We are about to get real with this one. Yesterday, I almost checked myself into a hospital. I had a mental/nervous/panic breakdown where I could not move, I was shaking and trembling, and I had WAY too many thoughts in my head. All I could do in that moment is DM a friend who I’ve recently had disputes with and was not on speaking terms. I missed my friend though, and for some reason I felt the need to spill all my thoughts into her lap. (I know, that’s not healthy, but I never said I was perfect.)
All she could tell me was to go to a mental hospital. And she was very persistent about it.
“No, I’m not doing that.” “This is not my first rodeo, I can handle it.” “I don’t want to scare my family, friends, and the people that look up to me.” “I’m supposed to be the strong one.”
I spewed all of these excuses into her Instagram messages. Excuses I still run by, but I admit, excuses nonetheless. I low key felt like I needed to go, but I was being defiant and fearful for a new journey that I have never dared to step into..
“I’m not that crazy, am I?”
I thought to myself…I spent a good amount of time alternating between searching for a hospital and screaming in my bed sheets. Feeling my heart beating terribly fast and trying to calm down. Even when I started to calm, I still felt the need to go. I did not want my friend to freak out and I wanted to go so she felt at peace somewhat.
I had no idea where to look, what kind of hospital to find, if I needed to call a hotline, or what. I was so lost. I googled hotlines and saw many that it felt overwhelming. I didn’t know where to start.
I finally found a behavioral treatment center and decided to go there. During the drive, I was just dead focused on my life and how the hell I got to this point. I pulled up, walked in, filled out a patient sheet, and moved on with the process. The place seemed a bit unorganized and a few of the employees felt a bit jaded, but I was already there so I wasn’t planning on turning back. Cameras were everywhere. There was no plastic bags in the trash cans for obvious reasons. I had to lock up my keys and wallet. Everything was…different. Controlled. Everything was locked, including the restroom doors. And when I had to use it, I had to leave the door cracked in case I tried anything crazy. While waiting to be called in this small weird little waiting area, I spoke to a young black boy who said he’s been here 16 times. 16 times?? He’s not even a teen yet, and he’s dealing with behavioral issues. It put my situation in perspective. I was continuously asking myself while in Nike slides and tube socks,
“Do I even belong here?” “This is wild.” “I have never ever been in a situation like this.”
But I was willing to follow through.
I spoke to a lady that seemed like a behavioral specialist in what seemed like an interrogation room. There was a big code blue button on the wall and another camera; in case I decide to go crazy and drop kick her or something. She was actually really nice and we had a long conversation about my triggers and life backstory, but being interested in mental health and studying psychology in college, I was already hip to most of the tactics and processes she was using. I was honest about my situations, but I made it to make sure I wasn’t marked as some emergency patient or anything.
“No, I never attempted or thought of killing myself.”
This was partly true. I’ve never attempted suicide, but I’ve had thoughts and urges plenty of times. Even at that moment I had the breakdown I had thoughts, but I would never do it because I know too many people that would be devastated if I did.
Moving forward, me and her danced with the thought of being admitted in and staying for up to three weeks and receiving treatment. I was being hard about staying, but I think deep inside I wanted to receive that treatment. Fear is what stopped me. Fear of losing my job. Fear of a new and weird journey. Fear of the true acceptance of my mental incapacity. Fear of the reactions of my family and friends. I was sent home after I promised to not hurt myself or anyone else.
I’m sharing this story for anyone that would like to get an inside look of this process in case they were considering going or suggesting someone else to go. I still might go, but we shall see. I’m always free to discuss.