“Lift up your shirt Ms. Turner… Now pull down your pants.. Turn around… Do you have any scars or bruises? Are those strings in your pants? We have to cut those out. Give me your shoes, we need to remove those shoestrings and anything else that could be used to self harm. Say goodbye to your family for now…. It’s ok, please don’t cry, they will be able to come back later on today for visitation.“
As the doors click open and I slowly watch two important people fade out, my heart sinks into an all new low. For the next week I will be all alone. No friends. No family. No bedroom to hide in when I want to disappear. For the next week I will have to face my fears head on all by myself. For the first time I was terrified….
“Are you hungry? There is an extra food tray on here if you want it.. No…. Ok, well here is your room. Group has already started if you would like to join in. I advise you to attend. Staying in this room is only going to cause you to be here longer if you do not put in the effort to show improvement.“
Pale walls… A curtain dividing me from the other bed meant for another patient.. A shower and sink with no handles.. A plastic mirror glued to the wall.. I felt as empty and cold as that room. Rocking back and forth on the bed, I couldn’t help but think “Why am I here? Why can’t I leave” And most importantly where is the damn tv???” Sitting there I contemplated going to group. “What I look like spilling my business to random strangers? These people know nothing about me. How could they help me? What could I possibly get out of this group session? How could anyone possibly be that comfortable to just reveal all their personal business to others they don’t even know.”
Everything in me wanted to just ball up and stay stuck behind that curtain until I couldn’t take it anymore, but my heart was speaking differently. “Suck it up Nini!! you want to get out of here. You need this help. Go to group.. NOW!!”
As long as the sun still rises, there is always Hope!
Walking down the hallway to group, reading the many quotes on the wall gave me a small sense of comfort. A feeling saying that I could do this… Well that is until I got to the door of group. Seeing all of those individuals sitting around emotional sharing stories terrified me. I didn’t want to be seen as weak. I wasn’t ready to let my guard down. I could feel my knees start to buckle as I finally snapped back into reality and realized that everyone’s eyes were on me. It was as if I was in a terrible movie where the record stops and the look of awkwardness as if I had stepped into a place uninvited. The looks of “Who is this newbie? And why is she just standing there, is she ever gonna sit down, or continue to stand there shaking like it’s her first day in preschool?“ Mustering up the courage to move my feet again, I spot a seat furthest to the back of the room away from everyone else. I wouldn’t be able to disappear, but at least I could come close to it in this corner. As I begin to listen to other’s stories, I felt myself just wanting to go home… In the dark to sulk in my depression.. Alone. The thought of it put me back where I started. Suicidal.. Wishing I could go back to that moment and actually finish what I had started left me feeling so broken. At that moment I knew I needed to be here. And all I could do was hold my head down in shame. Here I was listening to so many people desperately wanting help, and I’m sitting here wanting out. The tears begin to fall. As group wrapped up, I sat in my corner quiet. I wasn’t ready to share. I guess I will be here until I do.
“Don’t think your gonna be able to come to group and not participate. We are here to help you guys, and staying quiet is not gonna get you any closer to seeking the help that you need.“ Ummm I know she isn’t talking to Me….
To Be Continued….