My father took me into the mental hospital, had some words with the admitting people, showed them our insurance card and then got in his car and drove away.  This is the last I would see of him for a long time.

It was a little scary being at first and I was wondering what I did or how sick was I to be there.  I don't remember much about the first night except they asked me a ton of questions and that I wouldn't cooperate with anything.  They had me strip down so they could see my entire body.  They asked me about all the cuts on my stomach and arms.  Of course, I said nothing.  They also checked my clothes for any paraphernalia which I don't think I had anything on me because dad made me empty my pockets before we took our "drive". 

After going through all the embarrassment of being stripped searched and triaged I was introduced to my room mate and given time to settle in.  My room mate was quiet yet very informative on what to expect.   Gave me the scoop about meals, clothing that was allowed (I only had what I came with), therapies and that I would probably meet with my psychiatrist tomorrow.

The day had seemed longer than other days and I was tired so I fell asleep.  Next thing I noticed is that I was in a dark room and someone was beating on the door fiercely trying to get to me.  I got up, fumbled to find the light switch, moved my body away from in front of the door and opened it.  The person on the other side was relieved but also agitated.  I asked what the problem was, I was just sleeping and she told me that I must sleep "in" my bed.  I complied sort of.

I went back to bed and tried to sleep but couldn't.  I have always been a light sleeper and getting to sleep took usually 30-45 minutes on good nights and then staying asleep was something to marvel at.

So I was awake, laying there wondering "what the hell did I do to be here?"  I couldn't get out of bed because they would freak, yet I was allowed to lay there and dwell on how I was going to adapt to this circumstance.

I was used to adapting.  My whole life I had to acclimate to my environment so being in a "crazy" hospital was no different.  I followed the rules at first.  My room mate explained to me that there was some sort of card system in place and with each card you got more privileges.  I didn't really care.

I wanted to make  a phone call which was not allowed.  Who would I call?  Charles and Damon of course.  They could get me out of this mess.

There were a few things that I did not know about my hospitalization.  I did not know where I was, was not allowed to call anyone, that the police were notified of our little "group" and that this would be the start of a long trek.

That morning I had to meet with my psychiatrist and she evaluated me.  Just think about it, I had taken 14 years to get where I was and she evaluated me in 15 minutes and decided that I needed medications.  "Whoa I must be sick!"  I had no clue what I had but it must be bad.

I took my meds like a good little mental health patient, most of the time I caused a ruckus in group therapy because I hated it.  I have never liked it because I did not see the point in comparing "war stories" and still don't to this day.  We had family therapy also which my mother and brother attended which was just another chance for me to distract from treatment.  My dad, who should have been there never came to the hospital since dropping me off initially.

I was curious, very curious what could be wrong with me.  So I asked everyone who worked there. The answer was the same.  "You will have to talk to your psychiatrist about that." So I did.  She said it was complicated and "blah, blah, blah". The I heard the words borderline and depression.  I still had no clue what that was and this was before Google.

The rest of my hospital stay was pretty normal except that I incited a riot in our unit.  I will leave that story for another reflection.

Here is the beginning of my journey.