Great Escape: my performance

Great Escape: my performance

Nov 24, 2022

Early in the diagnosis of my disorder, I was put under a Form-1 a few times.

To be under a Form-1 means that your freedom and rights are revoked for 72 hours while you remain under observation by a team or staff in a mental health section of a hospital or a similar facility.

The only reason a person is put on a Form-1 is if their symptoms lead the assessors to believe harm could come to the individual or others.

This story is about one of my stays under a Form-1.

I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in the year 2000; however, looking back now - my erratic behavior had been present way before that.

Bipolar Disorder was known as manic-depression before it was re-labeled.

I remember having a lot of energy and often felt something like a surge of electricity surging through my body.

At that time, I recall deeply believing that sleeping was a waste of time and I instead loved being awake and aware.

I recall pushing myself once and staying awake for nearly 4 days straight.

Often, I totally forgot about eating altogether which is not healthy as the body needs fuel to operate.

All of these factors and not to mention my newfound obsession with the spiritual coupled with my personal mission to restore my soul sounds more than enough to warrant a Form-1. Don’t you think?

Mary, my wife at the time was very supportive, but I could sense her pain and stress.

I did feel upset with her briefly as I felt I was fighting the world and she too sided with it. The thought of Jesse and Nicole, my children would always help to ground me.

I would offer no resistance to her pleas and would submit myself under a Form-1 at the Hospital's emergency when I was acting up.

In one of my stays under a Form-1, I was taken to a facility called Ronson Hospital located a Leslie St. and Sheppard Ave.

This place had a big square patio at the center of the facility. There were ashtrays and plastic lawn chairs all about.

The patio was used by the patients to get fresh air, smoke cigarettes, or just sit and catch some sunshine.

The patio was viewable from all directions through thick glass windows on all four sides except for one door.

The door opened into the patio and was its only way in and out.

The glass windows helped the staff keep an eye on patients out on the patio.

I tried to make my stay a pleasant one by befriending and talking with other patients.

I did meet a few interesting people like the cheerleader, the veteran, and a few others.

I don’t remember exactly what I did but there was this nurse who was possibly having a bad day. That’s what I figure unless that was her manner.

She snapped at me, it wasn’t the words so much but it was the tone and emotional unload that impacted me.

I felt she scolded me as she aggressively told me to stop worrying and caring for everyone else and to focus on myself.

To me, this was a sign for me to take my leave, and furthermore, I felt my help was not appreciated and my purpose vanished.

I then went out into the patio to smoke a cigarette and as I paced around an idea popped into my head.

The idea was a plan for me to escape and fly the coop. I kept smoking and pacing around the patio as my plan manifested.

I picked up a lawn chair and moved it closer to the door and continued my pacing around the patio.

The next time around I fixed the lawn chair against the doorknob which kept the door open and firmly in place.

I calmly put out my cigarette on the patio ashtray took a quick look around and was ready to act out my plan.

I walked towards the chair, stepped onto the chair, stepped onto the doorknob, pulled myself up on top of the door, and then climbed up and onto the roof of the facility.

The sequence of events took less than half a minute and I was now on the outside headed home.

The walk home took a few hours and I recall crossing ravines, brooks many trees, and highways.

I was relieved upon getting closer to my home, but to my shock and surprise, a couple of police officers were speaking to my wife at the door.

Apparently, my escape had been reported and the police figured I would head for home.

It was just pure coincidence that I showed up exactly when the officers were notifying my spouse of my escape.

She was glad that I was safe. The officers then escorted me to their car and placed me in the backseat.

They then proceeded to take me back to the facility. I can still remember helping the officers with the directions back to the facility from my home.

Sometimes, I think about that incident and it leaves me with a sense of concern. The fact that I could pull something like that off, means anyone can.

My motto or mantra is engraved or instilled within me as much as possible and it is to do no harm by word or deed; however, I can’t say that of others, especially where mental health issues are concerned.

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