If you don’t know me then you probably don’t know that I was committed to a behavioral health center about two years ago. What does that mean? A lot of people will describe it as a looney bin or insane asylum but those people are fairly uneducated about it. It is a place for people to find help and recovery. Whether that be for people with drug problems that are going through withdrawal, suicidal people, or people with way deeper (and sometimes scarier) mental health issues. It is a place for people to be secluded from the outside world in order to receive “proper” care and help. It is also one of my worst experiences ever.
First off, I was committed because I overdosed on pills that I bought specifically for the purpose of overdosing. That is as simple and blatant as I can put it. That year was one of the hardest school years for me. In the span of one semester, I had come out as bisexual, been made miserable by a racist boss, and was discarded by the first girl I had been with for more than a couple days. It didn’t help that I had no support from my religious mother during my coming out. Everything seemed to be falling apart and I didn’t want to be on this planet anymore. Basically, I was at my breaking point, so I was committed to a behavioral health clinic.
Upon getting committed, I had to take out my nose ring and earrings, put on maroon scrubs, and leave all of my belongings behind (that of which included my phone). They did tests on me and I had to meet with a psychiatrist so they could figure out how to best medicate me. I soon found out that I had PTSD, major depressive disorder, and anxiety. Let’s be honest, the psychiatrist wasn’t telling me stuff I already knew.
Every day I had to wake up at 6 a.m. and get my vitals taken, take my medicine, and go to breakfast. I didn’t realize until breakfast that the people were split up into three halls. These halls are what I can best describe as the withdrawal/drug hall, the (for lack of better words) crazy hall, and the suicidal hall. I was in the suicidal hall. During the day the halls would have separate meetings between breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We were expected to go to EVERY single meeting or else they would keep us committed for a longer period of time. This is something I hated. Having to go, sit down and listen to people that I didn’t know (and quite frankly didn’t care about). Time went by so slow there and my only form of entertainment were puzzles and shitty coloring books that came with crayons and dulled down pencils.
I hated feeling like people had to check on me. It made me feel fragile like they thought I could break and shatter at any moment. Maybe I could have but I didn’t need the constant reminder. I learned very quickly that I had to just work on me and never wanted to go back there again. I was surrounded by people that didn’t want to do better for themselves and always talking about how they were going to live the same life they lived before they got there. Overall the meetings and medication, what helped me do better for myself was not wanting to be one of them. I didn’t want to do the same thing over and over again. I wanted to do better and live better for myself. I didn’t want to be someone who had frequent flyer miles at the behavioral health clinic because I was stuck in a cycle of self-loathing. So I decided to be better and live my life with more love for myself.
In a way you could say being committed helped me. Not the process but the people in my situation. They made me see the road I could have gone down and it wasn’t pretty. Afterwards, I saw a therapist and enjoyed being with the people that mattered in my life. There were times afterward where I got to really dark places, but I knew I had a choice in how my life was. We all have a choice to make our lives mean the most for us and live it to the fullest.