The Hospital Bed
Updated: Jan 14, 2022
By Alyssa Becker
How is it possible that the one who has hurt me the most is myself?
You. You invaded my life at the ripe age of eleven years old. The age in which I was supposed to be carefree and irresponsibly blissful was torn from my timid hands. Too young to even understand the concept and meaning of mental illness, the suffocating and inescapable agony overcame me.
I was in the seventh grade. I anxiously ripped apart the contents of my pencil sharpener that was sitting comfortably in my pencil pouch. The small, silver razor clutched into my fist as I silently made my way to the bathroom. The shower started running, steam filling the air of my shared bathroom with my sister. With tears streaming down my cheeks and a shaky hand, I began tearing into the skin of my perfectly fine thighs and stomach. I couldn’t stop. You made me keep going.
I kept the swelling cuts a secret. I wore pants everywhere I went, in hopes that nobody would ever have to discover the deeper truth I bottled up.
Seven months passed. I sat on my bus as I silently sobbed. I began to text my mother. I confessed my secret, as it was taking over me completely. The confession was seemingly shocking to my family, as I have always been able to put up a front. I just wanted to make them happy, I didn’t want them to worry. I have always tried to lift the spirits of others, in hopes that they wouldn’t ever have to feel the way I have for so long.
I began therapy, unwillingly of course. I opened up to my therapist in hopes of making the constant feeling of drowning disappear. News flash: it didn’t.
Flash forward, I was two years clean. Key word: was. The constant agony and the growing pain inside felt never ending. Why me? I plead. You took over my lighthearted and carefree spirit. I was just a child. Why did you have to do this to me?
I began taking antidepressants. The pills lifted the weight of my anxiety but made the depression even stronger than it ever was. I kept it a secret. I cried every single day; the suffering was unbearable. I eventually made an impulsive and life altering decision. You told me to do this, you told me to do it. So, I did.
I quickly scribbled out a note explaining the pain I had been dealing with, and how every day felt as though I was drowning; pleading and trying to come up for just one breath of air. I dumped the full bottle of pills into my hands and began pouring them down my throat. I was shaking. Sobbing.
You ruined my life.
This night will forever haunt my mind. The screams and cries from my family. My mother made me throw up the pills I had swallowed, before rushing me to the hospital. I sat in a room, shaking as I was asked questions. The man asked me what happened. I told him that I took all of my pills. He then proceeded to ask me why I took all of them. I looked over to my mom with tears in my eyes. The answer was quite obvious, and I wasn’t in the state of mind to explain to this man why I impulsively overdosed on my antidepressants.
They poked a needle into my veins and hooked up an endless amount of tubes to my chest. I laid in that hospital bed for what felt like years. I had visitors. I didn’t want to see anyone. The shame and guilt of my decision took over me, and I was beyond ashamed to look anyone in the eye.
A woman came into my hospital room, as I laid limp and pathetically in my bed. She began asking endless questions and proceeded to tell me that I would be sent to a mental hospital. I grew pale, a wave of anxiety and fear overcame my whole being. She left the room to speak to my mother. I called out to her. I cried for my mom. I needed her right then and there. I crept out of my hospital bed, holding onto the machine attached to the tubes on my chest. I walked to the doorway and called out for my mom. Who did this lady think she was? I was furious.
The man standing at the doorway on watch told me I had to wait to speak to her. I cried and said I needed to talk to her now. Regardless of my pleas to just go home, the woman gave me little to no choice. I slept in that dinky hospital bed, well, barely slept. How could I sleep knowing that the next day I would be sent away?
The vivid image of my mom curled up next to me stays in my mind to this very day. I knew that I had let her and my family down. I had hurt them deeply. She was filled with hurt, worry for her baby. My dad sat in a chair next to my hospital bed and told me stories as I drifted in and out of sleep. I believe that this was his way of comforting me. Later on, my sister tried her best to make me laugh as she laid next to me in the bed. I needed her more than ever.
That night, after a full twenty-four hours in the depressing hospital room, I was strapped into a gurney. I know, it was quite unnecessary. They wheeled me into an ambulance, and I cried as my mother sat next to the gurney. I was taken into the mental hospital. I sat at a lunch table with my parents and a nurse. She droned on and on, I couldn’t pay attention to her.
I was then shown to my room. The room was dim. Depressing. I had to stay in here? My parents eventually had to leave that night, and I was left all alone in a strange place. I needed my family, not this fucking place. I curled up into a ball and sobbed myself to sleep.
My dad and sister visited as much as they could that week, and my mom came to every single visiting time. Twice a day. It was all I could look forward to. I missed my family and needed them so deeply, but I was stuck there.
When I was released, the feeling of being outside for the first time in several days was surreal. Oh, how I missed my freedom. My home. My family. I walked into my house to be greeted by our dog Sindi. She was so overwhelmed with joy, as she let out shrieks of utter happiness and she laid in between my legs. I cried.
It has been a little over two years since I laid helpless in that hospital bed, and I am still fighting you. Mental illness.
Alyssa Becker is a CVCC student working towards her associates degree. She then plans to receive her bachelor’s degree to take on to veterinarian school. "The Hospital Bed" is written from her point of view growing up with mental illness. This heart wrenching story brings to light the dark truth that many teenagers face.