Please be aware, that if you have a trigger for suicide do not read further.

This piece is written in the hopes that someone who feels the same way might think twice and realize that they are not alone. I’m not looking for sympathy or pity.

Friday has come and it’s not the end of a work week which feels strange. No afternoon group on Friday and the TV comes on earlier. Several patients have left during the week and have been replaced with new ones. There seemed to be a never-ending supply, unfortunately.

One new male who came in, Steven, not Steve, was ummmm… well… interesting. He didn’t speak much but when he did he was always right. He was self-righteous and hugely narcissistic. He seemed to be concerned with everyone’s eating habits. Every meal he would be last in line for the cafeteria and as he passed tables with his food (only salad or fruit) he would comment on how bad the food was for you. He would stand up after eating and do squats. Never anything else, just squats.

He sat by himself but he would stare at you just shaking his head like he knew something you didn’t know. He kept kissing the medal he wore around his neck and crossing himself. I’m all for religious freedom but he was creepy.

He got around to staring at me and I tried to just ignore him. He was a well-built young man and probably could have taken down anyone before an aide could stop him. He never got violent but he made things very tense. In the morning group, he took over talking about his issues and told Frank he was utterly wrong about depression. He was one of those convinced that anyone suffering from depression could simply just snap out of it. He told us he had been abused by men several times while in foster care. It was hard not to empathize with him after that. I’d like to believe he was telling the truth as odd as that may sound.

I saw the psychiatrist daily for a few minutes to check-in. Today I made sure I was leaving on the following Tuesday and she confirmed it looked good. She said I was a model patient who made her job easy. That made me feel good. I was either a very good actor or this was bottom and the only way out was up.

Art again today. I made a pinch pot and painted my previous turtle whistle. Small class today and the stalker came as well. He picked somebody else to stare at. I really wondered what his diagnosis was and where he would go after his stay here. He was the only patient I had trouble relating to. I wasn’t afraid of him, he just made me uncomfortable. Jay and Helen said the same thing plus a couple of others.

8:00 AM was meds time, after breakfast. I only had two pills prescribed to me. I tried working on my puzzle, which was going well. My goal was to finish it before I was discharged, but I was extremely tired. I would discover the following Friday that I actually had COVID in the beginning stages. I slept quite a lot through Sunday which made sense since I was sick and didn’t know it. I suppose that makes sense in a ward of 20 people with questionable hygiene.

I had started making lists. A list of things I wanted to do when I got home, a list of triggers, a list of medical things to do when I got home, and a bucket list. I’m not sure if any one list was more important than any other. It was helpful to write things down. It was much less overwhelming than trying to remember it all. Plus seeing it all laid out I was able to look forward to some of the things.

The rest of the day was spent on my puzzle, watching TV, reading, and napping.

Three days and I’d be going home. I had no idea what to expect.

End of day 4.