Saturday, October 10, 2009

Coming Home From the Psych Ward

The Santa Barbara air had a clean fragrance, and a nice breeze wafted through my hair, which hasn't been washed for four days. I smoked a Djarum, which has been outlawed here in California, and savored the familiar old inhale/exhale routine.

The nursing staff had lost my wallet, containing practically all my life. They sent me off with promises to find it and mail it up to me. I was content with that. It seemed a small thing to lose, when you have fought a monster in your mind and then emerged triumphant.

I went off too many meds and did it quickly, sometimes without consulting my doctor. I knew I was in trouble when I won the big-deal poetry prize, was happy for a moment, and then the black monster reappeared, took out my brain and shook it real hard.

I worked my AA program to the best of my ability. But I've had this mental illness since long before I was first hospitalized for depression at age 16.

I think it's time for the rah-rah cheerleader to take a break and explore the black sorrow for a little while with my therapist. The medications will take time to work, but patience is a virtue I learned in AA. At least there is hope, where before there had been despair, carefully controlled.

Thank you to everyone who wished me well and sent prayers my way. I believe in the power of prayer to change things, starting with changing yourself, for that moment or that day. The support I had from you kept me sane when I wanted to explode (the Ativan didn't hurt, either). I'm no longer on Ativan, no drugs that start the phenonemon of craving. Just loving you guys and looking forward to tomorrow ( writing this at night). Have blessed days, each one of you.



Tall Kay said...

Welcome home Chris! I just got home too...10pm CA time...1am CT time. It feels sooo good to be home. I'm sure you feel it too.

Paula said...

I am so sorry to read what u went through. Mill of safe hugs to you. I keep you in my thoughts.

the walking man said...

The post is the blessing kiddo. Thanks for that.

there is no beast that can't be taken down and eaten. Cook it though don't want to risk salmonella.

Shadow said...

you are sounding wonderful! and relieved, and refreshed, and grateful. hugs and love hunny, you're home!

Madison said...

I'm glad your found a slice of hope. Keep writing. You have a gift. I have a friend who has been in and out of psych wards for years. She says she's too screwed up to write about it.

Karen said...


Monkey Man said...

Welcome back. Use your knowledge as strength.

Syd said...

I'm glad that you are home Chris. Take care of yourself and be gentle with Chris.

garden-variety drunk said...

i had no idea that djarum were now illegal. i just googled it and apparently just weeks ago, Congress banned them. i hadn't smoked anything in 3 1/2 years and yet when i read they are illegal now, i felt disappointed.

take care