Cuckoo’s Nest, Day 1

“What am I doing here? I hate it so far. Noisy, institutional. No real comforts, shitty pillow, cold room, can’t see through the window. I don’t even have personal care items, like soap, shampoo, deodorant, toothbrush, and toothpaste.
So here I am, in a residential mental health facility. It feels awful, but I also, but also I hold out hope that I will finally get the help I have long needed. I guess we will see.
I got them to let me write a check to Janna for rent. I’m going to make a list of things to ask her to bring me in a paper bag, because, plastic bags are not allowed. Lots of things are not allowed. Too many.
They strip-searched me and then locked up everything but my clothes. At least I can keep my shoes, but no phone, purse, pen, or necklace. This pillow really sucks. I’m wearing an electronic bracelet, a beacon. It tracks where I am. Doors are locked electronically. Anytime we go somewhere like to dinner or the cafeteria, we are counted roll called and led to and from there is a lot of lining up here.
I’m supposed to talk with a dietician and a social worker tomorrow, my psychiatrist, too, I think.
Quote Of The Day: “Which would you rather sleep on, a rock or these mattresses?
Trick question. They are both equally terrible.”
Luckily, I have no roomie right now, I hope it stays that way. I’m not here to be social. I need my own space. Unfortunately, they make rounds and check on us every 15 minutes. This makes it hard to nap slash sleep. So I’m asking for a sleep med tonight. Also toothbrush toothpaste, deodorant, and disposable underwear. I called Yana, and she’ll bring some things for me. Probably tomorrow.
This place is so noisy. I can hardly get away from the TVs. One in each day room. I hate them. Maybe I’ll wear my ER earplugs when I’m awake after dinner. I went to the creative arts group. Helped find collage images for a calendar one of the therapists made for the teen group. It was okay.
I found a piece for the front of this journal. I think I’ll try to add something every day. I’ve had too much sensory input. I’m burned out still have the evening group thing and shower, etc.
I slept only two to three hours last night. I was up until after 4 am, which made 21 hours straight. No nap today. I tried. But they kept coming to check on me and made too much noise with the door. I really hope it isn’t a problem tonight. I hope tomorrow brings me the feeling of benefit from this experience. So so far, no. Yeah, this is in pencil because no, pens are allowed.
I realized how good I am at putting on a happy face, even from myself, not recognizing when I need help, especially when my shrink blows off my concern. He blew off my concern, like my parents and some bosses.
I don’t want to go back to Dr. Schwartz, he doesn’t get it and doesn’t listen. Doesn’t care enough to be my psychologist, too small for me! I’m done with him. NEXT!
Eight pm is “wrap up,” a group event. The counselor calls out our names and we’re to tell if we had a goal today, whether we met it, and how we feel on a scale of one to ten, some typical goals, call, my daughter talked to my doctor, stay focused, stay positive.
I said my goal was to survive the past 24 hours. I did it and I felt a 2 out of 10. About 18 people are here in the recovery unit. Quote from Viva: It’s okay to play the mental hospital card in a mental hospital.
Viva has been to a few mental hospitals, so she tells me what to expect. She said they can’t really help because they’re just a different face of the system but I can use them to my advantage. I’m not sure what that means.”
[My mental hospital journal, June 28, 2018, Day 2 in the Cuckoo’s Nest called Rockford Center for Behavioral Health, owned by Universal Health Services, America’s largest mental hospital chain, notorious for abusing and neglecting patients]
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