Before we begin, i’ll recommend you do two things, firstly follow that notion to google what ”Kintsugi” is and why it’s considered art. Secondly, take a few moments to really look at this picture of me. When I see it, I know what I see because I know what to look for. Beyond me being a photographer, i’m a very keen observer. Even the most minute detail will catch my eye. To give a quick backstory, I was at home, happy as shit about the singular event of receiving some fashionova overalls in the mail and enjoying what I saw in the mirror. I didn’t look in my own eyes while doing so. Also, make a note of the date of the picture, 8/13/2021.
So this entire post, will be my mental out-processing of my admission into the “penitanchy“ (really not, but now I can say I did time and it not be a complete fabrication). On 8/24/2021 (11 days after the picture), I admitted myself into Peachford Hospital, a mental health facility. In all honesty, i’ve always thought that the people that went into those places were absolute batshit, especially voluntarily. I guess I joined those ranks. For me, I chose to. I felt like it was the best possible option for me to get the help I deserved. I had ran for so long, and fought for so long, I needed a safe space to lay it all out and BREAK. I didn’t think I’d hurt myself or anyone else, sadly enough I had to choose one of those two options to actually be admitted. That sucked. I was in a space where I wasn’t eating, wasn’t sleeping, but worst of all - I couldn‘t stop thinking. I’ve always been a mentally astute individual, I’m the thinker. I can pick up and put down situations with ease and process things accordingly. In this space though, I couldn’t stop. I would begin to think and regularly spiral out of control mentally for hours. My body would be on autopilot and “do the things” but mentally I was checked completely tf out. That scared me.
The best way I can summarize this experience is “Take A Penny, Leave A Penny”. Although I left with some things I needed, I left something I needed. Sit with that for a few. I’m going to prompt you to stop and think throughout this, as this is a lot for me to process, so I can imagine for a reader, it is as well.
By the time I was finally processed in, I was dog tired. The entire process took about 5 hours I think and i got there around 10pm on Tuesday. Once I got in, they took all of my possession, you know for safety and shit, and gave me back what I could have. I was pissed that I couldn’t have a Sharpie to write with. I get not being able to have a pen because you know, niggas be stabbing and what not, but FFS I couldn’t have a sharpie - or my own inhaler. Trash. They took all my vitals and gave me a quick rundown of what’s what, and after finding out I wasn’t sleeping, the intake nurse made a special call to get me an Ambien and gave me the ol‘ *wink wink* and said, “you’ll sleep good tonight I bet you that.”
I didn’t, throughout my entire stay I MAYBE slept a total of 7 hours. - Big problem here.
I had a room to myself, which was great all things considered. I laid down for a bit, dozed off once or twice and was right back up when everyone else on the wing got up. They let me skip a few of the procedures because it was my first day in. One of those being breakfast. I know I said I wasn’t really eating either BUT I wouldn’t mind a lil‘ biscuit or something. So throughout the day there were group sessions, no individuals, about every hour or hour and a half and everyone was strongly encouraged to participate. I didn’t at first, I wanted to get a feel of what the fuck I just signed myself up for.
Before I go any further, I’ll want to take some time to identify some of the people on the unit that stood out to me. I’ll only use numbers with respect to their privacy as well.
1- Brilliant kid who essentially just “overheated” after his A/C went out in his apartment and his roomates noticed that he wasn’t responding normally and got him the proper help he needed.
2 - He came over with 1 from the more “rowdy” wing, very passionate guy who seemed to really want to do better in life but his only drawback was his attitude that he was fully aware of. Downside is he didn’t have anyone in his corner to help him transition away from his past behaviors.
3 - A frequent flyer, he seemed to know everyone by name just off the strength of the amount of times he’s been there, which I’ve come to understand that he could have done a lot better but he seemed to rely on the victim mindset rather than overcome his issues. He was the reason I got vocal in group therapy, he talked so much that I got tired of him talking and started taking over the sessions, and shortly after, others did as well,
4- Another very sharp kid, that needed to keep his mind busy so he wouldn’t spiral out. He wrapped himself up in his girlfriend and she split, with no warning whatsoever and sent him into a storm.
