I’m not going to be a nice person in this post, so brace yourself. I’m going to talk about some things I fucking hate.
1. The fucking old bitch in the bed across from me
This fucking old bitch was admitted to take the bed across from me for ECT, which she’s never had before. Fine, whatever. She seems totally oblivious to the fact that she shares a room with 3 other people. We all have curtains that close in the shape of an L (with two walls forming the other two sides) and all have fluorescent light panels above our beds. She had her husband sitting at her bedside holding her hand until visiting hours were over. At like 10:00 last night all of us had our lights off and she kept hers on for another hour and a half. Try sleeping in a room with a fluorescent light panel in one corner; it lights up the whole place. Then this morning her husband and some other woman were back for like a solid two hours (for before and after her ECT I guess.). Meanwhile, I’m trying to sleep and later trying to get ready with this old geezer man sitting right there. If he is here again in the morning tomorrow I’m going to complain. Nothing personal, but Jesus, I don’t sleep in a bra and don’t really want any old man hanging out in essentially what is my bedroom.
2. The fucking bitch Nurse Ratched who is a complete and utter cunt.
So I didn’t get a great sleep last night; they come and shine a flashlight on you every half hour to be sure you are alive (and it’s not just a one-second oh yes, she’s in bed all right; they want to see you breathe. Then the people who are having ECT (which are the other three women in my room) get nurses coming in to take their vital signs and shit at 6 am. Then at 8 or whatever they open the door to the TV room across the hall so there is noise from there, plus the noise of people in here being taken to or brought back from their ECT treatments. And sure enough, the chick in the bed next to me was sobbing as soon as she came back, for like 40 minutes, so I had to put on some music to drown her out – and Linkin Park ended up being the only thing on my iPad that I couldn’t hear her through.
So there I am with my eye mask on and headphones in, trying to get some more damn sleep, when Bitch Nurse comes in with my dexedrine. I knew there would be some flak if I just said I didn’t want to take it, so I asked if I could take it later, and she wanted to know how much later and I said I just wanted to finish sleeping.
I don’t know how much later it was, after 10 I guess, but she came and poked me (because the headphones were working) and said I had to take my meds, and she wanted to see me in group at 11:00, that I couldn’t stay in bed all day, and blah blah blah. So I had to take all my clothes into the bathroom (with Creepy Old Guy still directly across from me) to try to clean up and I grabbed my milk from my breakfast tray as usual and then got ready to go to this “wellness group.” Honestly, this nurse comes across as a nagging mom and is definitely the one I have the worst match with out of anyone here. I am sure we would hate each other if we met in the outside world but I’m sure it would be no use to ask not to be matched with her.
So I get myself to the group room at 11, and the nurse who did my first ketamine was leading it, and she is really nice. I took a seat by the window, which was farthest from the door (bad move) to try to avoid the fluorescent lights. A few more people file in (apparently there are 25 of us on the unit but only 5 showed up) and she explains that the topic for the day is going to be Self-Concept.
She starts talking about how our self-concept and self-esteem are formed, and what these things mean, and she’s asking us to fill in the blanks but in that teacher-y way where it’s not like you are really participating, it’s like you have to offer up the right answer for her to go on to the next point (“When do you think we form our views of ourselves? When is the most important time for us to learn about ourselves?” “When we’re little?” “Exactly, Johnny! When we are children!”)
She was writing shit on the whiteboard and making points about how this all related to what our parents taught us we were worth, and God help me I started tearing up. This was only 10 minutes into the hour-long group. I don’t tend toward group shit in general – I’m an introvert – it took me weeks to work up to going to an Emotions Anonymous meeting even thought I was really familiar with that. Anyway, I couldn’t stop thinking about how my dad had decided I was worth $5 an hour when he told me to shut up and take it with my grope-y boss when I was 18. I was like “Fuck – keep it together, only 49 minutes left, come on” but you know how when you are really upset you just keep getting more upset until you hit some sort of peak?
So by quarter after the first tears start to fell, and I leaped up and said “I’m just going to grab a Kleenex!” And the nurse leading the group was like “Oh, I have one here!” And I was like “Oh, that’s OK! I’ll be right back!” And ran out of there leaving my water and folder and pen.
So I came back to my room, where I did cry, because what’s the point of me getting up and going to a group that makes me feel worse? And it brought back all the shitty feelings I have about how much (how little, ha) I’m worth, and today is payday, my last one, so I don’t know how I am going to manage the end of the month or whatever, and it’s Bell’s “Let’s Talk” day where we are supposed to be against stigma about mental illness, and I’m not doing that personally at all with trying to keep my depression a secret.
