The Truth about a Mental Institution
I cannot speak for every institution in the world but I can give my perspective on what my expectations were compared to the reality. I expected barbed wire fences, straight jackets, being fed through a hole in my door, and people rocking back and forth in every corner. My views on what was to happen to me were completely construed.
My first day was sleepless after hours of being in the hospital ER and then even longer transportation it felt like. But finally I came face to face unwillfully with my own personal nightmare. I remember comparing it to a nursing home with its flower print chairs and paisley rugs. As I became more enveloped in the building I could see differences between the two.
There was fighting which was to be expected when you put that many teenage girls in one area twenty-four hours a day seven days a week. Personalities clashed. Lots of the girls had been dealt the “shit end of the stick” as some would say, they had nowhere to go, nobody to visit, they had absolutely nothing to lose. They would fight. Fight each other and fight the staff which would only openly hurt themselves negatively.
I was shy. I remember my hands shaking as a side effect to my failed overdose. I could barely see from my pupils being so dilated. But there was no time to sleep. My first day was a blur I sat alone mostly napping any chance that I got which meant barely any talking, and no food which was surprisingly similar to school lunches. I kept referencing to the mean girls I’ve dealt with which left me guarded and unwilling to open up but that soon changed.
Therapy. Therapy. Therapy. Hours on end of exercises that’s intentions were to open up your wounds and dig at them until they were raw and bleeding, so painful that you ached for the security of your healing flesh to shield you from having to face your past. My last intentions when making the decision to end my life was to live. So being pushed to make a conscious decision to fight was a hard thing to ask of me but they didn’t ask they forced.
I became dependent on some of these young ladies. They were helpful, full of life, continuously inspiring. Every one of them had been through their own personal hell. My battles made me selfish gave me this view that I was alone and that nobody battled things like I did but they showed me a completely new perspective on how to look at my life, how to be grateful, how to move on from the weight of the world that paralyzes me at times. I felt a level of insignificance when it came to the things I’d been through because a lot of them had been through much worse yet they never belittled me the way high school girls do because they too were hurting. They were also overcoming their insecurities so they had no reason to pick at me when they were so focused on themselves and being helpful to each other.
My stay in an institution helped me. The perspective that I now have is different. Although I battle my own demons on a daily basis I still use my week long stay at that hospital to change how I view the world.