You take the blue pill—the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill—you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.
Soon I embark to a long-term residential hospital to stabilize my mind, develop new skills, and sharpen my existing ones. This gives me cause to reference the “red pill/blue pill scene” from The Matrix (1999), a staple of every blogger when tiptoeing along the precipice of a new way of looking at the world. In the movie the protagonist, Neo, is offered a choice to continue living his life the way he understands it to be, or to get a glimpse of what life really is beneath the surface.
To embark may sound like I am prepared for a journey as strenuous and perilous the characters in Jules Verne’s: “A Journey to the Center of the Earth”. In a way, I am not. Merely venturing ten or so miles from home via an Uber tomorrow morning, as a good millennial my mental health should begin with a bleep from a ride-share notification service. In another way, I am. The mental wilderness is calling, and in the wilderness there are lions, and tigers, and bears.
I will learn a new therapy: Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. A type with which I have no experience. From a purely nerd point-of-view, I am excited to place my thinking patterns under this new lens and see what becomes visible. From the perspective of someone about to go into a residential program for forty or more days, I am decidedly less than thrilled. Worried about money, freaked out about work, stumbling around with insurance, and trying to keep a level head about this latest curveball the fates have served up to me.
The red pill has some wild side-effects. Doses of reality tend to do that, which is why most of us avoid it. As a depressive, I do not have the luxury of seeing anything with rose-colored glasses, but sometimes my view of reality is muddled by my illness. Over the next several weeks, I aim to learn some more about myself and trust that I’ll still be capable of juggling my life when I release.
I originally titled this post: “ New Journey - Hospital Life”, but decided to change it to Treatment Life. It’s closer to the truth; I won’t be in a hospital. Plus, it offers me a new category for posts while undergoing treatment. Unlike being locked in a psychiatric hospital, where I go I’ll have access to my laptop and phone after a few days. I’ll get my bearings and can report from the front lines.
It should make for a compelling account of life in residential treatment, and, hopefully, ease the worries of my family and friends.