I started to tell her just how complicated my life was and what all going into the hospital would mean. She listened, and then she said she understood that, but that I needed a level of care that only an inpatient stay could give me. I told her I wanted to talk to Bob first to work out what we were going to do. She said that was fine and left us alone to talk.
I started crying. I had no idea what was going to happen. I had hardly ever been treated at a hospital except for having my children. Bob consoled me as best he could, saying that he would get his mom to help with the kids and that everything would be fine. He had me write a list of what I wanted him to pack, and I wrote another list of people he needed to call and let know I was going to be out of pocket for a few days—my editors, my parents, etc. After a while, the counselor came back and brought with her a handout explaining the rules of the ward and releases for me to sign so I could be treated.
After filling out all the paperwork, Bob and I followed the counselor to the door separating the ward from the rest of the hospital. I had my picture taken for identification purposes, and Bob and I were given a minute to say goodbye. He hugged me and told me he loved me. I started crying again. Then he left me to get packed, and I went on the other side of the door to be locked away for protection from myself, still crying.
I cried as I walked down the hall, and I didn’t stop for hours. I was shown to a room and had my blood pressure and vital signs taken. The intake nurse just let me cry through it without comment except she asked me if I had high blood pressure. I told her no. (I found out later that my blood pressure reading was 160/133, largely from the stress of the situation.) I sat in the room and cried alone after she left. I thought to myself that I had gotten into something I can’t easily get out of at this point. I resolved to be the perfect patient so I could get out as soon as possible to get back to my life. I would do everything I was told and let them know I was no longer a danger of any kind.