Hold your head up, there’s a light in the sky.
I know you’re fed up, but you must try to survive.
Just arrived at the mood disorders unit. It’s a completely different beast. I have a roommate, who seems very kind, but it still chafes to share my small space with a stranger.
I’m uncomfortable here. I just got into the groove of the acute unit and now everything is different. I have to learn new rules, meet new people. I’m sure this is the right place for me to be, but a small part of me wishes I was still downstairs, where I’d gained a modicum of control.
I never finished my puzzle. They tell me there are puzzles up here, but I think I learned my lesson. We’ll see if it sticks when I get bored.
Fresh Air Breaks (FAB) are different on this unit. Did I tell you about them before? My memory is a bit muddled between what I’ve told you and what I’ve told individual friends. Anyway, FABs are, of course, smoking breaks. However, they’re also the only opportunity to leave the confines of the UNI building. So I take FABs along with the others, because inhaling the smoke is a small price to pay for the feeling of the sunshine on my skin.
Downstairs we had a small patio for FABs—concrete, surrounded by brick walls, filled with 3 tables and a small bench. Upstairs we have no patio, so they bring us to an area outside the cafeteria. There are trees and a view of the mountains and a place away from the smokers where I can sit and write. I feel the breeze ruffle my hair. I watch the leaves dance on their branches and realize I need to spend more time outside. I don’t appreciate that freedom.
It’s a beautiful day. I’m scared and I’m sad, but it’s a little bit less. And it’s a beautiful day.
Did I say I was less sad? I take that back. The 30 minute sob-fest I just had begs to differ. Nothing like a little reminder of why I’m on the mood disorders floor.
My crocheting is still verboten. Apparently I cannot be trusted with yarn and a hook without the proper clearance from my doctor.
I had my first visitor tonight. It’s amazing what a lift that gave to my spirits. Phone calls are treasured as well. I had no idea how precious the familiar would become when I was placed in an unfamiliar environment.
I skipped community group this morning to cry and nap. I’m achingly sad today. I know it will look bad in my reports, but I just want to hibernate.
One positive thing to look forward to, though: Car and the Gs are visiting this afternoon. I know that will help me find my smile (and the pillow they bring from home will help me find my sleep).
The others are going to lunch while I sit and wait for my psychiatrist to finish with another patient. I find it rather inconvenient that she came right at lunchtime, though I suppose she finds it inconvenient to come in on a Saturday. I could go to lunch and risk missing her, but I want my crocheting, dammit.
I met with a therapist this morning, and for the first time in what seems like a millennium I feel hopeful. Hopeful I might not always want to die. Hopeful someday I can be happy. Hopeful I might actually leave here.
It’s a good feeling.
Got my crocheting back. BOOM.
Music therapy lady is slightly less kooky than the first. I’ve come to the conclusion that you need to be at least a little bit nutty to be a music therapist. (I’m looking at you, Meredith Blumoff.) Still, she brought some good music with her. I think my favorite was “Hold Your Head Up” by Macklemore, which surprised me. There was even a line which perfectly described why I’m blogging this experience to share with all of you:
Freedom is acknowledging the mask you have on
and possessing the strength to take it off.
There are people who keep their journey here private from the world. I understand that; I know the stigma that comes with mental illness this severe. But I also know this: if I hide it, I will never get better. Depression is a part of who I am, and when I push it down, fake a smile, and hide it from the world, it doesn’t go away. It simply waits until I let my guard down and then hits me full force.
So this is me without my mask, doing my best to hold my head up and try to survive.
As one of my friends told me—I got this.
*Note to self: Write mystery novel featuring murderer who wields crochet hook and yarn. GENIUS.