New Journey - Treatment Life


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.
- Morpheus

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.