When I was committed after my suicide attempt, I remember thinking it was the worst place in the world for me. Sure, I was in a place where I was safe from myself, but I felt that anyone who suffers from depression shouldn’t be locked up with those who suffer from other forms of mental illness. It didn’t make sense to have a suicidal woman sharing a room with an 80-year-old who suffered from severe dementia, was constantly without her pants and thought she was 23 years old. Both then and know, I’m not sure how either one of us was supposed to benefit from the situation and heal, but I guess it was just about containing us in that moment.
The entire time I was in the psych ward, I was not only adamant about the fact that I didn’t belong there, but that I was better than everyone else. I was, of course, delusional, not in my right brain at all and overcome by such intense sadness that it was easier to convince myself that I was better to at least give myself something over the others. And this is me trying to reason it the best I can, and probably failing at doing so.
It wasn’t until my last day in the hospital that I realized how safe it was inside those walls. The world had been shut out from me and I was free from everything. I was no better than the patients with whom I shared that space. We were, at least in there, complete equals no matter what we had done the day before we arrived or what we do the day after we left.
When I have days now that hover closely to way I felt the morning I tried to end my life, I think back to the way I felt in the psych ward. I find myself longing for it. I wish I could go back there with a clearer head and truly appreciate it for what it had to offer me: escape from it all. There is no “have to” inside those walls and although they’ll question your desire to get better if you don’t change or shower for over a week, you still don’t “have to.” You are, compared to the busy world in which we live most of the time, free.
Here are six reasons why some days I’d like to be locked up again.
Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures