only 2 people there to visit. Her other family members haven’t even called. She told us that we are her only family because this shows who cares. She stated that when she gets to leave, shes dont with her family. I told her maybe its to hard for them to see her like that. During the week she has intense inpatient therapy all day to keep her busy. I want the best for her so if that means staying longer then expected, so be it. I do not want her to end up back there.

This week, the entire situation has really taken a toll on me. I hate to even bring up my mood. I feel sad, helpless, anxious, angry, and so, so many more emotions. I also feel thankful that I found my neighbor when I did because I saved her life. Thankfully, I have therapy this week to talk about all of this.

I found this quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson perfect for this situation. People do not have to be perfect and happy all the time. As long as you are a good person, that is what matters.

To my new followers, welcome to Smiling Through Tears. This blog is a daily account of my struggle with mental health disorders. To all of my returning followers, thank you for supporting me and following my journey.

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