I remember the psychiatric wards.
I remember the ice cold floors in the morning, and walking barefoot to the unlockable bathrooms to take a piss. Rolling out of the beds in a drugged daze for the nurse to take my vitals.
”How are you feeling this morning?”
I remember the series of emotions that flow through me as I process my situation again- for the 5th day in a row:
How long am I going to be here for?
Oh God, I can’t believe I’m (back) here. How the hell do I explain this to everyone? Am I crazy? Does anyone even know I’m in here?
This isn’t so bad, right? I’m fed, I can do almost whatever I want. I mean I can’t walk outside, but that’s cool… it’s raining outside anyways.
I remember everyone I’ve met during my stays in the ward. Every beautiful, beaten soul. I remember the fear I felt the first day. The fear that I might be attacked by someone there who was so far gone, they wouldn’t have been able to help themselves. But once I introduced myself, I would be overcome by their kindness and frailty.
There was no judgement, no hostility. It didn’t matter if you were male or female, young or old. Everyone had their issue, but was comforted by all others.
I remember the older patients, who acted like mentors during my stay, when I was young and alone. Their stories saddened me, and I remember the pain in their eyes. When I got older, and thrown back into a ward, I remember the younger patients, looking just as confused as I was the first time. I cracked jokes to ease their tension.
I remember the bonds we all formed as we fought our demons. In that short amount of timed, we relied on each other to stay sane- even though we were pretty much insane.
I remember leaving each time, wishing everyone else the best. Hoping to dear God, that they would hang on and be okay.