Hand coding

Hospital hand coding

I’ve always known I’m crazy. What’s new is that now I’m certified crazy. If you’re concerned that the condition might be contagious, I advise that you keep clear of this place.

I was wondering the whole summer how long one can last a fourteen-or-so-hour workday every day before ending up in the mental asylum, and in autumn, I got the answer: I managed about three months. Then I indeed ended up in a mental asylum.

Should you be curious about the technicalities, one day I decided I just couldn’t, so I turned myself in at the local hospital in the middle of the night, was admitted as an emergency case and put away on the locked floor B in the psychiatric ward. After a week, I graduated to the open floor C and took a six-week survival course. I was let go a week ago, with depression, anxiety and four kinds of meds.

Because my depression experience might sound depressing, for comic relief, here’s a list of fun facts I found out about the madhouse while in there:

  • If you weren’t suicidal before, hospital food and their so-called white coffee will make you so.
  • The local madhouse indiscriminately prescribes cryotherapyย by not heating properly.
  • If you didn’t smoke before, you’ll start smoking. If you did smoke before, you’ll start chain-smoking. Nurses will make you company because they smoke the most.
  • Psychiatric patients do idiotic things not because they’re mental but because it’s therapy. It involves arts and crafts, breathing exercises, role playing, deliberate daydreaming, diary writing and other crap.

As I broke down from overwork, I was prescribed, among other things, returning to my hobbies. Which is why I’m finally getting down to blogging, albeit in a mad manner. I can afford that though, sinceย I’m certified mad.

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Posted by Mara Eastern

I'm a sardonic blogger, snapper, scribbler and rhymer; a virtual space invader who indulges in cheerful negativism, morbid self-deprecation and bleak humour.

58 Comments

  1. Welcome back. It’s good to see you.

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    1. Thank you! It’s nice to be back, hopefully it will last ๐Ÿ™‚

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  2. Well you know at least you have a piece of paper that says you are certified mad, the rest of us can only surmise or guess as to our condition is….take care of you, I have wondered if you are ok, as I’ve said before Mara, you are unique, more so than ever now you have gone to the other side of sanity, so to speak, and returned…..good luck with everything and take your meds…

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    1. Agreed, most of the population is insane, that’s normal ๐Ÿ˜€ I now have a good excuse for pretty much anything – being certified mad. Thank you for your support and your well wishes, I’m pleased to report I’m considerably better than two months ago, though, obviously, this kind of thing takes time to fix. Hopefully I’ll stick to blogging, now I’ve found out for myself how important having some hobbies is.

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      1. You might also consider the importance your hobby is to those of us lucky to be readers of your literary efforts. But as you say you can get away with almost anything so I’m sort of envious in an odd way.

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        1. You are very kind. I still find it puzzling how anyone would voluntarily read my scribbles. And I’m immensely flattered and humbled at the same time. Thank you โค

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          1. Enjoy it while you can…..

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          2. Will do for sure!

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  3. Hey Mara! So good to hear from you again. Your funny cynical blog posts have been instrumental in tiding me through a very difficult year, in which I have been hospitalized various times. I wish you a swift recovery and look forward to more of your mischievous posts lighting up our lives a little over the coming months.

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    1. Hello and thank you so much for your uplifting comment! It’s the best compliment, to have one’s cynicism appreciated. It’s not really a popular character feature. I also wish you all the best, good luck with everything and hopefully, see you around!

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  4. I hope you get better soon, Mara. It sounded like quite a time in the madhouse and I hope you got something out of it…or at least tried your very best and be yourself again. Wishing you well.

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    1. Thank you very much, Mabel! Yes, I lost two months of life in hospital, but clearly, it was necessary. I do think I go something out of it, so all’s good at the end – sort of, at least. Thanks again and take care!

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  5. If it’s any consolation, I’m officially dead, and have the death certificate to prove it. I’m keeping it as the ultimate get out of jail card, or possibly as an excuse not to pay my taxes. Keep writing!

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    1. Now that’s a first surely !

