Dear State Hospital South,

It’s been a little over five years since I’ve cycled through your facility. Only thirty-four more and I shed the amalgam I wore when we met.

Lately I’ve enjoyed writing people letters: Authors, advocates, legislators, the occasional stranger that wants to say hi. While I’m in a much better state than when I was in your care, I still find myself susceptible to words of encouragement and light rays of sunshine that float in on thoughtful hellos. For that reason, I wish to pass these small pleasures to my mental brethren in your facility’s hold. How about if together we build a working model?: I’m applying for a permit to send smiles to your peeps.

I understand there are privacy concerns, and I too consider yours a vulnerable population. So if it works best the communication is one way, I’d still enjoy you sharing my letters. What can we do to work this thing out?

Also, while I have your audience, let me say your staff’s kindness will never be forgotten. They treated me human, and the others the same. However, I was disappointed with one of your intake questions — regarding if I felt I possessed any special talents — and how my answering in the affirmative was used to confirm a psychosis with delusions of grandeur.

I’m not upset so much as I am curious: Is it possible you’re overlooking individual talents and the opportunity to nurture that comes with their encouragement?

If I could direct your attention to the site listed below, you might be surprised what one lunatic can do from solitary confinement.

Please consider my offer to volunteer as a cheerleader.

Looking forward to creative ambitions,
Patrick Irving 82431
PO Box 51
Boise, ID 83707

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