Friday 13th.

Friday the 13th had always been quite a special day for me. Not particularly bad (or good, for that matter), just special somehow.

I’m not superstitious, and my family isn’t particularly superstitious either, but there’s definitely this mood of “oh, gotta be careful, it’s Friday the 13th” all around. And I always felt like…well, if you’re not going to take this day and make it awesome, I will.

Maybe that’s odd, but that’s always how I felt. Because I don’t really believe in luck. At least not in a way that it just kinda falls into your hands. I always feel that you have to work towards your own personal luck, if that makes any kind of sense.

But yeah. I was always fond of the date. Probably also because I am really into reading about rituals and the supernatural and historical events and all that comes with it, so of course I was also very intrigued by it.

Then, however, Friday 13th 2009 came along and I stepped into the closed ward of a mental institution. And I somehow felt unlucky all of a sudden.

The days I spent there (from Friday morning until Wednesday evening) were probably some of the worst days I had ever had up until that point. And in general, as well. I had never felt so alone in a group of people before and so uncared for.

Now, don’t get me wrong here. I have quite a few friends who have stayed on a closed ward or in an asylum/mental hospital of some sort, some even more than once and they’ve all had a somewhat good experience. It’s obviously never an easy thing to accomplish and even though they’ve told me it was hard, they’ve also said that they came out feeling better than before.

Unfortunately, that was not the case for me. The stay (“emergency admission”) was supposed to be for two weeks, but by Wednesday evening I was actually crying and begging to be ‘let out’. And isn’t that just lovely? I didn’t eat, didn’t really talk, couldn’t sleep, wasn’t able to take care of myself. The “vacation effect” that my doctor had talked about before my stay never came. He’d said that I would feel relief to be away from it all. That I would be able to regenerate and relax because of the schedule in the clinic and the fact that I was going to be “away” from all that was stressing me out. Didn’t work. At all. I was miserable. I felt caged and anxious and worse than ever before. And I was about 1 1/2 hours away from home. I felt watched, but in a clinical and not a caring way. I won’t go into too much detail because I feel it’s not the right time and I’m also already on the brink of tears. Let’s just say this; a lot got worse and next to nothing got better. I actually lost about 5,5 kilograms (about 12 pounds) in 6 days.

I was put on the right track with my medications, so I’m thankful for that, but not much else. When the first wave of shock and depression and being disturbed was over, I did indeed complain to my doctor about some of the caretakers and nurses. And I’m not really one to complain, especially not doctors or whatever. But my mental health was screwed up even more there and I don’t take that lightly at all.

Now…you might be wondering: “what is she even blabbering about? She’s kinda talking about it, but not really…what is going on?”

This: a lot of people think what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. I don’t. I used to, but then I realized that that wasn’t true for me. So now I always go with what the Joker says. What doesn’t kill you makes you stranger. Because nothing, NOTHING, that came to kill me, ever lost that fight. So why am I still sitting here? Because I died a little inside. I shed that skin. I came back. Stranger and more vicious and colder and weirder. Anxious about anything that has to do with hospitals and lino floors and locked windows.

Then why is Friday the 13th still special to me? Why is it still my ‘lucky’ day?

Because it’s a reminder. Of the pain. The hard work I’ve put into myself. To come out better and tougher on the other side. You might say ‘strong’, I’d prefer ‘with self-healing/self-repairing abilities’. Because strong means hard to break or damage and that is not true. I can be broken and I can be damaged. Chuck knows, I am already. But he also knows I’ll come back. Until the very day death grips my heart tightly and tears it from my chest.

Was that day, Friday 13th 2009, my lucky day after all?

Maybe.

It sure reminded me that yes, I was indeed still alive. And isn’t that a really good thing?

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