Mercy Hospital | Psychiatric Unit Part I

I checked into Mercy Hospital in Miami on a Thursday. I checked out on a Monday. I wish checking in was something like a nice hotel or spa. It was as far from that as it can be. Sadly, this part of the hospital seems to be extremely low funded so cleanliness was pretty bad, the amenities like the room and common room were as bare boned as can be and closer to a jail cell room (although I’ve fortunately never been in one) than a hospital room. The therapy room was the most decent room there. It had a view to the ocean. That’s where I’d go once a day to color in mandalas and I did some artwork for the kids that I never actually took as the room was closed when I checked out. And I wasn’t in the mood to wait around any longer. I was desperate to see the kids. I felt so guilty to be away from them but also I felt like they were better off and safer without me. I felt that I couldn’t take care of them if I couldn’t take care of myself. I could but I needed help. I just didn’t know what I needed and from whom. I was totally at a loss and in a daze. The days in there felt eternal although treatment was so much needed. 

I remember the night from Wednesday to Thursday was one of the hardest in this whole story. From the thoughts I had to the sleep I didn’t have. I may or may not have breastfed Emma. The four of us slept in the same bed; something we hadn’t often done as Mathias was a great sleeper in his own crib and bed (he’s now sleeping on his own single twin bed as I type this June 2021). I was scared to sleep or be alone, a feeling I had often since having Emma. For some reason I felt judged for feeling this. I heard so often how “I did it all alone and far from family living in Belgium (when her family lived in Brazil” or how “I had so much help including night nurses, maids and nannies” “I had my mom visit for 3 months and she helped with everything” Lucky you I thought to myself. Or good for you my therapist would remind me. 

So Thursday morning we woke up. Or the kids woke Richard up and we all slowly started moving around. Richard and I prepared the snack pouch and walked Mathias to his playgroup. I remember my husband doing what he often does walking between me and the avenue. He was scared I’d throw myself at the cars and so was I. I felt so desperate. I was sure the police were going to come get me. That was just one of my crazy thoughts I was having during my racing thoughts episodes at night. I thought that they would uncover something I did in the past that I didn’t remember that would somehow come to light and they would come after me for it. So in my head I kept thinking what else I could do instead of having that future for me and the family. Should I jump off the Key Biscayne bridge or jump off our 5th floor apartment? As a kid I had nightmares of drowning in a tub or jacuzzi. Was that my future? I know 3 close friends who committed suicide and when I had reached out to my therapist early on in treatment I asked her if I somehow had some connection to these people and would also seek the same future. This was one of my fears that I shared with her and Richard.

Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko on


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