It was quiz night at the hostel last night.
Every Sunday, a quiz night is held in the Hostel. Last night I came fourth. Not as good as I usually do but I really didn’t feel good. My anxiety was getting the better of me and I really didn’t feel like mixing. I barely said a word to anyone and was relieved when it was over.
For some reason there was a definite whiff of impending trouble in the air. I think a few of the tenants had been drinking and what would normally have been a bit of a laugh felt like it could turn into something uglier. Thankfully it didn’t but I really didn’t enjoy it.
It’s funny, in the ‘normal’ world; you rarely have to contend with violence. You don’t sit in a business meeting constantly aware that someone will ‘kick off’ in a minute but, in the world of substance abuse and mental health problems it’s a constant possibility.
In a mental hospital it’s almost a daily event. Amongst other episodes; I’ve sat watching TV whilst a man tries to batter his way out through a window using his fists, I’ve sat calmly in a lounge as a man upturned a table football game, ripped off one of the legs off the table and went prowling the corridors to find another man who had stolen something from his room and I’ve seen both men and women dragged screaming and kicking to the segregation room to calm down.
If it’s someone that you know you might try and intervene and calm them down, they might get an extended section if they don’t. If you don’t know them, you ignore them. You don’t know what their issues are and what they are capable of.