It is a gross, but mildly understandable that we spend the vast majority of our time here like zombies, placated by benzos and nicotine replacement therapy.
Indeed, many people in here have angry tendencies and lash out at others.
I, conversely, expressed a desire to harm myself and have been trying to talk to someone about it.
In both cases, the belief is that we are a danger to the outside world.
Inside, the outside world becomes lionised, with the ultimate expression of freedom being a cigarette.*
I have seen women (with whom I have previously had coherent conversations with) turn into “girls gone wild” for a cigarette and lighter from ” the other side.”
“The other side” is not the “outside world,” but a lighter, less restrictive version of the ward. Presumably, the inhabitants are dangerous but not as dangerous as us, because they have 24/7 internet access and occasional leave.
This makes me ponder something about suicide prevention in the public system: is it really about preventing or pacifying?
All I can say is that upon entering it, I keep on asking for and trying to find the tools that will help me get better and to discuss the feelings that I’m having and am met with a stony silence from the staff.
Meanwhile, my surroundings and the unpredictability of my fellow patients somewhat terrify me. (I am the only one here for suicide ideation, or any suicide related illness.)
I’m guessing that’s the intent: to scare straight, but at the same time, I feel like hope is gone as well.
What I want is to have a therapist to talk to, in order to see what to do next. To help me put what I’m seeing into a context that doesn’t sap my will to live.
At the moment, I have a desire to live if only because I can’t picture the rest of my life being here.
For me, the system is strangling.
And perversely, that seems to be the goal.
*Coincidentally, I recently gave up smoking. Seeing what others will do for cigarette in this situation is harrowing.