Confession from a Psych Ward

Is it bad that I’m more anxious about there being an extra hour in this place today as the clocks go back, than I am happy that it’s Halloween?

I call it ‘this place’ but I know it’s also a good place, for healing when people need it. But I’m past that point now and ready for home. And just awaiting a bed back in Grimsby. I first enjoyed the novelty of not being trapped in one room and everything restricted (when isolating for COVID at the beginning) and then moving to the proper ward, but now that novelty is wearing down and proving to be non-existent. It’s because I’ve opened my eyes to what else is out there now, realising that this way of living is so small, and wanting to pursue my life outside of any hospital. Even though I’m moaning – to me that is a positive mindset, because it means I’ve not wrapped myself into an institutionalised way of being. An easy slip in hospital. Fingers crossed I can keep this up back at the acute ward.

We have been Halloween-y though. We decorated pumpkins on Friday – as in the outside, not using knives to carve, obvs. I have to admit, I was a bit uninspired so just covered mine in pink paint and pink glitter, added on some cotton wool ball eyes, and a pathetic try at a black smile. One girl did a picture of the Simba icon from Disney which looked really cool.

So… the confession. Let’s not sugarcoat this here. I started smoking. It was during the isolation period which was torture, that staff kept asking if I smoked. I said no; little did I know then that you were allowed to go down for smoke breaks every now and then. (you’re not allowed to smoke on my acute ward) I suppose I could have used it for fresh air. But the frustration that built up, especially if I didn’t want to keep hurting myself lead me to become curious about smoking. Just as a short-term release. I ordered a pack.

On the ward I’ve been going for the odd smoke break and it has helped a little. Just takes the edge off. It also becomes a bit of a routine and keeps you going. I don’t intend to carry on back in Grimsby, but I may have to ween myself off them gradually. This may seem a bad thing to bring into my life – but the way I see it is, it’s better than physically self-harming or giving into suicide urges if I was in the community, and if it works in the short-term it’s not so bad. I’m 30 and have not smoked the rest of my life, so hopefully a short period of time is not going to kill me.

I’ve been worried about admitting this. But this blog is about being raw and honest. And that’s just it.

On another subject, as patients we’re often told we think black-and-white, so we see or feel one option or another and no in-between, and that this is unhealthy. I’m a lot better at this now. But lately I’ve been picking up on staffs’ black-and-white thinking. “Do you prefer Summer or Winter?” has been a common question. It’s as if the other 2 seasons don’t exist. Classic example. When in fact my favourite is Autumn… the warm colours, the chance to snuggle up in comfy clothing, crunchy leaves, festive coffees…

So you could say this post relates to Halloween with the mention of ‘black-and-white’ thinking. The pathetic excuse for a pumpkin. The smoking – fire themes. But before I babble on further I’ll round it off there.

Take care,


Yesterday’s Tesco/Costa trip

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