This is not a drill

You never think that you would find yourself in a psychiatric hospital. Today is day two. I stand in line to get my long list of medications in the morning and evening. They take my phone by 10pm. They take my blood pressure twice daily. I am relieved that the walls are painted a pleasant earthy colour, and that the throw on my bed is a soft and loving shade of blue – the kind that I like – and not some stark orange or red. I’m starting to feel at home.

How I got here is not that important. That I am here now and that there are other people who are also genuinely trying to get better is what gets me through the days. Every single person in this place understands the relentless pain rooted in something so deeply hidden that you can’t access it even if you tried. Everyone knows that sometimes it hurts because you are empty. That you feel useless, worthless, insignificant, a burden to your friends and family. We all know the words to say to each other to lighten the load, even though none of us have internalised them. We try. I try.

I have already and am continuing to write about what brought me here, what is happening to my brain and my body while I’m in here, and how things are changing. Dispatches from Crazytown* is my experiment at documenting mental illness, treatment, and recovery. I am not crazy. Nobody in here is crazy. You could walk past any of us on the street and not know that we had been in a psychiatric hospital, because there is nothing wrong with us. We are human, and we deserve to be loved. If you have a friend struggling with depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety or any mental health condition, reach out. Go visit them in hospital. Make sure they know you don’t give a shit how crazy they may seem, you’ll always be there.

*Crazytown is my brain, so named because it moves in a self-repeating loop on several different levels at all times. 

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