My psychiatrist never did phone back. He did one better though. He booked me straight into the psych hospital. His receptionist called first thing Tuesday morning. “Grab your stuff, you need to be there by lunchtime”. So I guess my pain had been heard after all.
My boss has known my struggles. I chose long ago to keep her well informed of my mental health – progress and pitfalls. So I was relieved by her support and encouragement. As she began her search for a temp, I began the arduous ordeal of volleying calls to medical aid call centres, hospital call centres, requesting authorisation numbers, admittance codes and the various out-of-pocket cost, levies and co-payments.
Anxiety was like a free-range chicken scratching the inside of my stomach by the time I got home to pack. But I was met with a nasty surprise. My overflowing laundry basket was a great predictor that I had not done laundry in oh, say three weeks. I had nothing clean to pack. *starts sweating*
The only alternative? To hot-foot it to the shopping mall to buy clean shit – undies and pyjamas. Draw money for the co-payment, buy arcenal of cigarettes and charge phone with airtime. Then, having no proper luggage to speak of, I stuffed said shit into my laptop bag and a variety of library book bags.
I don’t have garmin. People with lugguage have gamins. Me, I have google earth and library book bags. But by the grace of google I found The Hospital in the hazy drizzle of our tropical spring weather. I arrived in one piece at the ‘facility’, albeit in a sweaty-bag-lady sort of way.
I was ….home? Yes, home amongst people just like me. Where you didn’t have to wear a smile and fake a laugh or lie about what you did over the weekend. This was me and I was them. For a while at least.