An outlet

I wish this entry could be about something as frivolous as shopping at an outlet center; alas, it is not that type of entry. There won’t be mindless quizzes nor shallow analysis or stereotypical labels. I won’t be blowing sunshine up your a**. I’m going to finish an entry I began nearly 2 years ago. Where do I begin? How about the middle whereupon the beginning will fill in the gaps and the ending being its own conclusion.

Unlike my childhood summers, the 2008 July day is a mild 80 degrees in the sun. I’m sitting on our raised deck, engulfed in sunshine but wearing the full ensemble of a winter day: black heavy cotton sweater over a long sleeved shirt and dark grey sweatpants. I am cold as anyone would be with ZERO body fat and void of muscular definition. There are 3 hospital bracelets on my right wrist; one states my full name, D.O.B., date of admittance as well as an identification number, another alerting (in red) nurses and doctors to my allergies and finally, the last one indicating that I am a psychiatric patient. The third bracelet is completely new and foreign to one so accustomed with hospital procedures: this is my first (and hopefully) last time forcibly admitted to the psychiatric ward. I am a whopping 97 pounds of flesh and bone, shivering not from just a physical cold but a void inside my heart and mind from which I need to fill or eradicate. There is only a matter of feet between me and my family but it may as well be light-years for the emotional void is just as vast. I am numb for the very first time in my life. I cannot empathize with family or friends and I’m apathetic about what goes on around me. It’s as if Time has slowed or my emotions have been frozen outside of my body: the eyes looking back at me in a mirror belong to a stranger. I thought I had managed to kill her off but this stranger is looking back at me in an almost mocking manner. She’s telling me that no matter where I go, what I do or how I live, she’ll always remind me of what once was and could be again. Right now, I don’t want anything more than to just sit on a weathered deck, completely clothed in winter attire and cease to exist under a docile July sun.

June 20th, 2008

Unlike the hospitalizations for severe asthma attacks, Crohn’s disease and what-have-you, I am not on a floor easily accessible to visitors and there are 2 security doors barring entrance and exit unless the guard or nurse on duty can identify a person and his reason for entry/release. It feels like a jail ward and not like a place meant to help people overcome whatever obstacle that barreled them in with no key to a lock that resides in a place they cannot find. One Flew Over The Cuckoo Nest is the ambiance greeting me when I open my eyes to the familiar I.V. line running from my hand. The wail that grows in my throat and chokes in the same place is followed by body wrenching sobs, so silent but violently coursing through my frail body. “What have I done?,” I ask myself in a horrified tone that is quickly answered by the last clear memories of gorging on a narcotic and lethal mix. A slender nurse enters my room and her eyes tell me she has been waiting for me to gain consciousness. She has blue eyes, blond hair in an outgrown bob cut and a nervous tick that makes her hands shake when she’s overly excited. She tells me her name is Nancy and if I have any idea where I am and why. I say, “I know I’m in a hospital and I’m here because…,” as my voice trails off I find myself struggling to formulate the words which depict why and how I got here. Nancy gently picks up the conversation and tries to lead me to the only conclusion. Softly, in the motherly tone only a mother can convey, she says, “Do you remember calling me? I tried to get you to tell me your location so I could dispatch an ambulance but you hung up. I was really worried because you were do distraught and you told me you were alone. You’re not alone. I prayed that you would be safe and you were admitted into my care about 10 hours ago.” Anger, shame, anxiety and sadness roll into a wave of a single tear. “I… I…I’m sorry,” is all I can reply. The tears keep falling and my breathing quickens. The scene in my head is of Nancy, on the phone, trying to console an inconsolable girl and genuinely caring for the safety and well-being of a perfect stranger who is intent on killing herself. The injury I inflicted on this woman adds to my guilt but she already knows this and tells me, “There’s nothing to be sorry about. You’re here and safe and we’ll get you back into one whole piece again.” With that, she pats my head, hands me a tissue and goes about her duties. I curl into a ball and turn towards the wall. The hate I have for myself is overwhelming and each thought of self destruction is at once mollifying and horrifying. I don’t recognize who I am and the thoughts just keep on going.

T.B.C. in parts – this is really draining on me but at the same time, it has to come out.

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