How Years Of Seeking Perfection Got My 14 Year Old Self Sectioned

by Lucy Phil

14 years old and locked in a hospital. I couldn’t cope with the demands of life. I couldn’t cope with the people, the places, the noise, the light – everything! I wanted to vanish and vanish I did, for a whole year.

My mental state deteriorated to the point I was unrecognisable. I gave up on myself and spent most of my time in bed or curled up in a corner crying with a blanket over my head. I didn’t eat, get dressed or shower. I didn’t talk, play or have any interests anymore. My head was consumed with toxic thoughts and memories that I wished I didn’t remember. I became a ghost of the girl I used to be.

Looking back I guess it must have been the effect of spending years trying too hard to be perfect. My mind just stopped, I didn’t have the desire or motivation to do anything so for a while I didn’t. I soon learned that pain was the most effective painkiller and that discovery sent my life in a downwards spiral.

After many overdoses I landed myself in hospital. I spent two years out of education and lost contact with all of my friends. I reached a dangerously low point when at the age of 15 I was sectioned. I spent a month indoors with no outside interaction at all. When my section finished I was still not discharged and ended staying in hospital for longer.

Slowly after months and months of therapy I began adjusting to the outside world and a few months before my 16th birthday I was discharged! I was outside in the world again. I felt the freedom of going to the toilet unsupervised and the weight of metal cutlery. I relaxed in a warm shower and almost cried at the prospect of being able to dry myself with something other than a tiny hospital towel.

After being deprived of reality for so long actually living became a pleasure. Getting used to life outside was hard and cold but like a child learns to ride a bike I wobbled along down the road of recovery treasuring every moment I had on the way. I’m still on antidepressants and will continue to have bad days as everyone does but I have hope for the future and a smile on my face.


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