Monday, May 29, 2006

South Two, Locked Unit

We did a project on II South, locked unit. We asked patients if they wanted to write or draw or paint something portraying the way mental illness has affected their lives.

We then did a huge billboard featuring the art and writings. We did this by the hospital cafeteria so a lot of people would see it. Our unit is misunderstood by many people. This was to help “normal” ( I believe no one is normal) people have a better understanding of what it is like to have mental illness.

This is a poem someone wrote and was on the board…

I’m going to paint a picture,
I’ll pant it with a twist,
I’ll paint it with a razor,
I’ll paint it on my wrist,
In that pretty picture,
a fountain will appear,
and in that magical fountain,
I will disappear.

This poem spoke volumes of the pain this person was in. Some poetry spoke about do you rally think I want to live like this, that I can control it? The board was a huge success as we got a lot of positive feed back.

Ya’ll know that I suffer from deep depressions since my daughters death. And if you’ve been reading me for a time you also know she suffered from dual mental illness of Bi Polar and paranoid Schizophrenia which was later changed to Schizoid Personality Disorder. I’ve been dealing with mental illness in my life for 31 years. Ricki was in and out of mental hospitals all over the state of Minnesota for most of her life. She was violent when her voices won, but the violence was always directed at herself. Her voice was a males voice and he tortured her, telling her to hurt herself or he would kill her family. That was the main message of her voices.

Ricki had a beautiful soul. The illness was ugly but it never reached her soul. This showed in her art and poetry. It’s all locked away in her trunk in the closet here at my house. I haven’t the courage to open it. Maybe on the third anniversary of her death I will open it and look inside, maybe I won’t I just don’t know.

My schooling is in TBI. Traumantic Brain Injury. After Ricki’s death I moved here and started working with the mentally ill. It’s ironic to me.

When I see a Mom or Dad or both come in to visit her or his daughter or son I know I can help because I’ve been where that mom or dad is. I’ve been there and I’ve paid my dues.

I just want to help “normal” people understand better about mental illness, you can’t catch it from anyone it’s not contagious. A little understanding goes a very long way.

I didn’t write this to get any pats on the back so save it for someone who may need it. I just want people to understand, knowledge of mental illness is a good thing.