Emerging blogger series, Mental health

Emerging Blogger Series: Mad In Madagascar – Part 1

The emerging blogger series on Mental Health @ Home -background image of cherry blossoms

The emerging blogger series is aimed at community building through giving mental health bloggers who are early in their blogging evolution the opportunity to have their work seen by a wider audience.  It’s also a way to introduce you as a reader to some newer members of our community.

This post is by Mad In Madagascar.

She has a longer story to tell, so part 2 will appear later this week.

coffee cup lined up with paperclips and a pencil on a white surface
Photo by Bench Accounting on Unsplash

Spiralling Out of Control: Being Hospitalized for Schizoaffective Disorder

On March 14th 2016 things got so out of control with my schizoaffective disorder that I checked myself into a psychiatric ward. I was successfully completing a PhD, but my personal life was spiraling out of control. This was the first and only time I have been admitted, but it was definitely necessary as I was having thoughts of suicide and was so impulsive, I felt like every idea that crossed my mind needed to be acted upon. It was a comedy of errors finding the right hospital. I went to three hospitals before I finally found an emergency room that was open. I had gotten a taxi and they let me out at what I thought was an open emergency room only to find it closed. I ran in a panic to find another taxi and got dropped off at another emergency room.

The intake officer was behind a screen where I could not see them speaking over an intercom giving me garbled directions. I was extremely panicked. When I finally found the slot where the required paperwork I had just completed was to go, I was so frustrated I threw the clipboard into the slot. The intake nurse yelled at me angrily “You did not just throw that clipboard at me, did you? I don’t have to help anyone who is violent!”. I was a nervous wreck. I broke down in tears begging her to help me. I was taken into a busy emergency room where I sat for hours waiting to be transferred by ambulance to a fifth hospital across the city. The attendants were kind and propped me up with all kinds of pillows and blankets. I was wheeled into the psychiatric ward where I was to spend the night, and the sad looking members of the waiting area took one look at the extra pillows and blankets that I had with me and started grabbing at them on the stretcher, each taking one for themselves. The walls had paint crumbling off them and the floors looked like they hadn’t been washed in a week. I figured out quickly it was going to be a rough night….luckily I still had my sense of adventure intact. This is my diary entry from the following morning scratched out in pencil on scrounged paper, followed by a recap a few days later. I can tell from reading my diary now I was manic, although I denied it at the time.

Big House

Greetings friends = I just got back from getting a pencil and the young guy in the waiting area has just stripped off most of his clothes now and is rubbing his legs…which made me giggle a bit. It occurs to me that now I will have a possession that is important to me being this piece of paper and I will have to keep it. Hmmm luckily they’ve given me a maxi-pad and box which I think I shall fashion into a fine purse – prison-girl style.

So the nurse just came out and he says to the guy “What’s all this?” Meaning his clothes all strewn about the floor willey-nilley. Ha ha. And the guy is somewhat effeminate and he’s just like “sorry ha ha, sorry”. Poor guy. I feel an affinity with my fellow inmates except for the lady who was screaming gurgling noises last night and the guy who was yelling at her to “shut up, people are sleeping”. I fell asleep last night to a guy in a devil voice yelling “I will show you why I’m in a psych ward”. That is not how one enjoys drifting off to slumber land. 

Nicola made a really funny joke about a cul de sac vs recovery road but now I forget. My head fucking hurts and I’m crouched on my bed corner so I have an excuse for forgetting… So I slept 7 hours and dreamt that I was in the crazy house and trying to call loved ones but the phone didn’t work. There were these crossed wires and this old feeble guy was on the other end because of a wrong number but wouldn’t hang up. Then there was a collection agency on the line saying mean things like “So, you think you’re too cool to pay your bills?” I gave up trying to call and then all these emergency lines starting ringing and for a minute I was confused and thought it was my job to answer them. But I remembered I was just a crazy inmate so let the phone ring and went looking for lunch/pie which was served in a diner style restaurant. 

My pencil is quickly becoming nubbly…better start being more profound. I told Nicola when the lady-doctor refused to shake my hand. This moment is now immortalized in my brain in the same way that Cindy saying she was pregnant made me lose my shit. So sad. Clipboards were thrown. Tables were mentally flipped/ponytails pulled. Dignity was finally lost when I had to ask for a tampon and all they had was these pads. My pubic hair is currently stuck to said “pad”. But hey – I got the matching purse so I am doing fairly well. 

