Inpatient is a nightmare.
The first time I went, it wasn’t so bad. I was manic, that had to help, but I took stuff away from groups and I actually enjoyed spending time with the other patients and the staff.
The last night of my first stay, I had been there for a week and insurance was kicking me out the next morning. I cried because I didn’t think I was ready.
The second time I’ve already written about. It was five days in a dimly lit psych ward. I got some great visitors, but overall when I got out I felt like I had been in jail.
I don’t remember that much about my third stay, other than the sweater that my then new boyfriend gave to me to wear.
I still wear it whenever I feel alone.
The fourth time was on a new wing of a familiar hospital. I hated it even more. Every day I cried alone in my room. I begged my doctor to let me go.
It took me four days to talk my way out of that place.
Next I was put into residential treatment for three weeks. Every day there felt like having a gun at the back of my head. I was constantly super-charged with anxiety, so desperate to leave that it took me more than two weeks to settle my hand tremors down to a dull vibrate.
When I got out, I vowed I would never need another inpatient stay again.
Then they found out about my eating disorder. They found out that I ate so little that when I stood up I would stumble from dizziness. And they sent me to inpatient.
It was torture. Every day dragged like paper through molasses. I fidgeted, shook, and hyperventilated through every hour, every minute. Every night, I called my family and my boyfriend with tears in my eyes. The longing to go home was a physical experience.
I was inpatient this time for not even a full five days, but it felt like weeks. As time goes on, the novelty of hospitals has worn off and a hatred and fear of them has settled in.
Come what may, I will fight tooth and nail before I let them take me back there again.