Psych Ward Diary (13.2.21)
Time moves funny here, it feels like I’m in a dream.
Yesterday, Damien came to visit and I swore up and down that it was Thursday, but no, it was Friday. I was annoyed that I’d lost track of the days so quickly, and while I’m happy to be here (maybe happy isn’t the right word) - I can't help but feel that the world keeps spinning without me.
Today I met a man from Austria, who offered me a cigarette. While we smoke, he tells me that he wants to go to America, but he’ll have to go through Canada first. He tells me his father is a psychopath who ran experiments on him, shoved needles in his neck. He tells me his mother abandoned him to work for the CIA in America, he tells me his father understands nothing and had him locked up for "psychotic thoughts", which to him are simply truths.
He tells me that when he goes to America, he will find his brother and his mother. His mother, the CIA agent, she will give him an injection that will turn him back into a baby. He tells me that he wants to go back, to live the childhood he never had.
He keeps saying that, that he wants to be a baby, that he has to go to America.
I put my hand on his shoulder out of reflex, and he looks as though he may cry. He tells me the world is made of robots who look like robots, and also robots who look and pretend to be people. He tells me I am different from them, that he trusts me. He asks me not to tell the nurses what he’s said, because he wants to be released tomorrow, so he can go to Canada, to America. He tells me for the third time : he needs to become a child again.
There is a man here who asks my name every time he sees me. I think he has trouble with his memory. Whenever I tell him my name, he yells at me in a language I don’t understand, a language I’m not sure anyone understands. I do not take it personally when he yells. It’s hard to take things personally in a mental hospital. Or maybe, it’s just hard to take things personally when I’m on such heavy doses of Valium.
I feel better today, not normal, but better. I haven’t cried yet, and that’s an improvement. Before I came here, and the first few days I was here, all I could do was cry. I cried when I was sad, when I was confused, when I was lonely. Most times, I cried without reason.
Damien visits me every day. Sometimes I cry when he leaves, once I’m back in my room. I know I chose to be here, to get better, but in some ways it hurts because in that choosing, I also chose to be away from him. Still, he writes me letters, he visits for as long as they’ll let him stay. I’ve never felt more loved by anyone in my life.
Yesterday when he visited, we went down to smoke a cigarette and another patient, a boy who we’d spoken to before, came to tell me “You have this boy, who visits everyday, he comes to this awful place just to hold you. He loves you, truly. You’re lucky.”
I knew it then, and I knew it before, and I know it now. I am so incredibly lucky. The amount of love that I’ve received in the past few days has been overwhelming, I’m nearly crushed by the knowledge that I am so loved, globally, in every corner of the world that I’ve touched, I have been accumulating love. I don’t always see it, I can’t always feel it, but in times like this it is so blatantly obvious that the bad times are no match for the affection I hold, the affection that is held for me.
Yesterday, Damien brought me a letter from my dear friend, Elsa. When I read it, I cried - but happy tears. The first happy tears in a long period of weeping. It was beautiful, and I'd like to share it with you :
I can't begin to summarise the rollercoaster of emotions that has been my reality for this desperate period, but there is one thing I can summarise quite succinctly : I made a choice, and it was the right one. I asked for help, even though I hated to admit that I needed it.
The people who love me have never made me feel ashamed for the things I view as weaknesses, instead they call me brave. They hold my hands and kiss my forehead.
I know that I made the right choice, because I never would have known how supported I am if I didn't. I never would have understood the strength it takes to be honest, to admit that I don't have my shit together, to admit that I felt like I was drowning in shallow water. Now I do, and that's not to say I'm cured by any means - it's just to say that I know more of love today than I did this time last week.
And if there's anything I live my life in pursuit of, it's love, and the knowledge of it.
I am ever grateful to those who teach me everyday to be tender. I'm grateful for you, too.
Love love love, forever and always -