Oh No, Not the Psych Ward!

holistic treatment for depression and anxiety
Let's go back now to 8 days in the hospital (please don't make me call it a "psych ward") as it was simply the "emotional" ward (and most sane) floor in this place.  Did I mention before that, while there, I met lawyers, nurses, teachers, Navy wives, just to name a few of the other "sane people who just happened to suffer a small lapse in life reality for a few days?"  To be honest, it wasn't such a bad gig.  I mean, it was a small community of people coming together daily to figure their "stuff" out.  For anyone who has the misconception that going into a psych hospital is a vision from "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" or "Psycho" (or remember how Glenn Close looked when she psyched out in "Fatal Attraction??"), well, its not like that.  I must say again, to anyone who may be on the verge of total depression or feeling like they will break if they go one more day, check yourself in.  I probably should have done that but my will was so strong I kept fighting it.  Or perhaps, I was feeling like I would let everyone down if I took the giant leap of taking a "short rest" from life for a few days to figure it all out and get straight.  It was Joanne, my awesome roommate, who told me that I wasn't Superwoman and anytime I felt like I couldn't go through another day in there, she encouraged me.  She kicked my butt and I taught her yoga!  Anyway, while in the hospital you learn about yourself.  They make you take class after class or go through sessions of learning.  Each session is on a different subject and you talk to each other and the counselors in a group setting.  Now, if you cooperated and were willing to participate and take your medication, you might be allowed to get off that floor and go downstairs to the cafeteria for your meals.  This was a big deal, let me tell ya.  I went in at 99 lbs and my most exciting part of the day was checking out all the luscious, delectable deserts.  No kidding, I thought I had hit the jackpot and was eyeing up the best any French pastry chef could muster up because man, the deserts were awesome!  In 8 days I must have put back on a good 8 to 10 pounds!  I was thrilled!  No one told me I would have to be weened off the sugar high, but heck, that was the least of my problems.  Then there was Dr. Riedler.  He was tough but good.  Here I was all meek and mild, no make up, no hair products, I am thin, gaunt, and feeling deflated.  Not to mention the fashion wasn't so good in there, you couldn't even have anything with a shoelace or belt and God forbid you ask for dental floss!  Anyway, Dr. Riedler sat me down and said "look, you are a smart, confident, professional woman who has let life beat her down and who is trying to control uncontrollable situations."  "You WILL take your medication (and don't forget your fish oil pills) and you WILL get your life back together.  It was like he saw right through me, he totally knew I was more than I thought I was presenting.  He GOT me, really GOT me.  So, I knew in order for me to get the heck out of there, I had to take the meds, do the classes and act "normal."  I could do this! 

The best days were visits from my family though it was hard to know they were seeing me in such a place but we had a counseling session and made an action plan.  The day I was released, I was happy but a little sad and afraid.  I felt "safe" there and I realized later that the whole situation was responsible for me making new life choices. I couldn't continue to live the same way, I had to start healing and doing things for myself and learning to let go.  That is not easy.  I would highly recommend anyone going through anything remotely similar to please, please seek counseling, don't let your anxiety/depression get out of control.  If you start getting physically ill or stop sleeping, seek help.  This is a serious subject, not to be fooled around with and nothing to be ashamed of.  I make light of the subject but it was the hardest time in my life.  Just remember "A journey of a thousand miles starts with just one step."