These days it’s the first anniversary of my nuthouse staycation. Despite the bad publicity these institutions suffer, my experience was that of the best holiday I ever had. There are so many reasons.
You’ll never have more you-time. There was an obligatory programme to take part at for most of the day, but it was all focused on being with yourself. You have no worry in the world but to attend to you. That’s not what you can normally do in your life outside because you have other duties to prioritise.
Everyone is nice to you. If everyone is already nice to you anyway, congratulations. It’s not my case. The psychiatric ward staff was obviously trained to treat the patients with extra care because they’re frail things. No one gives you weird looks when you’re doing something weird because, hey, you’re certified crazy and you can do whatever you have to, no questions asked.
You can safely contemplate suicide. Planning suicide is my favourite activity, which can be fully and safely enjoyed in the ward. Jumping out of the window is out of the question because the windows are barred and you can’t hope to hang yourself either because anything that could be utilised for the purpose will be confiscated. You can then indulge in your thoughts at peace.
You discover your creative potential. I can hardly draw a stick figure but the regularly scheduled creative sessions unleashed my potential. Well, I have no potential, but I would enjoy splashing watercolours on the paper and colouring mandalas. You need to be careful with morbid motives in your art though because you might be taken aside for an individual consultation with a therapist.
You’ll never have more crazy fun. Contrary to popular belief, there’s more hysterical laughter than hysterical crying in the ward. Occasionally it gets all mixed up when one patient is having a hysterical meltdown and another is having a fit of hysterical laughter at the former. It’s not mean really, it’s just a spontaneous reaction. One shouldn’t take oneself too seriously so as not to get too crazy.
I used the word shit in the post title. I wonder if there will be repercussions. Will I get reported as a threat to society? I’m terrified so say anything these days because I never know what I’m allowed to say to keep it politically correct, gender neutral, family friendly and whatnot. But when thinking of pretty much anything in life, the only word that comes to mind is shit (also, crap, but that doesn’t solve the problem).
I’m currently prepping for a school reunion tomorrow, where I don’t want to go but socialising is good for my mental health (I don’t think so, but my psychiatrist does). It’s a one-day trip, I’ll be home for the night (unless I get mugged and murdered), so I’m putting just a few basic things in my handbag. When I contemplate my labour, I’m thinking, Shit, (here it goes again) I have some baggage (my psychiatrist agrees).
Here’s the setup of my handbag, minimum requirements, but the handbag is still more of a hand-carried backpack than a ladies’ purse.
Several opentissue packs (sometimes I try to consolidate the packages into one, inevitably tear the wrapping and end up crying over it, ultimately using the tissues right away).
Lipstick, lip gloss and lip balm (I have a serious addiction to lip balm, jokes aside, I urgently need to reapply it at least once an hour. It’s probably a nervous tic.).
A cute white and red pocket mirror (let’s gloss over the fact that it was a freebie from my preferred tampon brand).
Phone, earbuds, wallet (the size of a handbag of its own), keys on a ring (some of the keys I carry around solely as talismans because I have no idea what they open).
A book to feel goodabout myself (which will never be open even on public transport because, duh, I have mobile data to keep me entertained).
A bottle of water, a flask of slivovitz in winter (drink or freeze, I’d rather be drunk than frozen, much more pleasant).
Cigarettes, lighter, a spare lighter (seriously; also, smoking kills—ultimately—which is a disadvantage it shares with life).
Cleaning cloth for my glasses, hand sanitiser, hand cream in winter (my hands are just as dry as my lips, and both are just as dry as my creative juices).
Lexaurin in case I get an anxiety attack and think I’m dying (which I, in the last analysis, am since I’ve been born).
Umbrella (even in winter because I bloody hate the cold white shit of snow in my hair and a cap doesn’t come in question because I do my hair with care and won’t have it messed up).
I hope I have packed all I need. Now please excuse me, I need to reapply my lip balm, go paint my nails and otherwise make myself presentable so my schoolmates think I have my shit together (both I and my psychiatrist disagree).