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    2. Oh dear! Serious? Now that’s something, being officially dead… I hope you’re not traumatised, but you seem to be taking it with good humour ๐Ÿ™‚

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  6. Finally it’s official! Congratulations and welcome to the elite club of previous insiders! ๐Ÿ˜€
    It’s all really about that confusing period between birth & death. We’re all insane, some people are just good at hiding it and pretend to be normal.

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    1. Awe, thank you for your, as per usual, hilarious comment. Your congrats are graciously received, not without some pride. It’s fun to have an experience like this. (I mean, it’s not fun really, but I prefer to see the absurd comedy in it.) I hope my next stop won’t be prison though, even if it looks like the next logical step.

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  7. Mara, surviving the ‘lunatic bin’ is a feat in itself! I know – I worked in one for many years and then graduated to the community ๐Ÿ™‚ Keep your sense of humour. It’s wonderful, it’s you, it’s refreshingly acerbic and I love it !!

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    1. Thanks a lot for your great comment and for sharing your experience! It must be extremely taxing to work at such a place. One of the most demanding jobs, it seems. No wonder most of the nurses and doctors are smokers. And thank you for complimenting me on my sharp humour, that means a lot, as humour is one thing I do hope I haven’t lost yet ๐Ÿ™‚

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      1. Never lose your humour ! I loved my clinical work, just not the politics ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

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        1. The politics is the worst part of everything… The humour might just as well be the best part of everything.

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          1. I think you’re right.

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  8. Nice place.. Looks like an Urbex, but nice place..

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    1. Yeah, a nice place, considering… ๐Ÿ˜‰

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      1. Okay, I admit it, I am really glad that you are out of the place, and sincerely hope that you don’t ever have to go back..

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        1. I’m glad I’m out of the place too. Sort of. It was a safe environment and it made me feel better to see that I’m comparatively well-balanced, when compared with patients who were far worse off, poor things. Well, now back to the reality outside of the bars ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

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          1. The only reality outside of bars is buying beer from the supermarket ๐Ÿ˜€

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          2. That’s good enough! We weren’t allowed to drink in the hospital, so I appreciate that now I can, if I’m so inclined. I’m not so inclined though, once I’m allowed. That sort of ruins the fun.

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          3. .. So what is the trick? There is no trick. What is the catch? There is no catch. So what is the point? …
            Loosely recalled from a cartoon called The Perishers. If there is no challenge, then why bother doing it ๐Ÿ˜€

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          4. Exactly. No challenge, no fun. I never heard of The Perishers but I’m quite in love with your quote from it.

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          5. It is quite useful for those energetic optimistic types when they try to get you involved in some stupid idea. Works for me anyway ๐Ÿ™‚

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          6. Haha,energetic optimistic types usually annoy the shit out of me. It’s sheer envy on my part.

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          7. Thats not envy, that is the pure embarrassment of being part of the same species, it is a similar feeling ๐Ÿ˜€

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          8. You put it wonderfully.

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  9. I’m not sure I want to like this.
    However, I am glad you’re out and blogging again … hopefully a lot happier and healthier than you were, in spite of the poor food, bad coffee, and cold temperatures. So no more 14+ hour days for days on end?

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    1. I see what you mean about “liking” this post, but then, even apparently bad things can lead to something better. I’m certainly in a better shape than I was two months ago, though still not at my best. I hope to blog more about the subject, but hopefully in a light vein, after all, no one died, right, so no need to get depressed ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’ve severely limited my working hours and have done lots of changes, but of course it’s a long term process. I need to stick to blogging, if only to report on it ๐Ÿ™‚

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      1. I’m happy to hear you are coming back to blog. I wondered what I happened ๐Ÿ™‚

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        1. I’m happy too (well, I’m never happy, but I do what I can, so let’s say I hate it the least ๐Ÿ™‚ ). And it’s great, no reservations needed here, to see you all around.

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  10. Good for you recognising you needed a bit of support to get through this period. I hope the meds are working to sort out your biochemistry and that indulging in your hobbies again is restoring your equilibrium. I am glad to see you back blogging again.

