11. Real hope beckons

I didn’t have any hope by this time. I think that given time, I would have realised that I was going to be better, but at that point, I was numb. I couldn’t think past the numbness and shock of what I was going through. I was still in pain, but I couldn’t feel anything other than resigned despair. I knew I had no hope left, even though that wasn’t true. The admitting doctor who had threatened to use the Mental Health Act against me did tell me that my fear and reaction could be due to my depression, but I was past caring at this point. I felt nothing, and I felt myself floating in some kind of disbelief. People drifted in and out around me, and I took my medication as I was told. Otherwise, I wanted to just sit in my bed and stare at the ceiling, and keep out of the way of the noisy people.

So when the doctors called me in, sympathy and a kind voice was the last thing I expected. I broke down.

I explained what had been happening through the tears. I cried now and then, especially when I admitted that my life had devolved to simple responsibility, that even walking in to the hospital to seek for help was because of responsibility rather than for any love of life. It felt miserable saying it, but it was true. I no longer had any joy left, any happiness at all in me. I lived only because I had to. I cried even harder when they informed me that my stay at the hospital would not be a short one. As long as they felt that it was not safe to release me, I was staying.

The doctors agreed that I needed a change in environment, even as I begged for it. They would try to refer me to another ward, which they promised would be more conducive to my recovery.

They would come through, and I would be transferred at 4pm on the same day. I did not know this yet, but I allowed myself a deadened hope. I didn’t think I’d survive another night in the same ward, sanity wise.

I surrendered my phone when I finally faced up to the fact that I would be in the hospital for a few nights at the least. The ward case manager was kind, but firm. She wanted me to know that I could possibly stay up to a week, even two. If that was the case, it would be better for me to bite the bullet. I sent a last few messages under her watchful eye, and then surrendered my mobile.

A few friends came to visit. The tears finally started falling. When a couple of my closest ex-colleagues who’ve known most of my work related struggles came to visit, the tables were all occupied. The nurse manager kindly opened a room on the side for my friends to sit with me while I was to have my lunch. My appetite was non-existent, but as I talked to my friends, I finally felt the release that I’d been begging for all this time. I admitted that I’d been too self-reliant, and somehow taken all my burdens on to myself, instead of sharing them, instead of praying about them and asking God for help. The burden had been too great, and that was partly why I felt like I was living only out of responsibility.

Of course it’s not as simple as that. But it was a start. I cried for a long while. Every time I tried to stop the tears, more came. I didn’t sob. There was no space for it. Every breath I took came out in tears, and I couldn’t stem the flow. When I finally regained control, I felt like a totally different person.

The healing could finally start.

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