Dialing the Distress Center Hotline, 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 for 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”. I cautiously open my door to discover a male and female officer standing on my front veranda, asking if I’m ok and can they talk to me. Me? Why? Police?
They clarified the Distress Center’s “phone hang-up” policy, so they had no alternative but to call the 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 lasted almost two months, I wasn’t suicidal when discharged yet still depressed and very relieved to be home. Days of making fridge magnets and bird houses are now long forgotten.
Written and copyrighted by Deb McCarthy/2017
Edited and originally on my blog Niume.com (Deb-Living in Stigma)