No One Tells You How Hard It Will Be

I spent almost four weeks in a psychiatric hospital. The admission was helpful, and worthwhile, but being at home is very different.

Whilst in hospital most days looked like this:

7:30-9am: Breakfast

8am: Morning announcement usually announcing the day, date, and time, that morning medications were being dispensed, and the dining room was open until 9am for breakfast.

9:30am: Community meeting which was five to ten minutes of information about the group program, complaints, suggestions, compliments, new patients, patients being discharged, birthdays, and new staff. You’d also go around the room saying your name, and answering an ice-breaker type questions.

10am: Anxiety Management group which was controlled deep breathing for five to fifteen minutes depending on who was running it.

11am: Morning group if you were assigned to one.

12-1pm: Lunch

1:30pm: Afternoon group if you were assigned to one.

3:30pm: Occasionally a walk, but that would depend on nursing staff having time, and patients actually wanting to do it.

Afternoon: During the week there’d be yoga, a fitness class, a psych education group, or art therapy. Each group running only once per week.

5-6:15pm: Dinner

8pm: Relaxation group

8:45pm: Night time medication

That was how my time was spent. I’d also see my psychiatrist six days a week for twenty to fifty minutes. Plus chatting to nurses if I wanted to. If I needed to talk someone was there. If I wanted to rest I could. There was no cooking or cleaning. All I had to do was wash my own clothes.

Home is very different. I’ve had to unpack from moving house. I’m living in a new, somewhat unfamiliar, suburb. There’s dishes, cleaning, and washing to do. I’m trying to be sociable and keep up with friends, but I’m struggling with that. I’m back to showering once or twice a week because I’m physically exhausted, and my mood is low.

I’m anxious and unsettled. I’m scared to leave the house. I burst into tears when I need to leave the house alone. I hide inside because it feels safer than outside. There are so many things I want to do around the house and outside. I have plans for our garden and courtyard, even if they’re small. I have plans for all the things I want to do, but doing them will be a slow process.

I’m safe, and I have support, but I’m struggling. Adjusting to being at home, and to a new house, new suburb is hard (and slow) work.

I was excited to come home, and I don’t regret coming home (I have freedom!), but it’s hard.

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4 thoughts on “No One Tells You How Hard It Will Be

  1. Of course it is hard. It sucks. I talk a lot on my blog about not wanting to shower so I think you are plenty normal there. I was in hospital three months ago and sympathize. lily

  2. Hey, sorry to hear about your struggles. I have struggled with anxiety most of my life. 10 years ago, I had a series of severe panick attacks that lead to various disorders. Never wanted to leave the house! The various panick disorders branched out into other mental disorders. I literally thought I was losing my mind. And before that I have dealt with general anxiety and panick. It’s frightening to say the least. You’re not alone. There’s a community here to fall back. Take it easy but take it slow. You’re going to get through this. It seems tough right now but the emotions you feel right now will help you gain stability to progress to the next level. When I first was experiencing my panick attacks I was in the military overseas. It got so bad I finally had to tell someone. I felt embarrassed and ashamed! I didn’t want anyone to know about my condition. I had to say something to my superiors. Soon after, my intentions were questions. I was blamed and accused. It was tough! But I overcame that. My life changed overnight. I believe it lead me down a different path. There are certain things we were meant to do in this life and there are certain things we have to suffer in order to become who we were meant to be. It’s going to be tough. Hang in there! You have an amazing support group! Let me know if you have any questions………More than happy to help.

  3. Thanks for sharing your honest thoughts and experience. You’re adjusting to a big change. For me, understanding and experiencing the ups and downs of life were essential for me to learn how to navigate the good and bad times. Slowing down and not trying to do too much is another thing that really helped me at times like you’re describing. I sincerely admire the way you’re expressing your thoughts and i’m thankful i read this.

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