As I was watching Harry Potter the other evening, I was thinking how this hospital to me is very much what Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is to Harry. I’m sure all who have stayed in a psych hospital can attest to that strange feeling separation, or insulation, from the world beyond. Your sense of time changes and mental health is no longer something you have to hide. When you leave there is a distinct feeling of crossing a veil much like platform nine and three quarters. The hospital is a parallel world, and a world I’m finding I much prefer, despite the difficulties I’ve had in here.

Like Harry, I don’t feel like there’s much for me “out there”. The hospital feels more like home than the place I live, and whenever I have taken leave, I find myself itching to return. The world out there is cruel, lonely and makes me want to die. I tried to attend a group in the city the other day so I could build up some life for myself outside of this place. On the way, however, I had a break down, triggered by a loud, unexpected explosion at one of the stations. The train was packed like sardines and I had to somehow hold it together until I reached Flinders Street, where I got off and ran down the Yarra like a crazy person, gasping for silence and space like an asthmatic gasps for air. At the end of the day, when I returned to the hospital, I felt as though I had been pulverised.

Sadly, unlike Harry, I do not have the assurance that I will always return to this safe, beautifully woven world and its community of nurses who have cradled me at my weakest. Unless, perhaps, I remain miserable. Alas a part of me does not even want to get better. I don’t know whether any pill or amount of brain stimulation can take away my pain and stop me wanting to die. Only love can do that. And yet I look for love and connection in all the wrong places. I don’t know why I cannot form the deep bonds I form with mental health workers with other people. I guess I find it easier to open up to professionals as it’s their job to care, so I feel less guilty talking about me.

It is nice this hospital has given me a very generous stay, as though they see how much trouble I’m in. Sadly, though, I suspect their efforts will fail miserably just like every other professional I have gone through. Their kindness here is a candle briefly lit and then extinguished, the chilling darkness seeming even more unbearable than before. I will strut and fret my hour upon the stage and then will be heard no more. And with these Shakespearean words I will conclude this post.