A Stay In the Psych Ward

First of all, this is not proper essay format. However, I don't really care because I hate that format and I'm not turning this in to be graded or anything. I think this would be best described as one of my slightly vague and overly pessimistic inner monologues. I have a great many of them. I'm not looking for reviews I'd just like someone to click on this, scan-read it, and perhaps think a little bit about what I'm attempting to convey.

I first started to deeply think about the concept of being alone when I spent the night in a psychiatric ward. No, I wasn't crazy but I accidentally sliced my arm much deeper than I meant to. So, to my dismay, it was off to the emergency room. We spent three hours waiting for the doctor who took one look at me and just called a nurse in. I didn't receive the stitches I needed, just clumsy bandages that I could have done better myself. Then a psych ward nurse walks in with large computer and proceeds to quiz on me on all normal things about depressing and my health history. I thought that this was just for a file or something. Instead of leaving we were taken to the sixth floor where I assumed we would see a psychiatrist.

To my absolute horror that was not the case at all. My mother was forced to sign papers that said I was committed to the psychiatric ward or they'd call the cops because I was under eighteen and "a threat to myself." I had never been more enraged in my entire life. Some people would say that I got myself into the situation and it was my own fault. I beg to differ, I wasn't planning on getting caught and normally I've bandaged wounds deeper than the ones I inflicted that night. Also, to me there was no choice in the matter because I have awful anxiety and depression. I know that's not an excuse and I should learn better coping methods, or at least that's the bullshit they spoon fed me. If it was that easy to fix then I would've been cured a long time ago. I've tried every coping method I can think of. I distract myself by doing something else, call friends, write or paint, take deep breathes, and count to ten backwards. I can honestly say that none of them worked worth a shit. My self-loathing, fear, and sadness were far too deep to be affected by such trivial methods.

So there I was, at three in the morning, locked in a psychiatric ward. Not only were all the main doors locked but a nurse came by every fifteen minutes and shined a flashlight on me. God knows why, because to my embarrassment I was strip searched for hidden weapons or drugs. What did they think I'd do; hold my fucking breath until I passed out? I spent five hours contemplating my horrid position as I bled through the poorly wrapped bandages onto the snow white bed.

Eight a.m. came around and an overly cheery male nurse came to change my awful bandages and drag me out of bed. I was brought into the main room where everyone came to meet. I felt absolutely nauseas but was still forced to eat the hospital food to my great irritation. Then it was time to get in groups and talk about our feelings and why we feel them and how to improve them. I almost laughed out loud in the counselor's face. If anyone could actually make sense of their thoughts and correct them they wouldn't be here the first place. Ah but wait, we were here because we needed to improve that skill. It's my general belief that some people are just fucked up no matter what you do to help them. I was starting to think I was one of those people.

I sat slightly slumped into my chair while tapping my fingers on the hand rest. I had given up all pretense of being polite because at that point I had had enough. I glanced annoyed in the direction of the counselor, then rolled my eyes and scoffed when she looked in my direction and pretended that I didn't see her watching. To my great amusement there wasn't much she could do about it. No one else had seen me being a smart ass so she couldn't reprimand me in front of the group of psychologically challenged individuals. By now it was ten a.m. and I was anxious to get the fuck out of there. The nurse promised that I would be out before noon. However time stretched on as I waited to see the psychologist. I wasn't allowed to leave until he had evaluated me.

Having nothing else to do, I scanned the room and attempted to analyze my fellow inmates. There was a sweet six year old boy that was playing with legos in the corner. To my surprise, during the group talk session, he spoke about death and suicide like he was discussing weather. Apparently he had attempted suicide four times now. I felt an odd pang in my chest when I looked at him, the sight of him in this place just felt so wrong to me.

To distract myself from him, I turned to look at a fellow girl who was curled up on the couch. She was slightly overweight, and not as pretty as she thought she ought to be. Her cutting scars were substantial but nothing compared to my own. I thought it was ironic that she cut because she wanted to be pretty because through cutting she defaced her body with horrid scars that certainly weren't attractive. I felt oddly like a god when I showed my scars to everyone. They looked at me with awe and admiration, as though it was some sort of contest and I had won. It almost made me ill.

