It’s been awhile since I have been locked up in the walls of a hospital. It’s a different hospital than the times before. New nurses, new patients, everything is different. Yet the feelings remain the same. Frustrated, angry, hurt. That part is completely the same.
The hospital lights are bright. Fluorescent. The sounds of patients coughing echos through the white hallways. Curtains hang between beds for privacy. Multiple common areas to hang out and watch movies or play games. We can’t get out though. Not without a pass.
My sweet roommate is curled in a tiny little ball next to me crying. She occasionally gets up to make sure she has her corned beef sandwich ready for her snack. She too is sick. She keeps saying “this is not my year.” I just want to hug her and tell her it gets better. But I don’t know if I even believe that for myself.
We all share the beautiful fashion of blue pyjamas and coloured bracelets with our names on them. During the day most of us wear our own clothes so you can never tell who the patients are and who the guests are. I guess it shows that mental illness doesn’t have a look.
The nurses walk around constantly busy trying to make sure we are safe and feel heard. They are so kind. They seem to care about their patients. Jess sits with me as I cry about not wanting to be here. Hannah gently wraps up my arms to keep me safe.
Patients are yelling curse words to each other because it’s difficult to share a computer that gives them access to the outside world. One patient sits oddly straight and watches the same video on repeat. Another listens to music and dances along. Both are coping the best they can in the situation.
The yellow blankets are never warm enough but they give you a heated blanket if you ask. It feels like you are wrapping yourself in an artificial hug. One that soaks up my tears and keeps me warm. Not as good as a real hug though.
Some patients don’t know how to lift up their feet when they pace the halls. Every morning. At 7:30, his feet slide across the hard floor. From one end of the hallway to the other. Back and forth. I hate the sound of sliding feet.
My family and friends come to visit. We play games, chat, colour. I’m not alone. But I feel so lonely. The bring me gifts but then they leave again. In the end, maybe I am just alone.