Day 9: As much as I’ve loved hospital food (I see potato plays a big part in the NHS) I’ve been given the green light to head back into society. This is the first time I’ve spent time as an inpatient at a mental health hospital and hopefully the last but it’s been a very profound experience. Scary, frustrating, boring and lots of potato yes but also an opportunity for me to be reflect, reset and rest. I’ve not been outside in the last 8 days. The longest I’ve ever been confined. Five of those days were in isolation in my hospital room. No TV, locked windows and just my own company. I’ve read books. I’ve did crosswords and wordsearchs. I’ve been fortunate to have had my iPad delivered so I could enjoy Monty Python for the first time and even more importantly – start this blog. My first post may have been at a very low point in my life but as I said at the time, it was the first day of the rest of my life.
I head into the next part of my journey today. I can’t wait to see my little girls again, albeit the anguish of not being able to tell them the truth for my absence will hurt. That said, how do you tell a 5yr old and her 2yr old sister that Daddy has been in a psychiatric ward recovering from a mental breakdown? Recovering from a spatial disorientation event which included running out my house at night bare foot towards the nearby woods. Wrestling the police and pushing my wife. I still don’t remember this but hearing it from others doesn’t make it any clearer or easier to process.
My focus right now has to be on me. The aim is to stay sober. I’ve boozed for 17 years of my life. Exactly half of my time on this earth. I don’t want to take another sip of alcohol for the remainder of my life. I know it will be hard and there are no guarantees but the NHS have been amazing and I have plans in place from the moment I walk out of here later today.
I hope you don’t mind me continuing to share my journey with you. Writing will help me. It might even help you. Speak soon friends.