The Start Of A Journey
In 2011 I was admitted to a psychiatric unit after attempting suicide. I was using cocaine heavily and alcohol daily. It took around 3 weeks for my system to test negative for cocaine. At this point I was 25 stone and suffering with both highs and lows. I had no mental strength at this point and my life had truly spiraled out of control. I thought this was the lowest point of my life….but it wasn’t. I had been mixing with bad crowds and had been getting into trouble. I had been charged with possession and intent to supply a class c substance and awaiting sentencing. I was sent to hospital of the back of a suicide attempt. I attempted to slit my wrists in a car out of the area (and luckily) a police man/woman found me, stopped me and took me to hospital.
5 years on I still have the scars
While people say that, people who attempt suicide are attention seekers or selfish, I don’t believe this. I believe I was in a place were everyone around me would have been better of without me. I had isolated myself so badly from the world I just felt what was the point!
While I was in hospital I was diagnosed with BPD and started rounds of medication. I tried multiple types of medication and was advised by the doctors it could take months to find the right ‘concoction’ of medication. Luckily for me after 2 months I was placed on Lamotrigine and Quitiepean which really made me feel a lot better, more positive and ‘slightly’ ready to take on the next few months.
Some of the key ‘things’ I remember from daily life being sectioned
- The bed! – The beds were so uncomfortable, pretty much a standard hospital bed with a hard mattress and struggling pillows.
- The TV – It always amazed me how the TV was covered in plastic with holes in it so you couldn’t get to it. I never understood why this was?
- The pool table – The pool table was a regular event for us. Surprisingly the cues and balls were always left out and unattended. We would often play pool with the staff and the patients. It was a good thing really (I think I actually became quite good 😉 ).
- The food – So the food wasn’t standard hospital grub. It was more substantial and pretty nice. We would get toast at around 9pm as well which was always great!
- The weight gain – The downside of taking medication is the side effects. With a lot of these ‘Calming’ drugs comes an appetite. I put on so much weight over my 5 months in hospital I was checked regularly for diabetes.
- The care reviews – Once a week we would see the consultant who would eventually say “you’re now discharged”. It was weird some people didn’t want to be discharged and others usually did. It always seemed that the people who really needed the help would want to be discharged and the other’s didn’t
- Drug abuse – I met a lot of people who were admitted due to drug abuse. Withdrawal symptoms from Heroin, Cocaine and alcohol were hell for some people and this really was the best place for them.
- Showering – There was a routine in hospital, 8am shower, medication and breakfast – 9pm movie, medication and bed. Looking back I hated getting up so early, I was always drowsy from the medication …. he insight showed me routine was the best part of hospital life.
I did have up’s and downs in hospital, at one point I asked for a razor and unsupervised I started to self harm. I was treated so well by the staff when the situations were like this and its difficult to thank them now.
I always thankful for having my dad. Me and my dad had a rocky relationship when I was a child, but when I needed him he stepped up for me. He would visit me every other day (sometime every night) and make sure I was ok and I didn’t need anything. He broke the relationships I had made with the wrong people (giving me a new phone and number) and making sure that this was the changing point in my life.
Funnily enough while I was at the height of my drug dealing and partying I had more friends than I could count, during my time in hospital I didn’t see one of them. I think this was both a shock and not a shock. Why would they come and see me when I had nothing to offer them anymore. I knew my new path would be a lonely one.
When I was ready for discharge, I had no where to live so the hospital arranged for me to be moved to a hostel, until I could find permanent accommodation. I didn’t realise what was to come…but I was about too.