If you have been following along, we ended the last story with a trip to the psychiatric hospital after calling 911 with thoughts of suicide. My first feeling waking up in the waiting/holding room was a sense of relief. After many weeks of seeking intensive help, I had finally done it. I was about to become an inpatient where I would receive 24/7 care and be cured of this addiction once and for all!
As I sat in the holding room and started sobering up, my sense of relief started turning into a sense of imprisonment. I realized I did not have my phone or wallet. Those items were confiscated upon arrival. I then noticed that we were not allowed to leave this room. There were about 20 of us scattered about the room. Once in a while someone would be escorted out and a new person would be escorted in. I learned that the security guard situated at one end of the room held our personal items. We were permitted to access our phones, under the supervision of the guard, to get phone numbers stored in them. We were not allowed to make calls with our phones. There was a single land line phone on a wall that we were could use. I was able to call my wife to let her know where I was and what was going on. I was grateful to be able to do at least that.
At about 11pm I was escorted out of the holding room and was officially admitted to the psychiatric emergency ward. I had been in the holding room for 20 hours at this point. Before I could be officially admitted I had to be sober and showing signs of withdrawal. I was definitely having withdrawal systems by then. Shaking, nausea, headache, etc.
My personal items were cataloged in my presence. I signed several forms. Given instructions of the rules and what to expect. I was then handed a hospital gown and socks. “Please take all your clothes off sir.”
“In front of you?” I asked a little surprised.
“Yes sir. We have to check you for contraband.” the attendant advised.
I disrobed. Turned around slowly as instructed.
“Now squat sir” the man said.
“What? Squat?” I asked.
“Yes sir. Squat like this.” the man said as he spread his knees out and squatted to where his butt almost touched the floor.
I did as instructed. The man then told me to put my clothes back on. I asked “The hospital gown?” holding the gown and socks that were given to me.
He laughed “No. You can put your own clothes back on. You’re not in jail.”
“It sure as hell feels like I am in jail!” I thought. He either didn’t notice, or he was so used to the expression on my face, he just moved to the next item on his check list.
I was given several drugs and was shown to my room. My roommate was sleeping. I was told he was a nice young man and we should get along ok. When was the last time I had a roommate? I couldn’t recall. I laid down on my bed, closed my eyes, and slept for two days.