No vote

When I left you last week it was my 24th birthday, and I had been given 24 hours to decide whether or not I wanted to go to hospital for treatment for my anorexia.

 As expected, those 24 hours did little to change my initial response on hearing the word ‘hospital’;
“No way in Hell am I going there!”
was still the order of the day.

I had little chance to think about it some more the next morning; only moments after I woke up I received “The Phone call” from my psychiatrist asking me if I had an answer for her.

Unfortunately, “No way in Hell am I going there!” didn’t seem to be the one she had been hoping for.
I was told that she would call me back in a few hours.

Normally I would have spent those next hours worrying frantically about what this second phone call would entail, washing my hands at 5-minute intervals and thinking of all the worst possible outcomes.

But on this particular day I had something very important to distract my worrying mind; I had to have my say in matters regarding the future of our country.

I had to vote in the “Brexit Referendum”. 

Having visited the polling station and exercised my Democratic Right to put an X in a box, I got back to my house, only to find that I had missed that ‘Second Phone call” from my psychiatrist.

Great.

Immediately, my internal alarm bells started to ring. She had said she would call back “in a few hours”.
This had been less than 45 minutes!
What news could she possibly have concocted for me in such a short period of time? Or was she ringing to ask me which way I had voted, just to check on my mental state? I’m well aware of the fact I should tell my therapists everything but…my views on the EU referendum?

I called her back as requested, ready to tell her that my political decisions that day were not going to be shared.

It turned out that she hadn't been calling about the fate of the country.
She was letting me know about the fate of me, and to update me on the “can I stay at home” or “do I have to leave for hospital” situation.

Unlike my Democratic Rights in domestic politics, it seemed that my own fate was no longer something in which I had any say. A Mental Health Act assessment had been scheduled for that afternoon at 4pm.

I listened to this news, quietly, and said all the things I was supposed to say.  

Yes, of course I understood what she was saying.
Yes, of course I would be sure to alert my mother.
And yes, of course I would be there at 4pm.

I imagine anyone listening in on the conversation would have been surprised at just how calm I sounded at the news.

But this relaxed attitude was down to one simple fact;

I had no intention of attending that meeting.

I had other plans.  
I was going to run away.
And with 4pm rapidly approaching, there was no time to waste, the escape had to happen now…

 

Liz Fraser