I can sleep without a pillow

4 min readSep 23, 2019

And other things I learned from a 72-hour stay in a psychiatric hospital.

Almost a month ago, I was on the verge of taking my own life. I want to go in depth on what it feels like to be suicidal, because unfortunately, not enough of us come back from the brink to tell our stories. But first, I want to share the life lessons I’ve learned and begun to put into practice since my stay at the behavioral health facility.

  1. We are freer than we think. Some of us live in cages of our own construction, decorated with what we think we’re supposed to be. But really, the door is open, and our wings haven’t been clipped. We can quit the job we go to or the relationship we’re in; we can create entirely new lifestyles anytime we want to. Our decisions will not be without consequences, but the decisions to start something new or give up on something are ours to make.
  2. Now is all you really have. We only have the moment in front of us. The past is gone, the future has not yet arrived. All you really have is right now. How much time do we waste thinking about things that either haven’t or already happened when we could be focusing on what is right here, right now? I am working harder to live in the moment, being fully present with whoever or whatever is in front of me.
  3. Life is meant to be lived. Don’t sit back and watch your life pass you by. Join the team. Learn the instrument. Take the risk. Fall in love. Start the business. Plan the trip. Get the piercing. Have the baby (or the abortion, your choice). Live your life. Own your decisions. Forgive yourself.
  4. Decision fatigue is real. And parents suffer from it big time. When I was at the Behavioral Health Facility, I didn’t have to decide what to wear, what to eat, when to sleep, and my decisions on what to do were as simple as read, write or do word searches. Seventy-two full hours of making little to no decisions for myself (and none for anyone else) did wonders for my mental health and overall well being. Not having to make thousands of decisions every day was like spa-day for my brain.
  5. Opinions are nothing to fear. I spent so much of my life fearing what people would think of me that I all but stopped living, and now I’m sharing one of my deepest and most personal struggles. I want people to know there is hope, and…

“People like to laugh at you cause they are all the same; I would rather we just go our different way than play the game.” -Pink