Squashing The Stigma of Inpatient Part 1: Intake

Today’s topic is very difficult. Possible triggers for some people.

There are others that have also been through this experience before. It is also going to be a bit of a longer post. I am going to talk about my experience the evening I was admitted, that night, and the morning after on the unit.

There is a lot of stigma around people needing to be inpatient. When you think of it, you picture a white room, a fluffy white straitjacket, and one door that only that the doctor and nurses can come in and out of. You picture being slid pills under the door frame and having to get shots in the butt because fear looks like destruction. You can understand why I would be so upset with my husband for bringing me there.

My husband discussed me having an assessment somewhere with my in-laws and my mother. Those were the 3 people that saw me most often and all parties agreed to have me looked out. My husband found a place (I am not going to give the name out) and brought me there for the assessment on July 29, 2019 at 5:30pm.

I was already pretty mad that I even had to do this, so I was isolating myself. The assessment itself only took maybe an hour. I hadn’t seen how bad I was until then. They had told my husband there were 3 different options so we thought we had a choice. We did not. I asked if I was going to have to be inpatient and without a beat she said yes.

I don’t know why I was so surprised I would be inpatient. I told and showed her where I cut, told her about all four times and what I used, and when she asked me I told her the last time was that same day. I told her about not caring if my car hit a tree, a wall, or fell off into a ditch and my neck broke. I just wanted the voices and the thoughts to stop being so loud and for me to stop hurting my family. I was always honest with her and when she said I was going to be inpatient “voluntarily” something in me snapped. I didn’t know how dangerous I was.

I was torn. When she brought my husband back in, I just kept telling him “this is your fault” “you admitted me” and I honestly can’t believe I acted like that. He cried. We cried. I was terrified. Three days (that’s what I had thought at the time) possibly a week without my kids, without cleaning my moms house, without my phone and social media, etc. Because I had been as depressed AND manic as I was, my phone was my getaway, and that also was being taken away from me.

After a stupid amount of paperwork, they took me back and I had to say goodbye to my husband. He did not think I would be staying there and that he would be leaving without me. I tried playing it cool, but I was a ghost now. My family thought I was crazy, they hadn’t seen anything yet.

The woman brought me into the unit and had me sit in a chair next to people who didn’t know me and that I most definitely did not want to talk to or meet. I felt disgusting. I had been sweaty from how hot it is in Oklahoma and had been crying and all I wanted to do was wash my feet.

I was there for an hour. I had brought a book in with me, and tried to read it but, crying isn’t helpful when trying to read. I could not concentrate. A few people from the unit had come over to me, handing me tissues, and telling me everything was going to be alright. Only there an hour and people actually cared.

After they pulled me back, they went through all of belonging and took away my things. I was wearing shorts that had draw strings on them and stated that they would need to cut those off if I wanted to continue to wear them. No underwire in bras, not hardback books, no earrings, no glass containers, they had to watch you shave if you needed to, all toiletries had to be in lockers unless you needed them and not left in your room, and so many more rules.

I was livid.

While I understand the rules and agree with them, I was still mad and I still cried. A cry so ugly tissues couldn’t help. I was very vocal and loud when I cried. And cried. And cried. I cried for 7 straight hours. I didn’t belong there. I was fine, so why did they bring me here and dump me like I was actually crazy. I paced. I cried. I complained. I was waiting for my husband to bring me some items from home. I paced. I waited. I cried. I was not tired. I would not sleep. And there was no way for me to leave without them considering it “involuntary” and then I would have to stay at least a week. I wanted to die. I would have done anything if that meant my life was over. I was obviously so crazy that they needed to bring me here. I have damaged their lives and made everything harder for them. I was also embarrassed. I wanted them to just let me die. Give me anything and I will figure it out. I didn’t realize how dangerous my mind was. How it had been for months. This was at 1:00am on July 30, 2019.

I finally decided that I couldn’t just protest and hang out in the “living room area” and cry, so I went to my room. My roommate had to have what was called a “one-on-one” which means a nurse had to be with her 24/7, including while she slept. I couldn’t wash my feet because I didn’t want to wake up my roommate. so I just went and laid in bed. On top of the covers because I was for some reason protesting because I was sad. I decided suffering more was best.

My dreams SUCKED that night. They were so vivid. It felt like I was in REM all night.

Every day starts with them getting our vitals between 5am-6am. I will never forget the way the man, who took all of my stuff the night before, woke everyone up. The way he said “good morning”. Not only was I incredibly sad to still be there, but he was too cheery for me and I wanted to punch him.

Even as grumpy and standoffish as I was, the same group of people came up to me and helped me feel a lot better. They were what I needed at the moment. I needed someone to care.

This was a deep topic, so I’m going to finish this off with a picture I colored when I was inpatient ❤

Being admitted is a very hard thing to go through, so if you have been through that experience: YOU are fearless and outstanding. I am exceptionally proud of YOU. That is such a huge and scary step and YOU did that shit. Way to fucking go!!

Part 2 is the next topic and it will definitely be more positive than this.

Thank you all so much for reading this! I love you all!

-Bipolar Weirdo

2 thoughts on “Squashing The Stigma of Inpatient Part 1: Intake

  1. You described it perfectly!! And the coloring is so helpful. I detested it at first but so many therapy sessions happen around it. Your husband, what a wonderful man. For me, I knew I needed sleep and that’s why I wanted to go in. Along with doing things that were not normal for my normal state. He took some convincing and when I called a friend of mine he realized there was something wrong. He didn’t know I was, like you, considering dieing. At the time, I thought that was normal. I just wanted to sleep. Sometimes people know more about what’s going on than we do ourselves. When I have to go in for med changes, I pack my own bag. Once I needed to have it checked before I left because I forgot to take pants! Anyway. I’m sorry you’re part of group but sharing your experience, strength and hope is going to help so many!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It is such a degrading lonely experience. But having the support of the other people really made me feel like I wasn’t so alone. I was glad to see that you felt the same as me. It’s strangely validating for me. I’m so proud of you and sharing so much of your time to help reduce the stigma. What an amazing read!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s