I don’t suppose I’ve ever mentioned here what food we were been given when I was in psychiatric hospital in Poland? First of all there was absolutely no choice of what we were getting so if one was a vegetarian and we had ham and bread for supper, they could only eat bread and butter – mind you, the stuff for sandwiches is always being served separately in Poland, but that’s not much help. Or for lunch, which is main meal in Poland, they’d only have potatoes and vegetables. Vegetarianism is not so popular in Poland like in the UK but still there was a guy there who was a vegetarian and I always felt sorry for him at lunch time.
Hospitals in the UK always provide choices and there were at least 3 different dishes to chose from for lunch and dinner.
Other thing regarding hospital in Poland was that patients sleep in large rooms – there were like 6 or 8 of us in one room and beds were close to one another, with only bedside table between them and no privacy curtains. It was no way a place to be recovering from PTSD and suicidal attempt.
However we were often served this sandwich filler for supper: curd cheese mashed with mackerel in tomato sauce, and it was absolutely delicious. I then worked out how to make it at home and I had it for supper today with some bread. I used Polish curd cheese and mackerel from Lidl, however I must say hospital one was better.
When I left the hospital, came back to the UK and found a job, I wrote a book (in Polish) about my experiences and wanted to publish it. Hard to say if it was good or bad but I didn’t find any publisher for it. People in Poland are not interested in what a patient in psychiatric hospital thinks and indeed the only way how psychiatric patients are being described in popular culture is not very nice, they’re basically ridiculed if they’re even mentioned at all.
So I didn’t publish my book, I need to find it one day and read it. I don’t even remember very well what was in it. I also need to have another go at the mackerel and curd cheese paste, I want it to taste the same like this one I had in the hospital in Poland.