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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

A Message Brought to You By Unit Z

Abandonment. It has a salty taste to it because, at the time of writing this, my tears are running down the side of my face. I write this article in my Timeless Tree journal I got from Barnes and Noble, as I am eating a small chocolate ice cream and the classic Lorna Doones of Unit Z.           
I’ve been here for what is just becoming my fourth week. It has been four weeks of B.S.
My social worker, who I named DC for reasons I cannot go into here, has been working my case. Unfortunately for me, DC and the psychiatrist want to take me to court to get me court ordered to go to a state hospital.
Luck is on my side, however, because it is a long process to get into a state hospital. Also, when people go to state hospitals, they go for months or years at a time.
I do not have time for that. I have a puppy at home that needs me. I have a family to go back to. I have friends to see and hang out with. I have articles to write, a blog to keep up with, and a Twitter page to tweet on. I also have a YouTube channel to create videos and content for.
I have not stepped outside in a month. I have been stuck inside these four walls and a length of two hallways for a month, eating crappy hospital food and taking clock-run medications.
I have made new friends, people I hope to stay in contact with when I do walk out of here.
And I do believe I will walk out of this hospital.
I have to believe in that.
Otherwise, there is no point in doing anything. There would be no point in living at all.
I have to believe there is more to life than ongoing hospitalizations. I have to believe that I am stronger than this situation. I have to believe that I am brave and that I am a survivor. I have to believe that this situation will only make me stronger.
I have to pull out of the Fall 2017 semester. Which sucks, plainly put.
But, school will always be there.
Our trials and tribulations are time sensitive and temporary.
This moment of B.S. will not always exist. I have a choice in how I handle my downfalls. And I am choosing to be strong. I am choosing to have faith. I am choosing to be better than I have been.
It will get better—gradually and one step at a time.
DC likes to tell me the cognitive distortion that I have gives me no choices in my treatment and in my recovery. I continue to reframe their distortions by affirming to them that I always have a choice.
I regret to report that I have not been the safest during this hospital stay. I spent a couple of nights alone in the Quiet Room. I’ve self-harmed in new, rather ingenious, ways. I have the scars to prove it and I’ve attempted to kill myself on more than one occasion. To cope with this, they’ve changed my medications while I’ve been here and I’ve received six rounds of electroconvulsive therapy, or ECT.
I carry around my stuffed animal dog, who has been renamed Ruby, like a child lost in the mall. I am a child lost in this psychiatric unit. My security blanket has been snatched away, and I’m left wondering how much of that is my fault.
My brain reminds me that I am a burden to those around me. It reminds me that I am a waste of space and that I can’t even kill myself properly.
I fear that I’ll die in here. I fear that I may not be strong enough. But I have to put on a brave face. I can’t let them see how weak I feel. Because I am strong. And I am brave. And this situation is merely temporary. I will survive this. I will get better. Sometimes it has to get worse before it gets better. This is just a roadblock in my recovery journey. The real work begins outside of here.
I may not always want to live but I can still choose to take a deep breath, pause in my journey, and begin again.
I don’t always wish to be here—both on the unit and in the world at all—but I’ve got to be strong. I’ve got to be strong for you, for me, for all of us. 
This is my confession: I still struggle, too. And, I know I’m going to get through this. I have to because my story isn’t over yet. And my legacy is just beginning.
“Be the change you want to see in the world.”
And recognize that you could be the shining beacon in someone else’s life. Don’t deprive the world of your sparkle. If no one has told you today: You matter. You are important. Without you, I’d be more lost than I would be found.
Shine brightly, and thank you for existing.