I've written about my time at the psychiatric hospital HERE, but seeing the documentary just reminded me about my time there. How lonely i was. I wasnt allowed a phone or any internet access and only allowed a short 20-30 minute call to my family every second day or so. My mum lived 2 hours away from the hospital and she tried to visit me as often as she could, but whenever she visited me either i would cry and beg her to take me home or i would sit silent and hate her for making me stay at the hospital. My dad also visited me more often as he lived closer, and he kept talking about how the two of us should just escape and move away... start life somewhere else.
My days at the psychiatric hospital were mostly spent on bedrest, i wasnt even allowed to read or watch a film while on bedrest, it was complete stillness. And i had a bed that made noise each time i moved or tried to get out of bed. At random times i was allowed to the common room where the other patients were, but i would sit there in absaloute silence, dreading the minutes until my next meal and most of all wishing i could disappear. Staying at the psychiatric hospital did nothing but make me worse and hate myself and hate life even more. I cried in the shower each time i was allowed to shower, i sat silent almost 24/7 and i refused to take my medication or drink water or eat. I had different nurses ask me why i wouldnt eat, why i was the way i was... they blamed me and told me i was stupid, they told me i wouldnt live if i didnt change my ways. I was asked why i was so scared of eating or gaining weight and the only thing i could reply with was "i would rather be dead than be fat". And i truly believed that for many years of my life... i was so scared of weight gain or being fat. When i was finally discharged from the psychiatric unit as i was moving country with my mum, i was given my journal and all the notes taken from the hospital and all the nurses, therapist and doctors just wrote that i was hopeless, i was getting worse and they didnt know what to do with me. I was lifeless according to them, and that was very true. I WAS lifeless. I was basically just an outer shell with so much hate and anxiety and guilt inside of me.
Being at the psychiatric unit didnt help me in anyway, it just made me worse and scarred me in many ways. The hospital used punishing techniques on me to get me to eat. For example if i didnt eat or didnt gain weight i wasnt allowed phone calls to my family and my family werent allowed to visit. Those techniques were far from useful, they just made me feel more depressed and didnt make me more excited to eat.
When i think back on the past it is so strange to think that that was me. That MY past was/is actually my past... that its me who has been through all the hospital visits. In a way it wasnt me though, because i wasnt in control... i wasnt in control of my actions or my thoughts. It wasnt until i began fighting for my recovery that it was actually me in control... i think thats why it feels so strange, because so much of it is a blur due to my lack of nutrition and not being in control of myself.
What i have gone through has made me stronger and made me who i am today, so i dont regret it. Would i change it? Well of course i would have preffered if i didnt suffer from mental illnesses growing up and that i didnt have to deal with depression still. But i have grown and i dont know who i would be otherwise? I wouldnt have this blog, i wouldnt be able to help others and i dont even know if i would live in Sweden if i hadnt become sick with an eating disorder (that sentence makes it sound like its an infection or a virus.... so sorry for the bad phrasing).
I dont often think about the past, instead i look into the future and want to continue creating my happy and healthy life. But sometimes you need to look into the past to see how far you have come. To realise how much you have grown and changed, how much life has changed. Its crazy to think how far i have come and how much i have been through. I mean just 6 months ago i was considering suicide, but here i am now in a new university living away from home again and doing just fine. 6 months ago i didnt even think that was possible as i was so deep in my depression, but time flies by and its about making choices towards recovery. Because either the illness controls and consumes you, and the illness takes over, orYOU take control over your life and realise that time will pass and its up to you to make the best of it. I.e in 6 months from now you could be in a much better mental state/better life situation, or 6 months from now you could be in a worse place or in the same situation as now... its about YOU making a change.
I could have given up 6 years ago (or well, i pretty much had given up), but i kept fighting even if i was forced to keep going. Its not always easy but it is worth it. Sure i have some scars from my past such as i still get nightmares about being locked in a hospital, and going to the hospital still fills me with fear and anxiety, but i am a much stronger and healthier person now because of everythingi have been through.
If you are struggling right now or in hospital, know that it is up to YOU to make it better. I do believe that inpatient and hospital treatment helps, no matter how scary it is. I dont know how many times in my life i have been told by a doctor that i have to be inpatient and each time it is like someone has put a knife in my stomach and i am filled with fear and anxiety, but each time i have gotten through my inpatient stay, and my last inpatient stay in 2011 i said "never again" and that is how it will hopefully be. (Well, apart from inpatient stays due to my CF or emergency visits, such as when i had an inflamed pancreas).
Anyway, this is a long post and i could keep writing about it. But the documentary triggered all these thoughts and memories and i just needed to write them out. But also to remind you all that if you are in hospital, you will get out one day. But its not just about getting out... its about making changes and making your life better. Because otherwise you will just go in and out of hospital... you need ot make changes and want to get better. Some people find a comfort in being an inpatient, they can avoid real life, but that is not a life... you need to be out and living, creating a life and being happy. You need to want to live life, see the beauty in life and not hide behind four walls or hide behind yourillness. You need to take control over your life and know that living is worth it, even if it doesnt always feel that way.