If you've read my previous pieces, you know what I'm dealing with right now. I see no need to reiterate what you've already read.
A new stressor has entered the playing field.
My hospital reopened.
As long as it remained closed due to the Covid outbreak and the mold that they found in there, I was safe. My job was protected because it wasn't my decision not to be at work.
That is no longer the case.
My manager has been out sick this entire time but my assistant manager is well aware of the situation and I've written an email to my boss detailing what I've been going through. He's incredibly understanding and I've been in contact with the assistant manager every day throughout all of this so it shouldn't be a problem.
I can't lose my job but I also know that I can't work right now. I have to be on the phone from the moment business opens until I break from the delusion that anyone would actually help me.
Albert Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.
These calls are my insanity.
Even if I didn't have to make the calls of utter insanity that break my spirit and make me start thinking about things like a living will, an obituary, how my animals would do without me... I can not be at work right now. I work in a position where presence of mind matters. I can't fake it until I make it. I can't force myself through my day pretending my mind isn't somewhere else. Doing so could hurt an animal or get a co-worker hurt by an animal.
I won't do that.
I can't add that to the list of things I'm worrying about right now. But until I speak directly to my boss, wondering if I will be able to stay employed remains on that list. And that one comes hand in hand with keeping my brand new house.
While the hospital was closed, they were providing pay because it wasn't our fault that we couldn't work. But now, being out is my choice. So unless I apply for short-term disability or FMLA to allow me time to fix this situation... or go through withdrawal at a hospital if I can't... there's no money coming in for me and everything falls on my husband.
I was supposed to have gotten paid last Friday. It's now Wednesday and I've been emailing with payroll as to the fact that I didn't. The change in our computer systems that never needed to happen, didn't transfer my direct deposit over. I received an email from them last night that they fixed it and put the money to be deposited today by end of business. It's not there yet. Not holding out much hope that it will be. That's just how my life is going these days.
Nothing holds hope.
Nothing holds happiness.
Nothing holds relief.
Everything is just a bleak minefield of worst case scenarios playing out in my head.
My husband and my brother are in charge of me medically in the event that I can't make my own decisions, and there is a notation that they must both agree before anything can be done. They both are aware that I do not want to be kept alive by machines. I want my organs donated and to be let go.
I wonder if they'd publish an obituary that says I died from an uncaring and broken medical system where licensed doctors knew what they were sentencing me to and did it anyway.
I wonder if I could list them. All the ones who turned me away without even giving me an appointment. Shed some light on what was allowed to happen to me since through not seeing me at all, they washed their filthy hands clean of any liability in the inevitable.
I do want to go public, very public, with my experience at the hospital. On one hand, I don't want to scare people away from seeking emergency help when their mental health is in jeopardy. On the other hand, allowing them to be treated as criminals for doing so doesn't exactly sit well with me either.
The pat down, the metal detector, the track mark search, the breathalyzer, the armed guard escort, the locked rooms, the pure trauma of it all... I put it out there on Vocal and Medium but a writer has more reach. Local newspapers... national newspapers... it's time this hospital was looked at for what it really is. A prison sentence for anyone brave enough to try to get help for problems only made worse in the treatment received there.
Looking for a bridge prescription, I found myself in an episode of American Horror Story, Asylum... without the religious aspect. But what they failed to realize was that I worked in the psychiatric system... for years and in many capacities. I worked with adults and children, and never in my tenure of actually using my very expensive education that I tossed aside when an opossum met the business end of the vehicle driving ahead of me... NEVER were the people in the care of the places where I worked treated as I was that day. And every office I've spoken to has told me to go there, has told me they would provide the bridge prescription, has told me they would help.
Do they know?
They don't help.
Right now the things I'm feeling jump around between intense anger, frustration, fear, sadness, helplessness, desperation, and at times... resignation. The feeling that this is simply what will be no matter what I do is probably the most frightening of all.
I have an appointment next week and I have meds to get me through until then but what comes next?
They said they'd provide the meds but not long-term. Is that even true? I've heard that before and then on the day of the appointment I was turned away with nothing without even being heard.
That was followed by endless phone calls, every one of them resulting in a simple "no" without an appointment, a history, a plan, or even an explanation.
How do I trust anyone in a system where this is what I'm dealing with?
How do I believe it's going to stop? Going to get better?
How do I work with all of this on my brain?
It's called a mental health storm. And I'm in the thick of it.
But how do I keep my job until (if) the storm passes?
Typically, as said in the lyrics from Hamilton, I'd write my way out.
But I can't write my way out of this.
I can expose the hospital and the broken system but that won't get me my medication. It will just get me blacklisted from any help I might get now. My writing has done that before. Being the person that doesn't hold back and sheds light on TRUTH can get you in trouble when the powers that be don't care about the truth.
Anonymous is always an option. We use pseudonyms all the time to protect us against backlash from what our writing exposes.
But will it matter? Will it change anything? For me or anyone else? In a system so broken as to be willing to allow someone to go through what awaits me in the wake of an empty prescription bottle, would it make any difference at all to expose it?
I doubt it.