WARD LIFE: 12 new admissions & learning to fly

thumbnail_IMG_2138Today has been better than yesterday. I haven’t been suicidal today – but my mind is very slow and my mood inconsistent. I got up, went for a short panad and vapour in the yard and then helped staff members and other patients pick up and bin cigarette stumps put out on the gravel/yard. I figured out I should offer a helping hand seeing that I had a part to play in the mess before I stopped smoking. My clever plan to burn smokes out and hide them under the gravel (to make it look nicer whilst I was smoking)  obviously backfired when it came to collecting them this morning – for me, it was more of a ‘dig and dump’ exercise! But, there we have it! There was still something strangely therapeutic about this exercise. Seeing the yard clean and thinking how beautiful it all looked without burnt out cigarettes.

I had egg sandwich for lunch and then closed my room door, lay on my bed and put some smooth piano jazz on whilst vaping. It felt really relaxing. Definitely something to put on my self soothe list (I imagine my psychologist would be pleased by my efforts, right now!) I then went with a member of staff to the shop opposite the hospital to spend my 30 minute escorted walk. With it being 5 weeks since admission and a Saturday today, I treated myself to ….*drum roll* …….energy drinks (specifically Red Bull to ‘vitalise’ the mind and give me some ‘wings’)! Talk about feeling like a ward rebel, properly pushing the boat out and all that. I also got some chocolate and crisps (won’t be winning a health award any time soon, I know!) Unfortunately, it’s as exciting as the weekends here get. However, I’m immensely proud of myself for not smoking for the last 4/5 days! Walking into the shop today, knowing I wouldn’t be asking for the usual pack of 20 Silk Cut Purple was a great and empowering feeling.

Weekends are always difficult, but bank holiday weekends are even a greater struggle. There’s a ‘shut down’ feeling to ward life and few visitors come. Since admitted – for all intents and purposes, I’ve been limited to Hergest walls for 24.5 hours a day (30 minutes escorted leave outside hospital grounds only granted over the last week or so). Time management on the weekend becomes a slight issue – made ever more complex by intense feelings of boredom. The last week’s been a huge challenge for me – more days that not – I’ve retired to my room, closed the door and have sat with my thoughts, ruminating  – unable to chat and mix freely with other patients, as I have in the past .

However, today a dear friend placed 12 chicks in random places around the ward – and boy I was amused by it all! I found all 12 gorgeous chicks and I can say that they’re greatly welcomed admissions. I have one cutie guarding my unit door. I reckon that between the Red Bull (giving me ‘wings’) and the 12 new chick admissions @ the unit, I should’ve mastered flying by tonight. So if you see a small strange silhouette in tonight’s moonlight – please don’t call the air police or UFO hunters – just know that my Easter wish worked well – and that I’m finally, flying high.

‘Flying is learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss.’ Douglas Adams




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