It’s true when they say home is where the heart is, and I only discovered this after walking away from my home to make one of the biggest adult decisions yet. I moved in with my in-laws to save for a home because Toronto real estate is unbelievably expensive. I didn’t know that saving for a home also meant losing my sanity and mental safety. I spiralled and went spinning down the rabbit hole. I went straight into a mental health unit for a short and sweet visit, but the beginning of this wasn’t so sweet. I’m going to walk you through this with me so you’ll understand.
This isn’t the first time I’ve preached this, but I’m going to reiterate this again because it’s important for everyone who questions, “Why don’t they just go to the hospital and get help?”, to know that we don’t go seek help because we don’t get help.
For someone who has been through a clinic or the emergency room for a mental health crisis can probably relate, and maybe look back and laugh, or just read this and nod with acknowledgment.
I called my mental health unit ahead of time as my psychiatrist suggested to me as part of my “emergency plan” in case I spiral out of control and walk through the suicidal gateway to hell. Me, thinking I’m so clever and helpful because I actually followed through with this plan, actually spirals further because the nurse tells me there are no beds available for me and that I would have to seek help from another hospital.
Now my next action is to visit the emergency room. I mean, you don’t need to have a mental health illness to know what that’s like.
So I do, and I see a doctor some hours later, who is surprisingly kind and gentle about my mental health crisis, and handsome might I add. My sister may have had a small crush that night in light of everything that was happening.
But then my soul was crushed when I was told I had to go to this other hospital, which is my worst nightmare. I had been there a few years ago when I was manic, and clearly they did not believe I was bipolar and manic, even though I was jumping around the waiting room, then crying, then jumping, and crying. Surely this hospital, which specializes in mental health, needed some mental help of their own to run their organization better. I mean beyond better. Just functional will do.
I digress. So I go to this other hospital and was told to wait a couple hours. Actually, nine whole hours later, I finally see a medical student. Not a resident, not a doctor… a medical student. Nothing against medical students, but you’d think I’d see someone with more expertise after nine hours. Add a couple hours later, and I finally see a resident who told me he didn’t think I was suicidal and told me to go home.
So how did I get into the hospital you ask? My dearest psychiatrist helped me make some phone calls when beds were available and that became my new home for a week until I had to move in with my in-laws. Even then, I was living between my sister’s house and my in-laws house.
Where does my home fit in the picture?
Where my heart is. Where my husband’s heart is. Where my dog’s heart is.
Because home is where the heart is.