“Develop an attitude of gratitude
and give thanks for everything
that happens to you, knowing that every
step forward is a step toward
bigger and better than
your current situation”
“Ms. Turner, you have a phone call.”
“Aye Mama!! Today is the day. I know you are freaking ready to come home. I know I am. It’s lonely here. I miss you. Do you know what time you are being released? Call me as soon as they send over your release forms, and I will be on my way.”
For the first time I truly felt like this time would be different. This time people will treat me as if I matter. It’s what I wanted. It was time to go home. As I packed up my room and got myself together, I couldn’t help but feel bittersweet. On one hand I would be in my own bed and in my own space without the extra eyes. But on the other hand, where would I find other people who understand me wholeheartedly. I mean I was surrounded by those who were giving me the best advice… And it was working. Would I still get that once I go home?
“Do you have your mental health awareness book with you? Please continue to use it while you’re at home. It will help with getting you back on track. Also after your discharge I will advise that you go to Monarch. There you will be able to get a steady prescription and long term help. It was nice meeting you Ms. Turner, and I hope you continue to do well.”
As they unlock the doors and the buzzer goes off, I feel as though I’m stepping into a new reality. But then come the stares of those waiting by the elevator. After I could no longer take the eyes of strangers looking at me as if I was lost and deranged, I turned to face the direction in which I came, only to look up and realize why they were staring at me so strangely.
“BEHAVIORAL HEALTH UNIT. NO ACCESS WITHOUT KEY. RESTRICTED ACCESS.”
In that moment I felt so embarrassed and lowered my head in shame. I didn’t want anyone to know that I was here. I don’t care if they didn’t know me. And I definitely didn’t want anyone to know what I had done. As if that weren’t enough, only then had I realized that my shoestrings were missing! I was so happy and in a rush to get up out of there that I forgot to put them back in when they gave them to me… Great. As I begin to forget all that I had just learned this past week, I felt the book in my hand grow heavy.. But I ignored it. I just wanted to get off of this floor and out of this hospital. As I rode down the elevator alone in silence, I couldn’t help but to be happy because I knew that the one person who mattered to me the most would be waiting for me when I reached the entrance to take me home…
But she wasn’t there. No one was there…
I knew that if she wasn’t here now, that she would be here soon. But damn. I needed her to be here. I needed to feel like things would be different. Like I would finally be a priority to someone. Anyone.
So I sat. And I waited…
And I waited…
Why isn’t anyone here? Damn did this past week not show them anything. Maybe I was being paranoid… Well I know I was. But I just wanted to go home. As I sat and waited, I couldn’t help but notice my surroundings. I mean everything. The air smelled so fresh, the sun was beaming, and everything was so colorful and vibrant.
And then it plays. Twice. A beautiful lullaby theme to let everyone know that a beautiful baby has entered into this world. A new heartbeat… A new smile.. A new meaning. It was the most soothing music I’ve ever heard. It symbolized a new beginning.
And it plays for a third time. And in that moment, I felt like that last one was for me. It felt like the lullaby was rejoicing in my new birth. A new life.. A new beginning. It felt like the angels themselves were singing to me. Will there really be a new beginning for me? I mean this newfound opportunity has to work for me right? As I sat and pondered on where my future was headed, I finally spot something familiar to me. The baby blue mazda. And as soon as she spotted me, her eyes lit up and her smile was wider than I have ever seen before.
“Hey my love, I’ve missed you so much. It’s been so quiet at home. Are you ready to go?”
It was finally happening, I was finally able to walk out of those doors and be in the comfort of my own home. Now more than anything it was up to me and only me to make sure that from here on out, my mental illness would be taken care of. And lets just say that a year later I will loose my battle. Again. In that very same home I sought comfort in.