The first time I was hospitalized was in the fall of 2000. I remember lying in my hospital bed watching Al Gore on TV helping serve Thanksgiving dinner somewhere, and I had just barely gotten to know my roommate when she was abruptly released. Prior to my hospitalization, I had been living out of a U-Haul, sleeping on friends’ couches, and spending occasional nights in hotels (I was putting the hotel room charges on my parent’s credit card). It was November in Boston, and one night was extremely cold! I nearly froze to death in the back of the U-Haul truck.
I was also working at the time, and one day at work, I received a phone call from a family member asking me how I was doing. I don’t remember that conversation too well, but a few hours (or maybe days) later, my brother and sister-in-law came to pick me up at work. We decided to go to the Emergency Room at MGH. They ended up admitting me into the psychiatric unit, and I stayed there for about a week. I never knew what the diagnosis was, or if there was one. My brother and his family came to visit me for Thanksgiving, and they released me for the day so I could have Thanksgiving dinner with them. I was eventually released from the hospital at my request, but I didn’t have health insurance or a doctor at that time, so I didn’t receive any type of follow-up care or treatment. I did start working again though, and found a place to live with my brother’s help. The job didn’t last very long, and neither did the living situation. I ended up packing my things and moving back to California after only a few months in Boston.