5 - Older gentleman that was detoxing from Heroin. He had just lost his son to a 4 wheeler accident a few weeks prior and spiraled out of control with no way to really process what had happened.
Alright, so now that ya’ll are caught up with the details I’ll try not to bore you with the details. Group was extremely helpful once I actually started to participate. The food wasn’t terrible actually especially when I figured out where the juice and snacks were kept at. At that point I feel like I was recognized as the pod boss or something lol. Through the day I would go through the motions, write, color, make calls, and so on. But night time was a complete mindfuck. Every 15 minutes, they made rounds, with a flashlight to check and see if you were still breathing. Although I get it, how in the world was I actually supposed to sleep? So needless to say, I didn’t. They gave me the best of the best sleep aids. Lunesta, Ambien, Seraquil, and a splash of melatonin. It wasn’t happening, because I was already paranoid. #5 was across the hall from me, and detoxing, so you know what he was doing all night and I heard it all. Then there was the 2nd night where a nurse came busting into the room screaming for someone that clearly wasn’t in the room and then telling me she needed to take my blood. Needless to say I was not receptive to her (I say that as kindly as possible) and she was disciplined after that. The next night there was some random person that walked into my room just walking around, used the bathroom and what not, which again, I’m paranoid at this point so NONE of this helped.
I started to realize that this process was becoming more hurtful than helpful, so then it became about getting out as quickly as possible. My ”doctor” came around on Thursday and I explained to him as eloquently as possible my plight and the dread that the facility was becoming on my personal progress. I used big words there because I needed y’all to feel just how I spoke to him. He recommended I stay the full week but left it up to me to fill out a 1010 form in which I could essentially remove myself against doctors orders and discharge early. It sounded great right? What the nigga didn’t tell me is that he was off the next day and I still wouldn’t leave any sooner and i’d actually leave later than expected. Now I’m on edge and I’m over the entire shit at this point.
There were two situations that pushed me further than I wanted to go. The first being meeting with the “fill in doctor” on Friday and him basically dismissing me and my need to be discharged as quickly as possible which lead to me using some very colorful language (fuck nigga was not used in a sentence contrary to popular belief) and storming my way up out the office. Which in hindsight was NOT a good idea for a mf that was trying to go home. Because he could have easily labeled me as unstable and kept me there as long as he wanted to. Kudos to the super kind nurse that gave me a little game on how to go home on time and which doctor to talk to and how to talk to them, I appreciated that. The second situation being with this nigga Jebodiah (I’m not sure if that’s his name but that’s his name in this story) - he was a very squirrelly/weasely individual that just gave me the wrong vibe when I first saw him. I saw him pick up the phone, talk to someone, and hang up very quickly. Then I later found out that call was for me, strike one. Strike two being he did that shit again, phone rang for someone else who was clearly disabled and needed time to get to the phone. So instead of being a decent human and going to the get the older gentleman he hung up, but where he fucked up was that I saw it. So as soon as he tried to walk off I aired his ass out. Somewhere in the midst of this, all 3 phones start ringing and everyone was running to get the phones to make sure they connected them to the people they were calling for. It’s amazing, using my voice turned everybody into secretaries lol. That’s when I realized a lot of people in there had respect for me, energy is everything ain’t it?
Saturday. I’m on the cusp of losing the rest of my shit. I’m waiting very impatiently for the doctor to start making his rounds so that I can go home. And he finally does. We speak and I finally hear that I’m being discharged, something that i’m overly excited to finally hear but then there comes this wave of anxiety. Because now, what is life going to look like moving forward? I’m on sleep meds, depression meds, I just quit my job to come in and i’m starting a new job in a few days. I have to seamlessly transition back into society in a matter of days without much time to really process what just happened and all I know is I want to see my mama. - That thought alone stood out to me, because I never refer to her as my ”mama” unless I’m referring to her house. So I knew it was going to be a very different visit than most.
That’s enough for now, I’ll break this into a couple parts so I can fully grasp the events and tell them in detail that’s fair to you, the reader, and to me, the story teller.