Tag Archives: Commitment to a psych ward

Lessons learned in the loony bin

This article is part 4 of a 5 part series.

For part 1, click here.

For series summary, click here.

I think the timing on trying to put together some words to express thoughts and feelings from lessons learned is pretty great. That doesn’t make it any easier to try to share, but the timing is good.


Ann and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary this week. Over the past few months I have been experiencing an increase in the intensity of my love for her. I feel as if I could reach out and grab it as a tangible, real entity that surrounds us. I am humbled by the whole thing. To have the love of someone the quality of Ann Batty makes everything else seem kind of trivial.

But at the time that my love feels like it is exploding inside me, Ann is trying to work through a real fear of what she may come home and find at the end of a long work day. And this would be every day. After all, I was admitted to the psych ward for suicidal and harmful ideations. This isn’t something imagined or can be ignored. It has become a real part of our life that has to be addressed and conquered.

I really learned some important things during my stay in the nut house that will help us conquer. As I go through them to help us figure a way to relieve some of Ann’s concerns, there may be some things that could help you on your own journey to safety and security. Continue reading Lessons learned in the loony bin

Is this the best we can do?

This article is part 3 of a 5 part series.

For part 1, click here.

For series summary, click here.

You’ve seen the commercials for those exclusive addiction centers that look more like a spa weekend at a resort than a treatment center.


Well, I can emphatically tell you that that is not what it is like in the psych ward.

Maybe it’s the trainer in me, but I felt like I missed an orientation and was kind of flying by the seat of my pants at first. It was because of the other patients looking out for me that I made it to where I needed to be that first night.

Initially, I thought that the staff was just too busy and running too hard to be able to keep up with it.

But by my third day I found myself doing the same thing that my fellow patients were doing, looking out for the new ones who had just come in, recognizing that look of terror at feeling they had landed in hell, and giving a smile that shared that it would indeed get better.

I’ve always felt it was medicinal to forget yourself and reach out and help someone else.

Is that part of the therapy?

I wondered. Continue reading Is this the best we can do?

There really are wonderful people under there

This article is part 2 of a 5 part series.

For part 1, click here.

For series summary, click here.

That first night I looked around and could only feel that I did NOT belong here with these other people. They seemed to be kind of a mess: not in control, dependent on medication, unhappy.

That wasn’t me.

Well, okay. I guess that I had kind of lost control. And I really did need the medication to keep me from doing some pretty horrible things. I loathe admitting, because I truly consider myself to be a very happy person, but I think I was unhappy.


I guess that was me.

It’s in my nature to watch people and get a read on them. Usually, I can tell relatively quickly some of the most important pieces of characteristics and behaviors to help me understand better where they are coming from.

So I watched.

And I learned. Continue reading There really are wonderful people under there

Spinning out of control into lockdown

This article is part 1 of a 5 part series.

For series summary, click here.

I’m sure that there are as many different stories of how one would end up in the psych ward of a hospital as there are people who are admitted. I won’t pretend to know all of them. But I do know mine. Maybe there are others out there who can save themselves some pain by recognizing similarities in our respective journeys.

hospital bed

Every day was turning into what I call “screamers.” I can usually handle one or two or three days in a row of these, but after a couple of weeks my defenses were wearing down. I just needed to get out of my skin, if even for a short time, to rest and gear back up. I had tried every weapon in my arsenal: trying to find an emotional or psychological cause of the screaming, enough rest, careful diet, consistent exercise, good music and sunshine, focusing on work around the house, time with my family, service and compassion for others, prayer.

Lots of prayer.

I called the psychiatrist’s office and let them know that I wasn’t going to make it through the weekend. The phone call resulted in a change in my dosage of medication and for that first week I was able to back off of the edge. I was almost giddy with relief.


But by the time my scheduled appointment rolled around I was again dangling over the precipice. I felt I just needed to step back from it all, step back from being what seemed to be me.

I didn’t know what else to do.

I had to be honest with my doctor and admit that I had become suicidal again. Continue reading Spinning out of control into lockdown

Insights that may impede insanity

It’s been a couple of weeks now since I was released from the psych ward in Salt Lake. I posted a few feelings of gratitude upon my return, but then chose to write on other topics immediately following for a few posts.


I’m not ashamed or embarrassed about my stay there; probably more the opposite. But I needed some time.

I have taken that time to think and mull over and remember and try to sort things out. I think it was a blessing to have had this experience. Not that I’m EVER interested in repeating it, once was certainly enough.

But I think there is some good that can come out of it.

I think there is good that can come out of just about anything, if we work for it.

I think I’m ready to try to make a little sense of something that on the surface seemed so senseless. A little time and some sunshine and good music and a good workout will do wonders in helping to see things from a brighter perspective. Continue reading Insights that may impede insanity