That Time I Got Pulled Over and Ended Up in the Psych Ward

I can’t say for certain when the events discussed in this piece occurred.  What I do know is that it happened sometime between July (my first stint in rehab) and December (my final overdose).  I was still living in Madison Heights at the time, so my best guess is sometime in the fall of 2014. While cruising down Interstate 96 with a head full of pharmaceuticals, I don’t remember the flashing lights pulling me over. Thank God they did, someone could have got seriously hurt, as I was in no position to be driving.  Despite the inebriation, largely due to being terrified, I vividly remember my conversation with the officers. Assuming jail was inevitable I decided to swing for the fences. I told the officer I was losing my mind, my doctor had just started me on some new medications and this must be a negative side effect. Technically, this was true as I’d just been put on a new cocktail of antidepressants.  I remember telling him I was scared, also technically true and told him I was desperate for help.

This officer was incredible, I could tell he felt sympathetic towards my story and was genuinely concerned.  On the other hand, I was a manipulative scumbag using his good nature to my advantage. I proposed a solution, rather than arrest me what if my wife came to pick me up?  Still expecting handcuffs, I nearly defecated when he signed off on my suggestion. With the cop at my window, I called wifey explaining the situation I was in. The cop didn’t know me and bought the story. On the other hand, my ex-wife knew me well and recognized right off the rip what was going on.  Upon arrival, she was in a state of shock. Not because she knew I was high, but rather because she couldn’t believe they weren’t taking me to jail. “You’re seriously not going to arrest him,” she asked. While the look on her face said you have got to be shitting me.

It may have been a stipulation by the officer, or simply my ex-wife not wanting to deal with me.  The next thing I remember was being admitted to some hospital that had a psychiatric floor.  My first intake nurse was a very nice heavy set African American woman responsible for taking my vitals.  The one thing I remember about my interaction with her was when she asked for my height and I responded six foot.  “You ain’t six foot,” she said. To which I responded, “I’m that tall, I’m just usually not this fat.” After general intake, a second nurse took me through a more thorough psychiatric evaluation.  This nurse was a very pretty girl and I relentlessly hit on her for the duration of the evaluation, although I don’t remember anything that I actually said. I’ll say this about my ex she was unwaveringly supportive for a very long time.  After picking me up, she stayed with me through my intake with nurse one and my shameless flirting with nurse two.

Reality set in the next morning.  Stupefied, I made my best efforts to piece together the sequence of events over the previous 24 hours.  My stay lasted a week and was the worst experience of my life. In rehab, there’s peace of mind in knowing you can leave under your own free will at any time should you choose, you’re free.  In a psychiatric hospital, you can’t leave. There are two doors spaced 15 feet apart that lock at all times, you are a prisoner. Everyone is kept heavily sedated. The residence would have full conversations with themselves, and one elderly man was convinced he was the Messiah.  One day a patient smeared feces all over their room. With all the madness around you, you begin to question your own sanity. I’m not saying it would have been better to get the DUI, but that’s because of the legal ramifications and cost that would have come with it. While the psych ward was a living nightmare, it wasn’t enough to get me to change my ways.  Shortly after the experience wifey kicked me out. I went along my miserable way pushing the boundaries of my sanity with copious amounts of drugs for two more months till December 2014.  If you’re wondering what happened next check out My Overdose and a PSA

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