Purpose, Agency, Hospital

I should go back to Sheppard Pratt.  I realize that at this point.  But I’m fighting it.

See, I went to a caucus today.  Not my town’s–I was just helping out at this one, compiling slates, getting petition signatures, bossing volunteers around (erm, organizing volunteers).  For six hours, I was important and competent.  I was NEEDED.  I was meeting delegates and calling in numbers and making important decisions that actually affect this campaign.  I felt good.  (Admittedly, the oxycodone probably helped with that.  I’m much happier when I’m on opiates, although somewhat stupider.)

If I go back to Sheppard Pratt, I lose out on that.  First, I’ll have to lie to my RFD (regional field director), probably tell him I’m going out of state to get surgery for my UC or something.  I hate lying, especially since I work for a candidate who’s strong on reducing stigma and increasing access to mental health care, but I will lie.  I’m just too afraid it’ll come back to bite me in the butt someday if I’m honest about it.

And once I’m at Sheppard Pratt, I’ll be cut off completely.  No computer, no cell phone, no radio.  There’s a TV, but you’re not allowed to watch news.  There are three phones for 22 patients, and the hours you can use them are very limited.  I won’t be able to organize caucuses or phone banks or house parties.  Hell, the last time I was there, i got “redirected” just for using Obama’s name because you’re not allowed to discuss politics.  I won’t be allowed to go outside.  I won’t even be allowed to use the bathroom without someone coming in to check.  I understand the reason for all the restrictions, but they make me feel like less than a person.  I lose almost all agency in my life.  Not forever, but it feels like forever when you’re 500 miles from home, all alone and isolated.

The two things that have kept me hanging on through these last couple weeks are my sister’s wedding and this campaign.  What if I go to Sheppard Pratt and lose the things that I’m still hanging onto?  What if it makes me more hopeless?

I’m afraid.


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15 responses to “Purpose, Agency, Hospital

  1. happilydpressed

    You’ll find your answers hope. My thoughts are with you

  2. The work you were able to do at the caucus is a far cry from the restrictions of the residential treatment program. Wish there was middle ground.

    • Me too. Sadly, there just isn’t. I’m stuck because I need more than just outpatient therapy, but I worry being locked up and removed from life would also be detrimental.

      • Whatever your needs and current troubles you still know what would do you more harm than good. Hold on to that. The system is not what it ought to be for sure.

      • The dangerous thing is that right now I really don’t know. When I’m in this place, I lose the ability to think entirely rationally, despite sounding perfectly reasonable.

      • Oh, that sounds like a vote for goining into treatment. Darn that is so far away or that there isn’t a less restrictive option.

  3. This is a tough one. I hope somehow you can find a balance. You will make the right decision, just may take some time to figure out what that is!

  4. What a tough decision! My thoughts are with you too. Wish I could send you some sunshine from Holland here.

  5. I know you can never tell, but how long were your previous stays? Is there any chance it would just be a 3 day hold?

    • A three day stay won’t do squat to help. Sheppard Pratt is longer term. The last time, I was there for 4 months, though the average stay there is a bit shorter.

      Very short hospitalizations like you’re talking about are, I think, only helpful to people who can improve drastically from a med adjustment. I’m not one of those people. I need intensive, trauma-focused therapy, which won’t happen in 3 days.

      • oh my, that is quite a difference from what I was thinking. Is there a day program that you could get in to that wouldn’t quite be so much? At least then you wouldn’t be inpatient…

      • No, there’s nothing in my area that deals with trauma survivors. That’s the drawback of living in the middle of nowhere–I have to go 500 miles if I need a higher level of care.

  6. happilydpressed

    Hey hope, haven’t annoyed you with comments for a few days…just wanted to see if you were ok

    • No, not annoyed. Still alive but not really okay.

      • happilydpressed

        Well that alive part is a plus for me to hear (: I haven’t been that ok either..have the whole shabang all prepared but I don’t have the heart to go through with it…but I’m thinking of you (in the least creepy possible way that phrase can sound lol) just hope you’re going to be ok and all…

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