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  • Writer's pictureLydia Lampert

My Very Own Breakfast Club

During one of our journaling groups, I was asked to write about what I have gotten thus far from Princeton House (the hospital in which I spent 43 days).  At the time, I had already been there 38 days.  I think they were looking for concrete answers, but you know me, I know of no such thing. I realize when I went in I promised all my readers a day by day account of my stay, never realizing it was going to be so very long. I figured I would share some of my most memorable experiences, rather than barrage you all with my day by day account.  But for now, this is one of my more meaningful contributions and most heartfelt, so here goes it:

My experience at Princeton House has left me with feelings of nostalgia. We, all, as patients have all come together in this very place, despite the various roads we have traveled, the conditions under which we have been raised, the various burdens each and every one of us has battled and survived, and regardless of our educational backgrounds, and despite the many variations we had, commonalities have been established and friendships have been formed. Had I not come to Princeton House, I would have never realized that I indeed have many things in common with drug addicts, alcoholics, others diagnosed with Bipolar, people with paranoid delusions, schizophrenics and many others whom I never learned their diagnosis or had no real interest in knowing.  We were all people, young and old, and I grew to love them.  I realized we all have many things in common such as the love of music, the need for laughter and jokes, sarcasm and most importantly, we were ALL striving for the same things: peace within ourselves and an overall sense of well being, acceptance and love.

Princeton House is my true life Breakfast Club Experience. I have many new people I consider friends, and sadly, I know there is a great possibility that I may never see or talk to them ever again, just like those in The Breakfast Club. However, that will never change the significance and impact each and every one of them had throughout my stay here. With that I close this journal entry, humming silently in my head, that famous tune from the closing scene, as John Bender heads off into the sunset, “Don’t you forget about me…,” and visualize my own cast of characters, including my Claire, John Bender, Sporto, the Weirdo and the Nerd, holding them all forever close to my heart. 

If you have ever seen Breakfast Club, you will understand the parallels, just as every patient had some deeper seated issue, we as the patients do as well. Claire was spoiled rotten but felt unloved. John Bender grew up in an abusive and traumatizing home. Sporto could never do enough to please his father. The Weirdo tried to commit suicide because his woodshop project did not go as planned and that was going to be unacceptable to his parents, and Ally Sheedy, who played the Weirdo, was lonely and felt as if her parents didn’t even know she existed. I can only imagine, that despite their own group therapy conducted during their detention time, the director, John Hughes, could have easily been able to create a sequel where they are all in a place such as the Princeton House with depression, anger issues, drug use, PTSD and serious self esteem issues.

There are so many of us that suffer from one mental illness or another. I went into Princeton House scared to death, but it wasn’t that bad, actually it was good to finally be surrounded by people that understood what I was going through.  I missed you all, but I am happy to report I think they almost have gotten my meds right and I will continue my road to recovery and acceptance.

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