Hi loves, with the recent public suicides last week and many others we don’t hear about… I think it’s time I share a crucial part of my journey – being admitted into the psych ward. I’m writing this to show you that things do get better and to end the stigma on mental health. My mom even said to me, “your really going to share that with the world?” and I replied, “yeah, there’s nothing to be ashamed about.” If I get judged, that’s on them.. not me. My hope is that sharing my story, will help someone continue there’s.. It’s okay not to be okay, it’s okay to admit that, and it’s okay to take time for yourself to get help. Suicide isn’t the option, it prevents you from ever getting better and I promise you, you are worth the fight.
One year ago today I wrote my first entry in a journal I got in the psych ward. I still remember the days leading up to this moment, feeling so happy but still looking for validation. When I didn’t get that happiness to me didn’t mean anything. I felt like my life meant nothing – I wanted it all to end, but instead I reached out. I’ve been suicidal before, I knew the signs and I demanded to go to the hospital. I finally spoke up about making myself throw up. I wasn’t healthy. I wasn’t taking care of myself. I was suicidal. I was scared and I expressed that all to a psychologist explaining how I didn’t want to go home. I was admitted moments after I told him all that.
Being in the psych ward isn’t something I have talked openly about with anyone.. I haven’t even written about it since last year. I’ve been anxious the past couple days, thinking about it all and wondering if I am better. I’ve realized I’m in such a better place in my life than I was last year. I need to give myself that. If I’m feeling anxious or depressed, I don’t automatically think of suicide. I talk to someone about my feelings.. I don’t dwell on the negative and I have so many supports in my life that I’m so thankful for. Who I open myself up to, reach out to and love with my whole heart. Below I’m going to go in depth of how my experience in the psych ward was and how I was strong enough to get out of there..
When I was admitted into the psych ward I was open to the idea. I didn’t hold back and I knew it was what was best for me at that time. I didn’t really know what to expect. I wasn’t scared to be there, in fact the first night I was surprised how safe I felt there. Everyone was friendly and welcoming. Here’s a little background of how the psych ward works: you don’t get your clothes at first, you don’t get your phone, and you can only have selected items that are approved by the nurses, you can make calls from the phones provided until 10pm I believe it was.. I didn’t mind not having my phone, that felt really freeing. It was extremely hard not having my clothes for the few days it was.. I felt like I was losing my identity and I was just a patient in there, rather than Michelle the person.
I was constantly in pain in the psych ward. My body felt so weak, my stomach felt terrible, my back pain was through the roof.. I wasn’t eating much, even the days leading up to it. Plus the hospital food was terrible. (except the mashed potatoes). I was having gravol constantly, every day for about a week. I felt so out of it, I had no energy, and I mostly slept the first week in there. I felt like nothing was being done for me and I would have to push myself to get up for the day. I didn’t talk to my psychologist in there much, if at all, and when I did it was 9-10PM. I was so exhausted by that time, I couldn’t even gather my thoughts because I just wanted to sleep. Luckily I had the nurses to open up to and vent to during the day. They would make you wake up each day, which helped, but there was countless hours that I was just sleeping. It felt like my time there would never end. I felt like I was getting more depressed, being around the constant negativity from other patients and the fact that I started to smoke cigarettes. I remember smoking so much in one night, I felt sick and I had to go to my room. Everything was spinning and for a moment I thought it was all going to end. I was scared to smoke after that, but in there it was the only thing I looked forward to doing and no one was stopping me.
After a few days of staying there, I realized that no one was going to help me. No one was going to get up with me, no one was going to feed me, bath me, ect ect. I had to be my support. I had to help myself. I asked the nurses about the gravel and they talked to the psychologist. After 5 or so days of constant gravol the psychologist said I shouldn’t have been having it at all. I wondered why it took almost a week for that to be realized. When I wasn’t on gravol I felt so much more energy and purpose. I reached out more. Talked to more nurses and made a couple friends who I still do miss to this day – and I hope they’re doing okay. I called people who I loved, talked to them, had visitors, I finally felt loved and that I mattered. Why did it take me being admitted into a psych ward to know this?
The turning point for me when I was in the psych ward was when I finally getting the energy to get up and join one of the group activities.. and this was the best one.. A WALK.. OUTSIDE. In the Sunshine. Something I haven’t been able to do since being in there. It was the most amazing walk ever, feeling free to walk outside, feel the breeze, touch the flowers that bloomed, swing on the swings at the park, finally feeling alive, and wanting to be…
My time in the psych ward made me appreciate my life so much. It made me appreciate my freedom to just be me and do whatever I want. I gained the strength to take control of my life back and to stand up for myself. It made me realize that I have so many people in my life who care and it showed me who those people are. It showed me that in order to survive and get out of there.. You have to be your own motivation. You have to want to live. It made me realize that no matter what the consequence may be, it’s always better to open up about your feelings and move forward with your life instead of holding back and feeling stuck.
If you’re feeling depressed, anxious, or suicidal please know you aren’t alone. It’s okay to not be okay, but it’s also okay to take time for yourself. To reach out, ask for help, and allow yourself to that help. Self love, acceptance, and happiness is a journey. A journey that I am still on and won’t ever get off of because life throws curve balls. I know things won’t ever be perfect and that’s okay. I just know that I’m worthy of a happy life and I won’t ever stop living. The most important thing I’ve learned this past year is that happiness, just like sadness is a feeling, simply just an emotion. You won’t always feel happy and you won’t always feel sad. Emotions, feelings, they all come and go. Take them all in and hold onto the good moments in your life. If you’re feeling upset or depressed right now, know that things will get better and that you’re simply just feeling emotion. Let yourself feel. Let yourself live and never give up on your life.
If you are struggling don’t hesitate to message me or comment below, also if you have any questions about my experience and how to help yourself… I am here for you, even if we are miles apart. I know how it feels to have darkness enter your mind, but I also know how to find the light again. It’s so possible, so please don’t doubt yourself.
Life is a beautiful journey and the world needs your light.
Below are some resources if you are currently feeling depressed/suicidal: