Being in hospital has meant routines, which have been imposed on me. After two days my days passing were marked by each meal.
8pm toast and hot milk
When ‘inmates’ are ready to move on / move out / be discharged they begin grumbling about the routine of the day.; about the lack of spontaneity and sense of oppression from the external source: routine.
Yet without a routine how can we be truly spontaneous?
When I arrived I needed the structure, something reliable to mark the passing of time in the dark haze that encompassed my being. Ten days in and I’m starting to want some wiggle room, be wild; finish my jigsaw puzzle before going down the corridor for dinner. Okay so that’s not very wild, but it’s a step towards independence which is better than 10 days ago.
It made me think….. It’s widely acknowledged that kids need routine and structure; is there a difference between their need and ours?
If a child gets grumpy, and screams and shouts, the adult in charge is likely to feed them/ put them to bed.
While if an adult gets grumpy and screams and shouts, they’re less likely to put themselves to bed, and more likely to keep going as their world disintegrates around them and (a possible scenario) get isolated….. arrested…….end up in here with me (I’m rather impressed by my efficiently destruction of a hypothetical human beings’ life).
In hospital we are thrown into a very different, isolated world; medications are changed and we are disorientated, unsure what is causing the fuzzy edges: ourselves, the environment or medication.
So when we do finally get discharged / released (escape), where do we find a stability or framework to help mark time passing and keep our world’s within the realms of moderation and ‘normality’?
I guess that one way is to keep the routine learnt in hospital going. Although 7 days into my stay and I began purposefully missing meals, ignoring the loud calls of ‘lunch’ bellowed down the corridors; so what hope do I have for the self discipline that may be required to keep things steady and ‘sane.’