psych ward reminders

Early Thursday morning my life went chaotic. Which happens sometimes when you have a mental illness/illnesses. I don’t want to go into the details but the final result was that I found myself back in the familiar lounge of the psychiatric hospital I have been in countless (literally, I can’t count them) times before. This was unexpected. There weren’t behavioral signs leading up to this and the psychological ones were a combination of factors that hit all together and all at once. The good news about this is that I think my meds were already correct and I have the therapeutic issues figured out that sent me in so I’m pretty sure this isn’t something that has the ingredients to repeat itself.

The stay itself was productive in that it gave me time to focus on some issues that I’d been avoiding and ‘chill’ out while I reevaluated where I was at. I often find being at the psych. hospital harder sometimes than being at home. Mine has groups that are fairly well ran and a great art studio but on the weekends there is only one group and a whole bunch of time to sit around and be be bored or find something, anything that is allowed to do.  I was having to use self-soothing skills that I really hadn’t been practicing for awhile and I was feeling the effects from being out of practice. That was one major thing I realized. I’ve GOT to get back to using my self-soothing skills and also integrate some healthier habits into my life.

For me self-soothing skills are essential to my life. They keep my mind regulated and at peace. I define self-soothing skills as literally what it says something that “soothes me”. This is a little different from a coping skill for me. Coping skills are used in times of distress. Self-soothing skills are used all the time to keep me going. Also known as self-care I guess. So what are some of mine? Well, it’s little things. Coloring is a big one. The repetitive motions and the ability to zone out happily gives me great relief. Crosswords are another one. And so is reading. Ah yes reading. When I’m at home I’ve been neglecting reading. I’ve been on the computer as opposed to reading a book. And the computer does NOT soothe me. It activates me. It’s time for me to take some space away from the computer. Set up some boundaries with it in my life. Not gone – just less time with it.

As for healthier habits. Any exercise has dropped off the face of the earth for me. I throw the ball for Gus to wear him out instead of walking him and that would be so easy to add back in. Or play the Wii for just a little bit of time to get up and moving. Anything, that gets me off the couch. Another is allowing myself to go to bed when I’m sleepy and if that’s at 8:30 so be it. No more sleeping on the couch and waking at 12:30 to move to my room. Others are little things such as meds on time and with food, being direct with practitioners and a few other little things.

So the stay although unexpected was productive. I’m glad to be able to go to a good hospital that allows me to bring Gus and goes out of their way to accommodate us. I feel safe there and they make it as tolerable as possible. The staff by and large is good. And this is sometimes hard to find at a psych. ward/hospital so I’m grateful. But I’m very glad to be out and plan to go back to my life now while implementing some of the things I was reminded of. It’s good to have reminders but I think I’ll take them other ways now, thanks.




Filed under coping skills, Gus, life events, PTSD, Recovery, trauma

4 responses to “psych ward reminders

  1. Glad you are taking care of yourself Kate ❤️

  2. I’m glad you have a safe place to go when you are in need of care. You made the right choice!

    (And how cool that Gus can stay with you!)

  3. I’m glad that you ended up in safety, even if it isn’t great to be back there, in a familiar place. And it’s also great that you are allowed your dogs with you; this time it was Gus, who was probably excellent in your stay. It is a good thing that you have the hospital to go back to where you can feel safe, even if this was a hard stay. I also say this because I have been bad recently and have been thinking about going back to hospital just for some rest from everything that is happening at the moment. I know my parents won’t like it, and I will be blamed for ruining their weekend, but I feel I really have to go in, because if I don’t I may well do something bad, like I almost did yesterday. And reading this post of yours makes me feel more confident in my decision. You had the knowledge that the hospital was the place you had to be, whether that was fully your decision or not. And with that in mind, I think I am going to go back to hospital this week, no matter what others think. In doing so I am actually doing them all a service – keeping myself safe. But they don’t see it like that. They see it as attention seeking or whatever. It’s not – it’s the opposite. It’s me removing myself from the situation for the benefit of myself but also others, and I would love to be left alone in the hospital for a weekend, just to rest and think and make a plan to continue living. The point is that your recent experience in this, meaning this post, has encouraged me that it is the right thing to do to seek safety when we feel we need it. Sorry for such a long comment, and more about me – this really belongs in a post of mine, and maybe I will make one – but now you don’t have to worry if I disappear this weekend, because I promise I will try to keep safe. Thank you for sharing, as always. Stay strong. x

  4. Mary

    Hope all of your implementations are still going well, Kate. It’s been a bit since I could hop on and read what was happening with you. Always good to read about the struggles and how you are able to think about them. It is an every-changing process from the sounds of it, but one that you are growing through. Love you!

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