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The Mental Asylum: My Green, String Less Celtics' Hoody

The Mental Asylum: My Green, String Less Celtics' Hoody

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Published by Seif-Eldeine O
I share a story about my first committal to mental hospitals. "My Celtics' Hoody" has received drastic edits, which give the story a clearer narrative. I believe you will enjoy this draft much better than the last.

Share on facebook so I can focus more on my writing and get that bestseller one day!
I share a story about my first committal to mental hospitals. "My Celtics' Hoody" has received drastic edits, which give the story a clearer narrative. I believe you will enjoy this draft much better than the last.

Share on facebook so I can focus more on my writing and get that bestseller one day!

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Published by: Seif-Eldeine O on Mar 29, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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03/29/2012

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The Mental Asylum: My Green, Stringless Celtics'Hoody
“This monument is going to be built as a symbol.”-Bill RussellMy brother leaned in toward me, cracking his knuckles as he often does. My paranoia hadreached its height. I convinced myself:1. that my brother laundered money for my dad2. that my grandmother’s maid, who my dad paid, was a slave3. that my grandfather, the chief magistrate inWorcester County, used illegal strategies tofurther his own cause.Years of drug abuse led to my paranoia and a suicide attempt that occurred on my 23rd birthday. For two months after my suicide attempt, I continued to struggle through day andnight with my committal to 3 different mental asylums, each with its own uniquechallenges.I searched outside myself for answers that could only come within. While I had to have proper steadfastness to medications and the advice of my psychiatrist, the hardwood courtwas where I found my freedom.The first two hospitals did not have a basketball court nor an exercise room. When I madeit to McLean Hospital, I finally found my groove.My journey started with the hospital located at the American University of Beirut, in the world's most beautiful city,a city in which I studied Arabic and had lived for 4 months.I believed myself to beJesus Christ,or Isain Arabic, and ate only bread and water (and a few sweets my friends brought, which probably kept me alive.)From Beirut, I traveled back to my home state of Massachusetts, in the town of  Westwood. My room in the mental asylum,Westwood Lodge, was small and bare, and contained onlytwo beds and two dressers, one each for me and my roommate.When my brother made his first visit to Westwood Lodge, his bright green eyes burned intomy soul. I accused him both of laundering money and embezzlement.Despite my accusations, he wore the same defiant look on his face he wears after winning agame of FIFA or winning an argument with flawless logic.After I finished my rant, my brother said simply “I got something for you,” and threw me agreen Celtics’ hoody, the strings around the hood cut out by the hospital staff. Floss,strings, rope and anything else one could hang themselves with was banned from the
 
hospital.After throwing me my hoody, my brother walked down the narrow halls of the mentalasylum.Every asylum contains narrow halls because they serve as a protection against rioting. Thewalls at Westwood Lodge contained holes; patients sometimes had anger issues and would punch through them.A strict “no touch” policy existed between patients and employees, as well as within patientrelationships themselves. The policy increased isolation; patients spent days counting theminutes until visitors would come and provide warm relief in a momentary hug or kiss.Sometimes that momentary relief did not come soon enough (or at all), and an orderlywould place his or her desk outside the door of a patient’s room, while the patient sobbedthrough the night, as I did often.The medications helped in a variety of ways, though the side effects were near unbearable.Side effects I endured included a heart that felt like it was escaping from my chest and acrawling feeling that permeated through my whole body. I constantly paced the narrowhalls to relieve myself.Some drugs, like Haldol, were available on request. Haldol is an old school anti-psychotic. One time, I worried about the delusional thoughts I was having, and decided to take Haldol.The effects were immediate, my  psychosis left and the chilling of my blood gave me the sudden urge to kill myself.Mental asylums limit the possibilities to commit suicide. My only option was to repeatedly bang my head against the wall until I died. I had to remind myself each second that thedrug was doing my thinking, and that I would not kill myself of my own accord.The seconds felt like hours, and an orderly stood by my side in order to ensure my safety.Once I was transferred toMcLean Hospital, watchingthe Celticsplay basketball and shooting hoops at the gym prevented me from giving up.As did the kind and loving support of family members and friends who came to visit me ateach hospital in which I was committed. "My Green Celtics' Hoody" is an attempt toexpress my gratitude in words, with the use of Basketball as a symbol, for all that you havedone for me. No words can express this gratitude fully and no action can repay you for allthe kind deeds you have done. My life would not be the same without you.The gym was a special privilege, one that had to be earned by taking your medications,adhering to hospital rules, attending group sessions and generally treating everyone with
 
respect.For the better in faculties among us, it was an easy privilege to earn. For the worse infaculties among us, whom included me, obtaining privileges was a difficult proposition.I once fled Westwood Lodge during our daily walk, and had a woman living nearby call thecops. I pleaded with them to take me to jail instead of back to the hospital. I was convincedmy family had interred me there in order to kill me, mainly because of the issues with myheart I had when I took  Risperdal. The police returned me to the hospital in handcuffs, and put a hamper on any privileges Icould earn at Westwood.I regained outside and facilities' privileges when I reached McLean.Once I could visit the gym, the simple act of bouncing a ball on the hardwood and shootingit through the hoop, or clanking it off the rim, or the backboard, or missing the shot so badly it hit neither rim nor backboard, cleared my mind of all the troubles I had endured,was enduring and undoubtedly would continue to endure.Many times, I had given up on the advice of my doctors and attempted to take myself off medication, only to find medication improves my life immensely.The basketball court gave me an act of expression I did not find within medications or theconfines of my hospital floor, an expression in a place that felt like prison.And in the comfort of my green, stringless Celtics’ hoody, I curled into the fetal position asI watched my Celtics get off to the greatest start in NBA history.Their games reminded me of a world beyond the hospital, that someday I would return tothe Gardenand shout with the Boston faithful “D FENCE!” as my team forced a shot clock violation or turnover and that somewhere, somehow, something greater would compel meto levels of passion that would create beyond my own abilities.Those passions are basketball and writing, and that creation is this blog.Thank you for allowing me to share my passions with you, and may you find in your lifethe passions that define you and transform you in ways you never thought possible.-Seif-EldeineHave you been through struggles in your life? Lossed a love one, had depression or anything else? Drop a line in the comments' section or e-mail at seifeldeine@gmail.comand we will talk about it.
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