It was funny when doctors/trolls were like “We sense that you think we are not genuine” and I laughed and was like “Ya! I know you aren’t genuine”. I resisted the urge to do some verbal table flipping. A yes, consequence cul-de-sac. Ha ha ha ha. That’s why I was just like “this one here wouldn’t even shake my hand that’s how low she thinks of me”. I went on ranting about the lowest common denominator types like me.  Crazy and smelly. If they gave us nice showers or even hosed us down it would help. Not our fault. 

Anyway, it is quite filthy here. When they wheeled me in like the queen of Sheba I had all kinds of blankets and pillows. I was some sort of sultan I think. Little did I know I needed to keep track of those blankets and pillows for my later incarceration. I was just using them like one does towels at the sex club, “a little dirty here, I’ll just spread this out…” Ya. And I had to go back and collect that blanket and use it as a bottom sheet on my bed. 

So it is 6:00 am and I feel I can last until they bring the Starbucks at 8:00 am but that is about as long as I can last. I feel better now that I’ve tidied my cell by putting two cotton balls etc. in a dixie cup. Nice and Neat. Sigh. My eyes are basically swollen shut from crying for 8 hours straight. I found myself lying in bed staring at the ceiling saying “bring me my cucumber slices” and laughing like a true crazy person this morning. As Andy says “today has been a day of ‘firsts’ for me”. Ok, I’m not sad any more just crabby so let me out. I’m starting to have the twinglings of “let – me – out – itis” as it is known here at PESU. That’s Psychiatric Emergency Services Unit for the unaware. 

There is no lock on the bathroom door here. Unless I, just confused, couldn’t find it.  Because now it seems our young friend has locked himself in the bathroom. Drama! I’ll be honest, I’m getting a little bored. That’s their cure-all here. We will bore them healthy! There is a noise in the wall that ticks like a bomb about to go off. It is so loud. I asked the nurse if he could hear it too and he could, ha ha ha. It is really there. The fact that it is mocking me may not be real but the sound does seem to be. Tic….tic tic.Tic tic tic tic………………….Ahhh! and the table is flopped. 

Now I’m waiting patiently for it to be feeding time. Effeminate man is apparently getting nude up in the club.  Last night I made a friend Nichole who is also Bi-Polar and also on clonazepam. I was eating my dinner of sandwich at about 1030pm and she was like “how is it?” and I was like “Ya, good” just from force of habit. Then I laughed and said actually, it is terrible. It was a mozzarella and margarine sandwich on stale white bread. Nichole was watching me closely while I ate and said “bread’s probably stale…” half to herself. Yes it was. The label said “Fresh Co.” and a sticker said the best before date was April 20th. It is like March 12th or something, for fuck’s sake. Poor naked guy says the wrong words when you try to talk to him! Just found out the date is March the 14th.

You can read Part 2 here.

Bio:

The author of this blog lives and works in Canada and Madagascar. She has a PhD and is diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder. These diaries span the years from age 9 to 40 and follow the author from country to country as she builds her career researching primates; always battling depression, mania, anxiety, addiction and psychosis.

You can find the author on her blog Mad In Madagascar.

Thanks so much Mad in Madagascar for participating in the emerging blogger series!

You can find a listing of all of the posts in the series directory.

The emerging blogger series on Mental Health @ Home -background image of cherry blossoms

Do you want to be the next emerging blogger?

Criteria:

  • personal blog focused primarily on mental health and illness
  • relatively new blogger, with WordPress following <100 preferred

Interested?  If you fit the criteria above:

  • email me at mentalhealthathome (at) gmail (dot) com
  • let me know the topic you’d like to write about and include your blog name/URL

5 thoughts on “Emerging Blogger Series: Mad In Madagascar – Part 1”

  1. Oh, wow. I can relate to so much of this. But I can’t relate to having such a hard time finding a hospital! I think I’m truly lucky to live in a large city where help is always on hand, but I feel genuinely sad that everyone doesn’t have it so easy. She shouldn’t have to go through all that crap to get help, and that must be frustrating. So I really admire her perseverance. I’ve never checked myself into a mental hospital, but there’ve been times that I wanted to, but like, I didn’t know how to do it, so I just gave up, and I probably shouldn’t have? So I admire this blogger right off the bat. And that stuff about how they try to bore you into sanity again? So. Flippin’. True. Oh my gosh. That is exactly what they do! I’m so glad she was entertained by a male stripper! That sort of stuff makes it all worthwhile. Eager to read part 2!

    Mad in Madagascar, thanks for sharing! I hope you’re feeling better these days! And Ashley, thanks for posting!

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