Stasis

Hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to the hospital I go. Again.

About time too really, I’ve been asking for the best part of two years. Asking in a very British, polite, calm and collected but sometimes slightly histrionic way because, as someone with ‘A History Of Mental Illness’ you quickly learn that there are certain ways of doing things and deviate slightly and you will be deemed either totally healthy or driven to the nearest secure unit with an empty bed in the back of a police car.

Anyway…this was The Hospital. Y’know *whispers* the mental one.

*stares at shoes*

People who never before took me seriously will now exclaim ‘Cor, you really are a bit poorly then?’, people who love me won’t give a shit and a few might disappear…I know the drill by now.

Hospitals of any kind are strange places, existing seemingly in their own little bubble of civilisation and completely separate from the vast world that is left behind at the entrance to the car park. I have to wander past the Laundry and Sewing(?) Wing, the Day Unit, the wards and across a car park and a field bordered by empty benches before I find the building I’ve been summoned to. I’m ten minutes late because I dawdled and it’s hot and I’m scared and I needed a few panicked drags on a cigarette before I dared go too far.

I ring the bell to be let in (oh god, please let no one be here. Please can I just go home) and try to contort my anxious, rigid body into something that looks vaguely more natural.

BUZZ

The door locks behind me and I exchange the nod and smile greeting thing with the receptionist peering out from the little glass window, “Hi. I’m here to see…I don’t know actually. My appointment was…well, ten minutes ago now…”

BUZZ

Led through the next door by the nurse. And the next. And the next.

BUZZ
BUZZ
BUZZ

Around the maze of corridors, through the locked doors, turning left and right and left again until the walls feel like they’re narrowing and the carpet is looming closer to my face and in my head I’m seeing scenes from Yellow Submarine and expecting a steam engine or something suitably trippy to burst from behind one of the doors with one of The Beatles running after it…

I felt a bit weird about coming here. Like, I’m not sure how people might react to my visit and I’m not sure why I’m worried about that all at the same time. It’s one thing being open and frank and RAWR on here because if it all goes wrong I’m hidden behind this screen and one button can delete everything and sticks and stones may break my bones…But in real life? In real life I genuinely didn’t want to tell the taxi driver where I was going. His cheery “where are you off to, love?” made me dither and ‘errrrm’ and bite my lip and wring my hands and feel…ashamed? Who knows. I nearly told him to drop me at the vets around the corner but in the absence of an animal companion I swallowed down my own dramatics and he took me to the door. The door of the wrong building, but whatevs, we were within the gates.

So I’m there and I’m sort of internally, tentatively pleased about it because this could be the time when I manage to get the right person to listen to the right words and frankly, anything would help right now while I try to drag my body off these drugs that HATE ME AND WANT ME TO DIE while trying to function like a semi normal human being as opposed to a jellied wreck wailing on the floor.

It’s a bit scary, this illness thing. I live with it every day. I’ve lived with it every day for so long that every single muscle in my body is forever tense, so long that I absolutely cannot allow myself to crumble or cry or dare to feel because I’m really not sure I would be able to pick up the infinite shattered pieces of me and fit them back together again if I did. But, sitting in an actual hospital talking to an actual nurse and yeah, this is actually a thing isn’t it? It’s real and it’s powerful and it’s got me.

There’s a glimmer of light in that yes, this is the right place and these are the right people and they gently tilt their head to one side to tell me that one day, things will be so different, good, not always like this.

But…

Maybe something’s been missed while I’ve been missing these big chunks of my life. Overlooked, not reported, not considered, whatever. This Something looms over me like a shit-tonne of bricks and I don’t know what to do with it while it hangs there, all ominous and unknown and huge.

Of course, I have to wait. Again. Because there’s a waiting list to get on the waiting list to get on the waiting list to have your file even opened and that’s shit but that’s the system and life and there’s nothing I can do.

So I’ll sit here. Unable to tell you all of the things I want to tell you, waiting, watching Yellow Submarine clips on YouTube, trying not to close myself off from the things that help me (that’s you lot, by the way) trying to keep on keeping on until whatever comes next.

It’s just hard, y’know?