I’m out and I’m back. McLean hospital, has been the most pleasant inpatient experience ever. I will recommend it time and time again for anyone who needs to be hospitalized.
I had my own room for 5 nights before I roomed with the sweetest 60-something year old woman. My parents were allowed to bring me food when they visited down from NJ. I was allowed sneakers when we had daily exercise gym time! We had walks around campus twice a day. The ability to be outdoors was life changing. We had check-ins with a designated person. The nurses were amazing. The groups were great, we could use iPad’s for art class. It was truly the best hospitalization I could have asked for. I got to watch more cable than my little studio apartment has. I think I watched the real housewives for 4 hours on Saturday.
Now, I am on short-term disability from work. I have a start date sometime in September to heal and come back into real society. I came back from McLean not knowing where I put away my clothes and feeling very lost. My last hospitalization, in December/January left me very sensitive. I slept at my mom’s, in her bed with her, for about a week or so. But now, I’m here in Boston alone. It’s getting to me, I don’t feel well being alone.
I told one close friend from work what had happened, how I have bipolar 1 and suffer from manic episodes. She was so understanding. I felt so grateful to have someone who could understand that I had a mental health issue. She noticed a difference in my behavior and the mania explained it.
I saw my outside psychiatrist today who said I still seem a little “fast and uppidity”. So I’m seeing him next week for another check in. I really like him because he seems to see me beyond the put together d1 athlete, catholic school girl that I have been conditioned to be for so long. He knows that the outside is just the outside, my brain can still function manically and I can still become ill, no matter how I was raised or my socioeconomic status.
When getting admitted, I skipped the “acute patient” unit and went straight to the regular unit because, literally, “your appearance is so normal”. I felt like saying, you should’ve seen me at my first hospitalization, I was the one yelling and screaming but now I’ve got it down pat. I know how to act in these situations. I internalize a lot, it’s something I’m questioning, I’ll say for now.
I’m in a partial program now that runs from 8:30am-3pm. I’ve made friends, something that comes natural to me but I still feel a little weird. It doesn’t matter if you’re hospitalized for 4 days, a week or 5 months, coming back into the world is scary and different. That’s what I’m going through and I’m doing it alone. I try not to remember that I’m alone, I think of my cats, my family that supports me from afar but it’s hard coming back to an empty apartment.
On a positive note, I really like my psychiatrist at partial program, she kind of told me this STD (short-term disability) is a time for me to explore and find what I really really want to do. I work for this law firm and the most creative you can get is the colors on your excel spread sheet for your caseload. It’s been spoken about that the fact that my job is so vanilla may create triggers for me to be impulsive or act in manic ways.
Life right now is also kind of scary. I don’t know what lies ahead for me. I live in a new city, I have friends but no one knows me that well. I miss my parents, I wish I had a car so I could drive home or to the beach or anywhere. But distress tolerance, right?
Another random thing I thought of in the hospital – I think it’s true that there are 2 kinds of people in the world- people who go to the hospital once and are cured and never go back and then there are people like me! People who go time and time again, 4 times in 2 years is a lot! But it’s necessary. When I’m manic, I have to stop my life and I have to rest and recover. I don’t really understand how people are manic and can function or come down from it without being hospitalized. Maybe it’s not my business to know.
Anyway, this post is really scattered and I apologize. I just want to end it with this quote. I bought the book Brave Enough by Cheryl Strayed before I went inpatient and there was one quote that I really couldn’t ever get out of my mind.
I missed you all! I hope everyone is doing well. We’re in the dog days of summer aren’t we?! Have a great night and expect my posting to be back and, I hope, better than ever!
Love always always, Michelle
“Be Brave Enough to Break Your Own Heart.” – Cheryl Strayed