So I’ve been writing a lot about process lately, and at this very moment in my life I’m going through the process of a kind of scary, healing path. I think what I’m going to write about for the next few weeks is the actual process of what is happening as I navigate this particular part of the mental health system because I wish I had someone to explain it to me piece by piece. This gives me some separation from you my dear reader, and it might help someone if they ever need to go through this process.
I’m going to be talking about some potentially triggering stuff here so proceed with caution.
So first things first, I started out this process a very long time ago, the first time I had to navigate it myself I was in my very early twenties. I was hospitalized three times that year, all because of ER visits, once because I tried to kill myself. When it was voluntary the hospital was not terrible, it created some structure, it kept me safe, and it stabilized me. When it was not voluntary it was incredibly traumatizing, with threats from the staff to send us to “state” if there was misbehavior. When you get to the hospital they do an intake, you speak with a psychologist, a MD, a social worker, and you get the run down. You are also stripped searched, your phone and any clothing with strings are taken out or away, and depending on what you are there for you get a babysitter to make sure you don’t do anything to yourself. Then your observation slowly goes down as you start showing signs of improvement. Everything is the same every day, you wake up at the same time, you go to sleep at the same time, you eat at the same time. Bringing some structure to the chaos.
Then they discharge you once you are stable enough to function mostly in society, they give you a psychologist and a therapist (if you want one) and send you on your way.
At the beginning of this whole situation I was looking for just an appointment, I called place after place after place and at first the earliest appointment was November. That would have been too late for more than one reason. Then I managed to get one for the 14th, which was also too late for multiple reasons, but it was better. Finally I decided on a partial program which could get me in almost immediately (tomorrow). This is a huge relief. I will talk about the process of partial as I learn about it.
All of this took a lot of phone calls, a lot of energy that I don’t have, and a lot of stress. Here’s where I talk about heathcare, because I wouldn’t have had to do nearly as much work (and there will be more blogs about this later) if the system were not so broken. I am a person in crisis right now and at one point my only option was hospitalization, there has to be a better way of getting someone help immediately without requiring expensive and time consuming hospitalization. Not everyone has the incredible support system that I have, not everyone is able to have someone advocate for them.
We need to fix this, because speaking only of mental health these past few weeks have been life or death for me almost every moment. I don’t say that lightly, and I don’t say that to make you feel bad for me, I say that because if it were easier and more affordable it would not get that bad for most people.
Until next time, the blogs might be a little different for a while, but I’m ever changing of course.