The little boy was called in for his weekly evaluation to my surprise. That quickly transformed into a simmering anger that I kept quiet as it brewed in my skull. I suppose it was selfish of me, but I wanted to be evaluated first so I could fucking leave. Sighing and accepting my fate, I glanced in the direction of the last two girls that I hadn't yet had a chance to ponder over. One of them was a skinny, pretty blonde that had anger management issues. Apparently, she had punched and slapped her mother. To be honest, I was a little afraid of her. When she sensed my gaze and looked up I quickly snapped my head in a different direction.

This left me with the most intriguing patient. She was scrunched up in a recliner that was a bit to the side of everyone else and a blanket covered most of her body. She was being treated for severe depression and physical abuse. She was quiet but said enough to satisfy the counselor. She also talked with correct English that I hadn't heard for sometime. I looked at the clock which read twelve thirty. I decided to take a chance and walked over to her. Suspicious eyes lined with thick kohl black watched me approach. She pulled her blanket off and asked me what I wanted. I told her I didn't know, but I was sick of being alone in this place. She smiled crookedly then gave the room a quick scan. There were no counselors or nurses around.

I raised my eyebrows when she grabbed my hand and pulled me in the direction of the boarding rooms. Trust me she giggled, not at all like the girl that had participated in therapy. We walked quickly down a hallway lined with doors. Just when I was starting to wonder what the hell was going on, she opened a door and dragged me inside. There were two beds but it was obvious that she was the only one living there. Nightmares, she explained, would wake up any roommate that might be assigned to her. She started rummaging around, opening drawers throwing dirty clothes around and told me to have a seat on the bed. I did so and occupied myself by looking at her decorations. Vintage band posters took up most of her wall, while her dresser and floor were littered with gothic jewelry and black clothes.

Finally she yelled triumphantly and held high in the air a simple notebook. The cover was scratched up and scribbled on with black marker. There were words placed randomly all over it. Things like hate, love, alone, suffer, blood, kill me. Typical for an angsty teenage notebook. She pointed to the notebook and said this is what I do when I feel alone. Almost the entire book was filled with scrawling writing. Writing is the only thing that helps she said sadly while looking fondly at the notebook. She suddenly turned to me with a serious expression and stated we're all alone and we'll die alone. It took me awhile before I actually understood her words.

In the end everyone really is alone. That doesn't mean that we don't love or have relationships. It's just the fact that no one will really understand who you are and what goes on in your head. Sure people can know a person's personality or behavior and predict what they think and do. However, you are the only one that really understands yourself. And when you die you'll be alone no matter how many loved ones surround you. Whether there is a heaven, or if there's rebirth, or if we just simply cease to exist you will be alone. No one can go with you because they're not truly a part of you. Maybe that's why people find death so terrifying. One of the greatest human fears is being truly and utterly alone especially if you're facing some unknown fate. Of course I realize that all of this is just an opinion from a mental health patient no less.

We didn't know each other at all but I found that I was perfectly comfortable spilling all of my darkest secrets to her. It was such a glorious feeling, having someone you can talk to and that understands. By the time I was actually released from that awful place it was four o'clock and the two of us had become something similar to best friends. We talked about our problems, our lives, and our mutual feelings of constant loneliness. Our names never even came up oddly enough. As I was leaving I realized this so I wrote my name and phone number on her hand. In return she smiled and told her name was Sophia. I hugged her and promised to come and visit.

Like many promises, this one was not fully honored. I did show up a couple times a week for a month or so. However, school, depression, and friends with serious drama queen issues crippled me to the point that I just wanted to pass out in bed as soon as I got home. I eventually came back three months later. I didn't know whether or not she was still there but I figured I could get her address from one of the nice nurses. When I asked about her the main administrator frowned and leaned close to me. She discreetly told me that Sophia had been released a month ago. I asked for her address and she leaned over closer with an irritated expression, telling me that her mother and step-father were not taking any visitors. I was thoroughly confused and asked why not. The administrator, Lisa it said on her name tag, softened her expression before whispering: that girl killed herself just two weeks ago.

She overdosed on pain pills and alcohol, there was no note save for ALONE that was freshly carved on the underside of her left forearm. My expression didn't change, I didn't scream or cry. I thanked Lisa and walked home instead of taking the bus. Tears streamed down my stoic face but I paid them no mind. I felt numb and empty, like something just sandblasted my brain and I could form no coherent thoughts. I never did visit her parents but I did visit her grave. I laid down next to it and didn't move for hours. When I did get up I smiled at her headstone. She proved both of her opinions right. She died alone, and I was left alone.

This story is completely true. It's a tribute to all of those in pain and suffering. And all the sad stories that will never be told. This is for you Sophie.