In retrospect it’s difficult to remember exactly what was going through my mind in the wee hours of the next morning when I continually called K on her cell as she drove home, alternately pleading with her and yelling at her to come back to my house. Needless to say it was psychotic mania.
My focus was no longer on my ailing mother but instead on the “indignities” I had seemingly suffered from K. I needed someone to blame and she was the easiest one. This wasn’t the first time I had behaved this way with her and it’s not a wonder she hadn’t cut me off before this happened.
But she was there for me when I needed her that night (even when I was so *mean*) and I will always remember that amid the nightmare this early morning had become.
I was slowly becoming aware of how I had acted the few weeks leading up to my hospitalization around the third day on the psych ward, when the meds began to kick in and my mania started to slowly subside. What a feckin’ bipolar bastard I had been: to my parents and my girlfriend and all the others who had orbited around my selfish world. I nearly made myself sick thinking about it, and all I wanted to do by the third and fourth day in the hospital was get out and make amends.
But that wasn’t happening. I was now under a 303 commit which meant the county had indefinitely extended my hospital stay longer than the 5 days required by a 302 commitment. I was beside myself with anger, still believing I should be out in the world to make good on all the promises I made to myself.
So I settled in for “group therapy” that was conducted throughout each monotonous day. Usually it was difficult to relate to what was being said because most of my fellow patients were in extremely bad situations. Abused as children, their own children with severe behavioral problems, violent acts, and more.
When I shared in group, my words were most often met with blank stares. How could anyone give me feedback on my worries about my job when I was the only one there who actually worked? I was still full of myself at this point, despite the mania subsiding, and I kept telling myself “I don’t belong here.”
But there was certainly additional damage I could have done if I were out of the hospital. I wasn’t out of the woods yet with my mental stability by day six so I sucked it up as best I could. I attended nearly all the groups as I was supposed to and kept participating. I was told that this was the only way I would be released, to show up and be accountable.
[To be continued...]