By my most recent count, I've now been hospitalized for mental health issues six times since 1998 – a little over once every 3.5 years.
I hate the hospital. It can be scary, the furniture is usually uncomfortable, and hospital staff checking on me every half hour during the night makes it difficult to sleep.
But the thing that really bothered kme in the hospital was the boredom. There are therapy sessions and activities, but during a lot of the day, nothing is scheduled. That means filling the time with conversation (which is hard to sustain with strangers whom the only thing you have in common is being in the hospital for mental illness, but I have had some good conversation with a few other patients), TV, reading, and games. After a few days in the hospital, all those things seem rather boring.
One thing I've been overwhelmed by is the amount of visitors I've had during my stays in the hospital. Friends and family have dropped by to hang out, bring me things to do and treats to eat, and just spend time with me. Phone calls were also a welcome break from the monotony.
I've been so blessed that I've rarely had to spend more than a couple of days in the hospital without company or a call from the outside world. Without that company, the hospital would have definitely been less bearable, and I’ve been overwhelmed by the amount of support I’ve received while in the hospital.
So, thank you to all those who have visited or called me while I was in the hospital. It really helped.