So the other day at the crazy house ….

Okay so the truth is that I have been at a “mental” or “psych” or “place to get a little rest from real life with a nurse’s emergency button and a rather large assortment of medication” (use the one you feel most comfortable with) clinic for the past two weeks.

The posts you have been seeing are posts I wrote some time ago that I cleverly put on “schedule” so they pop up religiously.

Ah yes, the measures I go to keep up my facade.

Yes, I know, I am a total fraud!!

I have been without internet access (to a large degree by choice), for the better part of two weeks.

I have also been doing something they call occupational therapy but I like to refer to as “lick and stick.”

I will make a confession. I have done decoupage. Mosaics.  I made boxes out of card. I made bath salts.  I made a set of coasters – a mosquito got stuck in the gloss stuff I put on top.  The irony was the coaster said: “It is not where you have been that matters, it is where you are going…”

There is a long and sordid reason why we need to do these things – something about self esteem and concentrating on the here and now, yada, yada.  The bizarre thing is we shuffle in to the room like lambs to the slaughter.  Everyone dons plastic aprons, and then sits down and obediently does the task at hand.

It is wildly bizarre.  But there I was crafting …. I know, the horror!!

<I secretly enjoy it>

That being said it has altered my misconception that the only people who do arts-and-crafts wear hemp, eat organic tomatoes and home school.

I have sat in some awe-inspiring group work sessions, and learnt about myself and a few other people that “might” have changed my perception of the map of my world

The clinic is very nice.

They feed me every two hours.  EVERY TWO HOURS.

They ring a bell when the food is ready.  The result is that the bell rings, you salivate, you walk over to the food area, and start dishing up food whether you are hungry or not. (Can you say Pavlov’s dog…..)

They give us meds and we have to stand in a queue (not dissimilar from One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest)

The lady who sleeps in the bed next to me asked me how the bath works ….. I had to show her how the plug worked and the taps. (I have no idea what that was about either).

On occasion when you are fast asleep, in the middle of the night, a nurse will come and shine a bright torch in your eyes.  When you awaken dazed and confused she will ask you if you are sleeping …..I am too stunned to question this behaviour.

Again I have no idea what that is about.  Personally I think the nurses dare each other in the nurses station to go and f*k with the patients, and who ever loses paper-scissors-rock has to go and do a dare.

That is the only explanation I have for this behaviour.

I met a lovely friend who was convinced that Mr Delivery was smuggling drugs in via sandwiches.  Drugs that only the nurses were taking.  It was difficult to argue that logic there, as I do think there is a fine line between the patients, the staff and the visitors.

I though the one guy was a visitor, until I realised I had seen him for three days, and he was still wearing slippers.  That alone qualified him as a patient.

<I don’t wear slippers. I wear boots, no matter what the occassion>

The over-riding fact was that a Mr Delivery Man had not actually entered the premises in the two weeks I had been there.

So far (one of) my favourite conversations have been:

Patient A: Are you are on Facebook?

Me: Yes, actually.

Patient A: You must hook up with me on Facebook and we can be friends.  My name is ****** you can find me there if you look.

Me: Er okay (knowing full well that I wasn’t going to, as they frown on patients fraternising with each other.)

Patient A:  We can be friends and chat, and then go out for coffee and I will take you to McDonalds.

Me (getting excited that I was being asked out on a date): Cool that will be great.

Patient A: …. little crease on his brow ……..leans over really close ……… Are you married?

Me: Actually, yes.

Patient A: Well in that case, never mind. (and continues to read his book.)

Me….gutted …….

It has been a difficult two weeks, and I have not always had the most lucid of moments, but I have spent a lot of time with a very nice psychiatrist and a divinely lovely psychologist who are helping me work through my stuff.

<Let’s just say it is a lot of stuff>

I have enough meds to make me appear vaguely normal.

I had a hand tremor that was a bit disturbing but has subsided.  Fortunately there are no signs of anal leakage, so that is a definite up!

The laundry charges R1.00 to wash/iron and fold one item.  Best deal in town.  I am starting to send them not dirty stuff just for the joy of the experience.

Today I am doing a desensitising exercise and am sitting in a public place for two hours and trying to stay aware of “the present” rather than panicking that I might panic because I have panicked before, and because I have panicked before, then obviously I must panic now, and then I panic.

I am attempting to drink a pot of tea.  I am attempting to take deep even breaths.  I am attempting not to look like I am having a total nervous breakdown.

I am trying to not have a total freak out because there is noise and people.  I am also abusing their wi-fi connection (as I have been away from web access for two weeks, and well somethings we just crave….).

I am due back in a few minutes, so have crammed a bit into my few hours of “appearing normal.”

I might also risk going to Clicks and buying a 2-for-1 special (something for some reason I have a totally unreasonable aversion/fear/phobia about).

So that is me.

How have the rest of you been in blogland?  What’s new, what’s happening?