Apple Pie: Celebrating One Year in the Psychiatric Hospital

September is National Apple Month in the United States. One of the writing prompts from Mama’s Losin’ It for this week is to write a post inspired by apples. I love apples, particularly the green Granny Smith ones. I at one point had “loves green apples” as part of my Twitter bio.

I also love apple pie, which is what I want to talk about in this post. No, I’m not going to share a recipe, because my apple pie isn’t all that exceptional and you can pretty likely look up the recipe online.

Homemade apple pie was often the olnly kind of pie I’d eat. We made it on birthdays every year. My parents now have a big garden in which they have some apple trees, so I’m looking forward to eating apples and especially apple pie when I visit them again.

Apple pie is pretty easy to make. It is the only type of pie I can make. I love making it. Unfortunately, the only oven we have at my current institution ward is in a tiny room where it gets really hot if the oven is on. On my old ward, we did have a large oven, and I would make apple pie on occasion.

One particular occasion on which I made apple pie I want to share. It was 2008. I hadn’t shared candy or cake or anything with my fellow patients on my birthday. My birthday is in June. At one point, my birthday had long passed and I joked that I’d be making apple pie for the one-year anniversary of my hospitalization as a way to make up for my lack of a birthday cake. That one-year anniversary actually did come up – in November. Now thatdoesn’t sound like too big a surprise given that now I’m institutinalized almost seven years, but at the time I resided on an acute ward where you’re not supposed to stay beyond three to at most six months. I ended up staying htere for sixteen months.

I was hospitalized in the middle of the night on November 3, 2007. My actual crisis was on November 2, but I chose November 3 to celebrate the anniversary. I baked a nice apple pie which my fellow patients did enjoy. Since then, I’ve baked apple pie not exactly every year, but almost every year. A few days ago I was talking about the apple pie tradition to a nurse, and she said that when she was a student nurse, at some point an elderly patient had celebrated the fortieth anniversary of their institutionalization. Woha. It’s not like I want to be in this institution much longer, but this makes seven years sound not that long.

Mama’s Losin’ It

5 thoughts on “Apple Pie: Celebrating One Year in the Psychiatric Hospital

  1. What a great way to celebrate! I’m curious though, what determines how long a person stays. Is it a personal choice that you can leave when you feel ready or does someone need to give their stamp of approval?

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    1. Well in my case, I’m an informal patient so theoretically I can leave when I want. However, if any patient wants to be discharged, usually a clinician evaluates them and approves their discharge (or has them detained under something like the mental health act). People can also in rare cases be forcibly discharged if for example they refuse all treatment (I was at one point threatened with this for refusing a single aspect of my treatment, which is technically not okay but I didn’t bother and consented to the treatment anyway).

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  2. It’s nice to meet you Astrid and learn a little bit about you. I think you’ve started a good tradition in the baking of the pies.

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  3. Wow 40 years, that’s a hella long time. I love apple pie too. We usually call it apple tart. Not sure why. I just love baking apple crumble also which is a little different to apple pie. I like to eat mine with cream, or custard. XX

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