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    1. I’m glad to be back to blogging and even more, to be back in touch with you all. That’s the best part.

      I take pride in my independence, so asking for help, and volunteering for a stay in the psychiatric ward even, is something I regard as my failure. Clearly though, I need some outside help, the meds including. I have so many of those I’ll need to buy a pill box organiser. Ha.

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      1. I completely understand. I find it incredibly difficult to even admit I need help let alone ask for it.

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        1. Yep. I hate asking for help. I always assume no one wants to help me anyway because why would they do it? Also, I’m an adult, so should be able to help myself. Apparently, it doesn’t always work this way.

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          1. That is my mindset too. Also, I have been independent, completely so since age 14, for a long time so to admit that I cannot quite function totally independently fails like I am failing at life. I don’t feel like I even have the skill set to know how to approach people and ask for help.

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          2. It’s funny how similar we are. I never would have thought you share this problem with me. I imagined you as independent but also able to ask for help, I’m not sure why I had this impression. In any case, you seem to be managing everything in your life just fine, so all’s good.

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  11. I enjoyed reading this! You did a marvellous job, writing about this in your usual detached, cynical and humorous way. I know what you’re talking about in many ways more than you know. I agree with CG.

    My mum worked 40+ years in the loonie bin. She was an avid anti-smoker ๐Ÿ™‚

    I thoroughly enjoyed also reading the comments on this post.

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    1. Thank you very much for this great comment. That’s exactly what I was going for. I wanted to write about the topic, as I’m obviously full of it now, but I didn’t want to get depressing about it. No point. I’m glad if I managed to do that!

      Your mum is an exception to the rule, I think! I never smoked so much as in the hospital. The irony of it.

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  12. Hi Mara! I’m just back too after a meltdown at the start of the year for similar child induced crazy diagnosis!! Sadly I didn’t get the asylum treatment – it’s mad enough here! Lots of art therapy though ๐Ÿ˜ฉ Was wondering about what all my blogging friends have been up to whilst I’ve been away. Haha. Kindered spirits!!

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    1. Oh dear, I’m so sorry to hear that you’re a fellow patient, it sucks. I’m not sure you need to regret that you didn’t get an asylum treatment. It’s rough. But it’s even more rough to cope on your own. So at least, there’s art therapy and blogging ๐Ÿ™‚

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  13. I was wondering whatยดs up with you… Good that you are back. Recover soon!

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    1. Not much up with me, I was rather down ๐Ÿ˜ฎ Great to be back and see you around, and thank you for your well wishes!

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  14. It’s great to have you back. I read in one your replies above that you lost two months of your life. I see it as an investment, not a loss. I’m really glad you recognized that you needed help and that you were able to ask for (and receive) it. Keep taking care of yourself. As you can see above, you’ve got a whole squad cheerleaders on your side. We want you to win!

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    1. You are very right, of course. Something lost but something else gained by taking a break and staying in the hospital. It was no holiday though, quite a roughhouse, but most important is that it helped me. Thank you for your well wishes. It’s so uplifting (and humbling) to see the amount of support here!

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  15. What an episode… ๐Ÿ˜ฆ How are you faring so far? I’d say everyone is entitled to break down at least once in a lifetime… It’s somewhat refreshing, eye-opening, and so much more… I’d say most people know what you’ve been through or are going through. I wish you good fortune on your journey!

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    1. Yep, an episode, and quite a long one. Thank you for being so tolerant and supportive! I realise I’m far from being alone in the struggle. I’m going through better and worse days these days, but on the whole, I’m better than I was when I produced this post, so, I guess, all’s good…

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      1. Yes, trust me, you’re never alone in all this crap… Take one step after the next, the important thing is to give yourself time โค Good luck and keep it up, I’m sure you’ll manage โค

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        1. Thank you again for your encouragement, you’re very right, all it takes it just taking it one step at a time…

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          1. Exactly! If you focus on the horizon, you get demotivated… focus on your footsteps – and all of the sudden you’ll bang your head on your destination ๐Ÿ˜€

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          2. You put it nicely!

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