Dialing the Distress Center, speaking what seemed like forever with a counselor about my obsessive suicidal feelings and depression, then abruptly hanging up was a terrible idea. Thoughts danced in my head for days, dreaming and planning of ways to kill myself, yet I still reached out for help. The counselor’s voice was grating on my nerves, we weren’t making progress, so didn’t want to talk to this chick anymore.
Then a loud rap at my door, “Police”. A male and female officer are standing on my front veranda, asking if I’m ok and can they talk to me. Me? Why me? Why the police?
They clarified the Distress Center’s “phone hang-up” policy, so had no alternative but to call police. I was ‘distressed’ to say the least, and the cops weren’t buying my story that I will be ‘ok’ now.
Neighbours, who as a rule don’t walk their dogs, now saunter by the police car peering in, along with other neighbours peeking through window blinds and curtains. The back seat of this cruiser is larger than I expected, however, I am seated with my mind in a muddle, confused, uncertain of the future yet despising the present.
Both officers chat quietly in police jargon, waiting to hear what hospital destination they are taking me. Suddenly, a call is received and I’m on my way to the hospital. The drive is a speedy drive, yet for me, a lengthy one.
A time to reflect… a time to sob…. a time to sit in wonderment. In the back of a cruiser – how can this be? Punishment? I’ve never committed a crime in my life. Will I go before a judge; am I to be sentenced and charged for suicidal ‘thinking’ and (to some) selfishly wishing to end my life?
I arrive. This hospital is ‘incarceration’, better known as the city’s “psych” hospital.
**My hospital stay was almost one month, I wasn’t suicidal when discharged yet still depressed, and relieved to be home. Days of making fridge magnets and bird houses are now long forgotten.