Today the highlight of my work day was doing a 1:1 with a client and had to watch him take a dump. For those of you who don’t know, a 1:1 basically means one person has to perform suicide watch on another person who is at risk to themselves or others. This particular individual had severed his hand with a machete causing severe nerve and artery damage to his hand and arm. He posed as immediate suicide risk once he entered my facility. So I got to watch him one on one and he was a cool dude and all and he says I gotta use the bathroom so I follow him. He’s like nah I gotta take a shit and I am like, “well policy says I gotta have a foot in the door while you do your thing.” So he shrugs and does his thing.
That was the HIGHLIGHT of my day.
I get clients who are assigned to me as a peer counselor and a couple of them who weren’t assigned to me kept asking me specifically to do tasks for them. I don’t mind helping but when I have eight clients asking me for a different task all at the same time, it’s kind of stressful. We had one acute client who nearly became violent on the shift, but it ended well after some deescalation.
I don’t think today was terrible, I just think my bipolar has been slowly turning into the manic phase so every stimuli that my clients I feel is then intensified with how I feel inside and having to kind of hide my bipolar-ness from others makes my own feelings and emotions that more acute.
I have been taking my prescribed medication exactly how I should. But now that I am used to taking less Lithium and having less of it in my system makes me more susceptible to really feeling every single emotion I got. So today, a lot of the emotions I felt were rage and the urge to suddenly bawl my eyes out, both not appropriate in this unit sort of setting. I got off to each of my breaks and lunches late which pissed me off. If it weren’t for me being a smoker I wouldn’t care, but since I vape, vape breaks are very pivotal in my day to day routine. I get fed 3 times a day during work which is nice because it’s a) free, b) pretty decent food, and c) I AM GETTING PAID TO EAT BREAKFAST, LUNCH, AND DINNER WHICH ARE ALL FREEEEEEEEE.
Bipolar days are bound to happen even to the best of us and I recognize that I handled myself pretty well. After my last break, I got my shit together and started a line dance party and we were doing poetry slam so it was a lot of fun. Most of us were doing this outside in the court yard and it was my time to shine. My clients kept asking for me and all my favorites (I know it’s bad to have favorites, but I do, my bad) were there. Had to say goodbye to some good people today as they pursue their own mental health journey in the outpatient world.
That’s the sad thing about my job; you see the beginning, and the middle of a transformation, but then the story is left unwritten as I am picking up the pieces as to why they left. Well, I understand they got clinically better and by that I mean that acute mental health symptoms are reduced or eliminated and that their medication is adjusted. But nevertheless, it is still sad to see the little birdies fly away from the nest and onto their next journey.
It’s crazy to me the impact we have on their lives. I mean, I cannot keep in contact with clients after they are gone but if they ever come back inpatient, they remember your name and remember the good times (and the bad) that they experienced here, with you. I am happy to say I make a difference and to me, that’s all I ever wanted.