Anyway, I managed to cut myself (reopen the old zip-tie cut on my right arm, actually) with some cardboard from the end of a box of Kleenex! I know, right? You wouldn’t think paperboard would be strong enough to cut. But anything is possible if you work hard and believe in yourself!!
so I cut until actual drops of blood came out, and then I pressed those onto a piece of paper and made inkblots out of them, and I felt soooo much better. Like a radiator that was about to boil over except I let off some steam. I know – I know it’s a shitty way of coping but things were too intense.
Anyway, I went and grabbed my water and my folder (that they give you to put their precious handouts) after the break was done and went back to my room and waited for Nurse Bitch to come and give me grief. Which she did, without delay. She asked what happened, I explained that I’d started to cry, she said that was fine and I should have stayed, and I said I don’t LIKE crying in front of people.
Then she basically read me the riot act. How did I think I was benefiting from being in hospital? All I’ve done is stay in bed all day and hide in my four walls, and that wasn’t going to help me feel better. So she wanted me to make a schedule for the whole next week, (God forbid I’m here next week), she wanted me to shower and eat and do stuff every day all day.
So I started crying harder and was like “all right already!” And she kept going on the exact same tangent. So I cried even harder and said “Yes! I hear you! You want me to get up and do stuff. I DID get up this morning when I didn’t want to, and tried going to group even though I didn’t want to, and so I’m sorry that wasn’t good enough. I’ll try again tomorrow!”
Then she basically started her spiel from the top. So I said “Yes! I get it! You’ve said that already! What do I need to say to you to make you not say the exact same thing for the 5th and 6th and 7th time?”
She finally seemed to get that she was coming across like a fucking cunt and started to ask what the nurses could do to help me, that if I had an issue that was triggering and stayed there crying for the whole fucking group that they could get some materials and go through them with me later, so I wouldn’t miss the magnificent benefits of the fucking group topic, and all I could think was the best way to help me is to have you never be my nurse again, and I didn’t ASK to fucking be here so where do you get off telling me I’m not benefiting enough.
Then she said “So what would make you feel better? What would it take?” And I said “Being at home” and she snapped back “But that wouldn’t work, would it, because you said you can’t go home because you’re suicidal!” Actually I didn’t say just that, I said that I thought it would be difficult to go home because everything was right there and it would be hard to see. I mean Jesus, you can’t say I have to be honest with you people and then shit on me because I confessed to feeling vulnerable. Fuck’s sakes!
So I went to the groups for the rest of the day.. Fucking Nutrition group, with a perky little dietitian, fucking Relaxation Group which was just listening to a shitty relaxation exercise off a CD, and then fucking Activities Group which is actually basket-weaving. Or colouring, or origami, or whatever, with a perky relaxation therapist.
It’s so fucking pointless though, wanting me to do things I’d never do in real life (like to eat in the lunchroom with a bunch of men I don’t know dressed in their pyjamas.) Or wanting me to do things I don’t feel like doing like going to bullshit groups. If I can do whatever I don’t feel like doing I could fucking go to work and have a “routine” of showering and all that shit and at least getting paid for it.
What it comes down to, that I didn’t realize before that bitch nurse today, is that they don’t give two shits how I feel. The world doesn’t give two shits either, so not much is different. They just care about what I do. So if I am tired and stay in bed and sleep, they’ll shit on me but if I go to a bullshit group and sit there being tired, then that’s real progress, la-do-dah.
Fucking cunt. I mean, I pushed myself beyond endurance at Christmas and then went right back to pushing myself at work and doing all that stuff didn’t make me feel any better, any more than going to Mamma Mia made me feel better in the fall. The problem is in my BRAIN and with the CHEMICALS in it which is what the KETAMINE is supposed to be for. Depression isn’t curable by magic willpower and bitching at me that I’m not doing enough is totally the wrong tack to take with me. I’ve done stuff for some of the other nurses and felt way better about it, because they acknowledged that depression was making it hard to get started, or making me tired, or whatever, not just snapping at me as if I was lazy. Honestly!
Since I’ve been writing this post in between all their bullshit groups I don’t even remember everything she said but it included stuff like how I was wasting her time if I didn’t do my part, and she wasn’t there to tell me that it was all daisies and lollipops, and saying in 99 different ways that I had to do stuff and if I didn’t like crying in public when there is a roomful of people who are also supposed to be depressed but seem rather composed, then fuck me.