Things I’ve seen…
On the night before my 21st birthday I saw a group of patients stand in the garden (in November) and wait until 12.01 to sing Happy Birthday to me. They had bought me flowers.
I’ve seen a girl buy another girl a teddy because she said she had left hers at home.
I’ve seen guys watching football together and girls getting frustrated because they wanted to watch the bake off final. So they agreed, one ward would watch bake off and the other the football.
On my first night in an adult psychiatric ward I saw all the women in my dorm hold me and stand around me until I stopped crying.
I’ve seen a patient take another patient to the shop because, although she was allowed out, she was too scared to go on her own.
The day I decided to try and eat after a long period of having nothing, I saw 2 girls decide between them who would hold my hand and who would wipe my tears.
I’ve seen notes of encouragement and letters being left on peoples beds.
I’ve seen a girl come back from pass with emergency moustaches (yes you read that correctly).
I’ve seen people of all ages – from teenagers to men and women in their 60s sitting outside together drinking tea, listening to music and bitching about how the old doctor we hated was better than the new one that we now hated more.
I’ve seen girls braiding each other’s hair and doing each other’s nails.
I’ve seen people telling others when they should ask for help – or getting help for them. We don’t want anyone getting hurt.
Yes psych wards can be loud when people are unwell and it can be unsettling and it can be scary – but usually we just feel bad for the person in distress.
Some of my closest friends are people I’ve met through my admissions and mental illness.
And in the words of Harry Potter…
“There are some things you can’t share without ending up liking each other”
And I think that knocking out a 12 foot mountain troll is just as hard as trying to recover from any Mental Illness.