Damn You Stigma

In case you are out of the loop, I am currently at the hospital. Been here for almost two weeks now

But not just any hospital.

I’m at the 4 North Mental Health Unit of The Ottawa Hospital, General Campus.

Yes, that’s right. I am in a physch ward.

Now, there was a time when I would rather have died than let people know I had a mental illness. THAT’S THE STIGMA.

I would have not voluntarily gone to a hospital to admit myself . THAT’S THE STIGMA.

If hospitalized, I would have lied about the cause of my hospitalization. THAT’S THE STIGMA.

Well, I know better now. I know there is no shame in having a mental illness. I know that admitting my mental illness(es) sometimes get out of control is a brave thing. I know that reaching out for support when I need it, is not only good great but that is actually the RIGHT thing to do.

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[NOT FROM] The Other Side

Or at least not from The Side I had in mind on September 20th.

Allow me to explain.

September 28. My father’s birthday.

Or would have been, anyway. He’s been dead for a couple of decades now.

What’s ironic is that I spent his birthday in a psychiatric ward. About two weeks ago, my mental health started to decline and particularly after a very difficult session with my psychotherapist in Tuesday, Sept 17. After that, it was all downhill and I got to the bottom of the pit quite quickly.

By Friday, September 20, I became suicidal. Fortunately for me, I happened to be talking to a friend on Facebook due to the fact that she was organizing a fundraiser and I was donating an item for a silent auction.

She noticed something was not quite right and asked me about it. I lost it, told her I was suicidal and that I thought I ought to go to the hospital. That in fact, I was intending to go and admit myself as soon as our chat was over.

She immediately volunteered to drive me there. She asked me where I was thinking of going. I said the Royal. She said she thought the Royal didn’t have Emergency anymore. She told me to stay put, that she would find out for me and then take me there.

She called back five minutes later. Yes, indeed the Royal didn’t have an ER anymore and that I should go to the Ottawa Hospital, either the Civic Campus or the General Campus.

Knowing the General from my graduate shool days, I chose that one. Ten minutes later she was at my door. But while I waited for her, I published The Other Side. Continue reading