There’s a Crack in Everything: Sex, Covid & the Psych Ward

Cooper Thornton
6 min readMay 13, 2021
The silhouette of a man entering a dimly lit room from a darkened hallway.

Where was the fucking driftwood?

Shaking and sobbing, I told her that I couldn’t function. That my sleep was for shit, I wasn’t eating much if anything, the tiniest tasks were overwhelming for me. Could I please, PLEASE get some help?

“Are you thinking of ending your life?”

“Have you made any plans to take your life?”

CHRIST, why was I being made to jump through this suicide hoop before anyone would take me seriously?! I have two boys who count on me that I can’t leave and who I love with all my heart, even with this empty heart. I can’t do that to them. Though I understand fully why someone would want to end this misery. I’m no better a person, I just couldn’t. And yet, it seemed I was almost being baited.

If I would just say that I had some semblance of a plan, even a random thought of ending my life, say a large delivery truck is driving by while I’m on a walk and I think, “Well, that would do it.” If I would just tell this nurse that I thought stepping in front of that delivery truck would take my life, that I had thought that thought, THEN I would get some help. Well then FUCK, okay, “I saw a truck when I was on a walk, and I imagined stepping in front of it.”

That’s what she wanted/needed to hear. And, just like that, I was escorted to the reception for inpatient care.

I’d created my own driftwood.

Then things got bad.

In a long story about hitting whatever is below rock bottom, you need to know that first, on the whole, I was a happy kid.

Sketch of a nuclear bomb explosion

I had a solid nuclear family, a mom and dad, two older brothers and a younger sister. We had two color TVs and one family stereo. We went to the pool every summer, skied a few winter and spring breaks, played tennis year-round. We were an active family.

Dad wasn’t much a part of the day to day; he was busy building his medical practice.

And eyeing women.

Cooper Thornton

Parent, Actor, People Lover, Observer, Writer and Most Often Happy Depressive in NC by way of LA by way of UK by way of BC by way of TN, where it all started.