My time in the Jamie Larcombe Centre
I have never really spoken about my time at the JLC, I have had a fair few followers reach out and ask for advice and what to expect when they admit to the ward themselves. One of the most common responses I get is “I am scared to go in and I don’t know what to expect”
Here is my time.
So I have mentioned it before how when I really broke down I turned up on the door step of the JLC and was just in tears and I couldn’t control them. I was greeted by the team leader on shit who took me into a private room and he was just there for me and was just letting me talk and get the shit of my chest. Once I calmed down he advised me of the process to be admitted and get the help I needed. So for this I was extremely grateful and appreciative of the help given. I was not a patient and for all he knew I was just a stranger in off the street, he helped me anyway.
So the journey from there was to get a referral from my GP to be admitted, I ended up just going to a walk in clinic and speaking with one of the Doctors there about everything. He was really good aswell even though I was in a real shit spot I knew I needed to keep going to get the help I needed otherwise I don’t want to think what might have been.
It took abit to get a bed in at the JLC, simply because there was a high demand for beds and in no way was this the fault of the Hospital it was just what it was.
In the mean time while I was waiting I was dealing with a complex case manager from DVA that was made aware of my situation and she was trying to help me out. I went in for a meeting with her and it was here I was deemed to be at high risk and they ended up having a bed become available in the hospital that next day.
The night before to say I was scared was an understatement. I mean I have been involved in life or death scenarios in the past and those didn’t scare me as much as this did. I honestly think I was scared because of the whole unknown, luckily my partner Jas was there with me and she was able to reassure me that I am taking the step in the right direction and that I will be ok. If it wasn’t for her I probably wouldn’t have gone in and made up so many excuses as to why I had to cancel the admission.
The day of the Admission came and I was not keen on going at all but I pushed through it and went in, upon my arrival the staff were extremely friendly and welcoming and you could tell that they knew what they were doing. Once I was shown to my room I didn’t really come out of it for awhile only to get a feed and go and see the psychiatrist at the daily appointments. Jas left me there and went home and I felt so guilty I was not at home with here and I felt as if I was letting her down but the reality of it was I was doing the best thing for us by admitting to myself that I needed the help and that I was in the right place to receive it.
Over the first week there I was very reluctant to take any sort of medication, not even Panadol simply because I had it in my head the second I started taking any sort of medication I was going to end up being drugged up and this would be my life now. The staff did not push medication at all and were really respectful with my decision.
After a few sessions with the psychiatrist and having some conversations with the nurses I was feeling more relaxed about being there and was beginning to open up about taking some sort of medication to help balance my head out.
I was extremely glad when I made that leap and went out of my room and sat in the common area because I bumped into an old Army mate of mine who was also a patient there. In a way it was a relief to me that I wasn’t the only one going through some shit. I had my good and bad days in the Hospital and on those bad days I would just hide in my room and not talk to anyone. During my time there I met some really good dudes that are now my good mates. One of the funny things about being in there and chatting to the boys was the fact in a way we all had the same mindset where we didn’t want others finding out we were there. I kept it quiet for so long that I was in there that not even my family knew about it.
I wasn’t ever going to tell anyone about my time in hospital because I was ashamed and embarrassed about it until I had some mate reach out to me with their own struggles. It was then that I decided to put my story out there and show everyone that yeah we all go through some shit in the hopes it will encourage others to seek help.
Over time I have had people reach out to me and ask what it was like in the hospital and if I rated it and did it help me.
So to break it down.
My time in the hospital was both positive and negative, I say this because when you are dealing with mental health you will experience both the good and bad shit in life and the hospital is no different. Yes I was in a safe place talking to the right people but I still had my shit days where I was Angry, sad and hating everything about being in there.
Was it worth going into the ward?
Fucken oath. Simple as that, I do not regret it nor the journey it set me on.
Would I recommend it to others?
The staff at the JLC are fantastic and helped me more than they know.
It has been just over a year since I was in there and I have been on my medication since then and it has not turned me into a zombie that is reliant on them as I first thought. I feel like I have a good balance with it all now. I still see my Psychiatrist and she is amazing and has helped me so much the journey so far has been an interesting one and I am doing my best to work on myself. Something I have found with mental health is the fact there is no simple fix, you have to want to change and get better, together you and your treating professionals can work together and get things back on the right track. You also have to remember that everyone’s journey is different aswell so do not compare yours with anyone else’s.