Sitting In the Nurse’s Chair
I spent most of my time here, sitting outside the locked glass room that the nurses spent most of their time in. The room contained their computers, trolley carts with patient information and some of our possessions like cables, shaving razors, pencil sharpeners, etc... This room was off limits to us, even touching the door to let them know you were ready for your medication or that there was a problem, was frowned upon.
So I waited.
I was there frequently, they stripped me of my insulin pump because they couldn’t figure out how to use it and thought it would be easier for them to just give me injections. In my mind, that is stripping me of my self worth and independence. I would sit and wait for my designated nurse to notice me to do my blood glucose checks and insulin 5–6 times a day. As I was sitting there, I started realizing that the other nurses were trying to ignore what was going on outside those glass walls, as if it was different reality that they weren’t part of. Sitting in that chair I got to see two completely different worlds, two worlds I never thought could ever exist so closely together.
Accepting to become an inpatient takes either a lot of drugs or a lot of fear — in my case, it was fear. With the fear for my life, they met me with a promise, a promise that everything would be fixed if I joined their program. Little did I know their program would make me feel meaningless, tearing the last bit of hope I clung to… This situation amplified the embarrassment and resentment I felt for mental illness even though I was experiencing it.
The stigma is real and the stigma exists, unfortunately I found out it even exists within the institutions. I put my trust into an institution that only amplified what was going on in the real world. All I wanted, all we ever want, is a person to extend a helping hand, judgment free and come out of that glass room to get to know me and not just my label.
**This post goes beyond mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety, it is also important for those feeling burnout. Reach beyond and help someone feel human again, it will be the most important thing you ever do. Please read: https://medium.com/@eriktorenberg_/startup-founders-let-s-talk-about-depression-3e665dbd747d