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.

I go home today. I hardly slept because of it. I was up every half hour hoping it was 6:00 AM. The only clock was at the nurse’s station and I didn’t have my phone. My only calculation of time would be voices getting ready around me.

Finally I hear some of the regulars talking to nurses and I bolt out of bed to check the time. 6:23. I memorized it. I skid/slide back into my room Risky Business style. I dress and pack my things, clothes and my book is pretty much all I have. I put my paper bag on the bed and go wait impatiently for breakfast. I’m starving.

There a few new patients at breakfast which tells me one of them is taking my bed. I sit by my self, which has become my custom. I’ve staked out a small table by an empty patio so I can pretend it’s a cafe in NY or Paris.

We go back upstairs and I skip smoke/walk break. I want to be available for any possible changes. I get a call to the nurses station to sign all my paperwork and my heart leaps at one more step towards freedom.

It’s 8:30. Pickup is scheduled for 10:00. My wife should already be on the road, I try to calculate where she is. I start counting the minutes. I skip morning group just in case. It’s the only one I miss since my arrival a week ago.

It gets close to time and Jay, Helen and Amy all say goodbye and hug me. I will always wonder what happens to them. As much as the hospital was responsible for my outcome so were the three of them not to mention all the other patients who somehow struck me. Vlad is on nights, I’m sad I’ll miss saying goodbye to him.

10:00 on the dot an aide is ready to take me down. She makes sure the halls are clear and we go down to admitting to reverse the process and discharge me. There are several other people waiting.

Everything is already signed. They give me back my personal items, which includes my belt. I think I missed it the most. They take several of us to the art room to pick up our projects. Again, it feels like summer camp.

They call my name and I grab my things and follow an aide through the door into an unsecured lobby. It’s the first place in a week from where I could leave if I wanted too.

My wife is sitting there and I squeeze her first and leave my things there while the aide takes me for my prescriptions. After that I am free to go.

Free.

It felt like a funny word. My body was free but would my mind ever be free?

We exited the building and I took a deep breath. The air was the same but somehow better. We got in the car and she asked if I needed any thing. Starbucks was my request.

Drinks in hand we drove home. I honestly don’t remember much of it. We were home by 1:00ish. I crashed on the couch. I was exhausted and still didn’t know I had Covid yet. It was an odd afternoon. I felt like I didn’t belong there. I slept on the couch that night because bed didn’t feel right.

I was home but it would be a little while before it was home again.

Now it really begins.

End day 8