This is a blog by a member of Gateway in Rathmines about a time this writer was treated with #dignity.
I was in the psych ward Tallaght Hospital. I was swinging from depression to Psychosis. It was a balmy summer night. The little garden was perfumed. I finished my cigarette and collected my night meds. I shuffled to bed, finding no comfort there. I lay racked with black thoughts. By nature I am soft, and to dwell on violent death is foreign to me. I was suicidal. The darkness frightened me.
After a long hour I shuffled off to the nurse’s station. Usually the nurses herd you back to your bed. They don’t need the hassle or for other patients to be disturbed. I was going to ask for a sleeper, I thought the doctor had written me up for one, as needed.
To my surprise Michael the tall nurse invited me in. I took a seat. There were two other nurses. Paul was on the computer. Kevin was doing paperwork. Michael asked me “Did I want a cup of tea?” There was a kettle in the station. Again I was surprised. As I talked I was given a warm cup of tea. Michael listened, while Paul and Kevin slowed at their work and half listened.
I am not sure what and how this happened but in a few minutes we were all talking. What about, I am not sure either. Maybe it was a film we had all seen? I can’t recall. We could have been shooting the breeze in the bar. In a few minutes I smiled weakly. In a few minutes more I laughed a little. In twenty minutes I myself suggested that I would return to bed. I thanked them for the tea and the chat.
Getting in to bed I was still a nervous wreck, but I was not in a black hole. I remembered I forgot to ask about the sleeping tablet. I did not mind, the kindness shown was calming enough. I got into bed and quickly feel asleep.