Day seven of being in lockdown arrived and I was fully relaxed and ready to go home. Most of the friends I made had been released. Darryl was an exception. Darryl was from a family of Hollywood icons, but had been the black sheep of the family for most of his life due to his drinking, drug use and violent behavior. His parents came to the psych ward to meet with his doctor and to meet with him. The conversation didn’t go well and Darryl came out of the office yelling. His parents informed him that he was not welcome in their home and that the psychiatric staff had determined he could not leave and he was placed on a 30 day lockdown. He contacted his attorney who told him there was little or nothing he could do.
Fully prepared to leave I was once again called into the psychiatric office assuming I was being discharged. I was wrong. The doctor informed me that they could not release me until they had somewhere to release me to and they had not found a clinic yet that could take me as a client. I informed the doctor that I had been going to the different outpatient county clinics for months and none would admit me because I was too high functioning and they were understaffed. I told him that I didn’t think he was going to have any luck.
Day eight arrived and I met with my psychiatrist again. He informed me that they were going to continue to keep me because they still had not found an outpatient clinic for me. I basically said “I told you so,” and he said, “You know, we hear stories like this, but this is the first time I’ve experienced it. I never realized how hard it was for you guys out there.” I told him that I knew I was in trouble and that’s why I had been trying to get into a clinic for months to avoid the stay in the hospital. I was beginning to get depressed again. It felt as if I was being held hostage. Spending time with Darryl wasn’t helping. He could not let go of his anger and resentment.
It wasn’t until my tenth day that the doctor came back with good news. They had found a clinic for me and they were going to provide a cab to take me home. He handed me prescriptions for my medications and I thanked him, but told him the dollar bill in my wallet was all the money I had. He said he’d see what he could do and left. The extra time gave me the opportunity to say goodbye to Darryl.
Darryl was irreconcilable. I tried to convince him to accept his fate and just roll with it, but he refused. Knowing that I had been in the hotel business he promised me he was going to talk to the owner of the hotel where he lived and would get me a job there. Knowing that he was no longer welcome in most of the hotels in the Los Angeles area, I knew not to get my hopes up. We exchanged numbers and I promised we could get together and hang out as long as he was sober. He assured me that would not be a problem.
After a few hours my doctor came back with pills for me and told me I could go. I hugged Darryl goodbye and we promised again that we would stay in touch. I never saw him again. He called a few times and left messages, but he sounded drunk each time so I did not return his calls. A few years later I stumbled upon an article in the LA Times. He was found dead from an overdose while in a Chicago hotel room.. It took me awhile to get over feeling guilty for never calling him back.
I was somewhat sad to leave, but overall ready to get back to my life again and jumped into the cab for my ride home. I had my appointment in hand for the outpatient clinic and couldn’t believe what I saw. The closest clinic they were able to secure for me was in the farthest part of the valley. The bus trip was going to take over two hours each way. I was upset but also grateful. It wasn’t ideal, but I had hope for the first time in a very long time and at least I had somewhere to go.
4 comments on Ten Days Lockdown: A New Beginning
in the midst of you problems, i am amazed by your resilience, by your ability to let things play out rather than rail against them. were i in your place when this happened, i would not have been calm about being on the wrong floor, or about being kept extra days because they couldn’t find an outpatient clinic, or if i found out that the bus ride would be so long. i think you must have already been on the way to recovery before you encountered the hospital, to be able to accept what was in your path, and continue to move forward so gracefully.
I was much better then at accepting the things I cannot change than I am today. but I’m working on it. lol
I hope this doesn’t sound bad, but I find this intriguing. It’s very hard to understand what others are going through and your play by play of your life is very enlightening. I’ll be keeping you in my prayers.
Doesn’t sound bad to me at all. I started writing my blog so that other people with mental illness will know they are not alone. What’s kept me writing is the number of people like you who’ve said “now I understand.”