Tag Archives: depression

Today is December 4, 2017. I am alive and well.

My short memoir piece to be installed over 4 blogs. Hospital Visit Number 19, installment 1.

The doctor will try to shake loose my shadow and fail. My schizophrenia is in full bloom. I seek sleep in the hospital gown and am left with wrinkled cotton creating patterns on my back. The hospital gown is not flattering and catches breeze from the movement of other people. I stand still as a hinge. I am told the elephants have moved. The teeth of the comb have been cleaned. It is another calendar year and I am again in the same place protecting my heart from the suddenness of a light snow fall. The snow fall will wait as it is summer in Phoenix. The hospital is the same as I remember it; a series of doors the same color marching down a long hall.

When my hands are locked at the knuckles I cannot plant alfalfa. I am told alfalfa is good for arthritis. I need to let my grandmother know this. Her knuckles are tinged by muscle ache. I can’t tuck the charm bracelet she gave me into velvet. Instead, the elephants with their ruby eyes get tossed beside the comb on the tiny nightstand. Strands of hair now wrap around the teeth of the comb.

It is cold in my skin. In two hours my shadow will appear obvious. It will reach the knob of the door before I do. The door does not lock. The psych techs need to be able to enter on a whim. They are in place to protect me from myself. I didn’t realize I was in danger until it was almost too late. I thought back to yesterday. The bottles of Tylenol and Ativan lined up on the counter begged for my attention. Had my grandmother not walked in, I would have swallowed mouthfuls and then laid down to leave. I have no idea who is on the other side to greet me if anyone.

I am at the end of the long hall in front of the nurse’s station, in front of the desk where the psych techs spend most of their time. The telephone is on the wall across from them. They can her whole conversations. No words leave my mouth. How will they know my heart has stopped since noon? I protect it the way a child does her first hat.

There is not enough room in the hall for the tall man to shout, but he tries. It does not get him the cup of cocoa he craves.

I do not enter the rec room on my left. The voices I hear are louder in there. They compete with the television which is only still from midnight to five a.m. The nurse says she sees me talking to myself. She is wrong. I respond to the voices in a friendly way so as not to irritate them into calling me names. Slut. Cunt. Bean stalk. Irritant. Fucker upper. Slut is my favorite one as I am rarely sexual. I remind them of this. They don’t care.

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Today is August 17, 2014. I am alive and fairly well.

I had to inch my way out of bed this morning. I don’t know if I’m depressed or just exhausted. It is hot in Scottsdale, Arizona. The weather can’t catch me. I’m almost always in doors or in my nicely air conditioned Forerunner.

I had no idea that kittens’ tongues are like sand paper. Grams has taken it upon herself to wash my face in the middle of the night. This cute behavior I no longer care for. Placing my hand over my face does not deter her. Eventually, I fall back asleep…

I am out of bed like a bubble escaping its wand. Only I don’t pop; rather, I fall onto the couch, gracefully of course, robe wrapped awkwardly around me and hair wild with night, to watch SuperSoul Sunday on the Oprah Network. It amazes me the amount of money her guests make with God loving them. I do respect the guests’ charisma for lighting up a room and offering people the opportunity to welcome in light.

Have I welcomed light today? I believe so. It’s simple; I smile at Grams and Annie and smooth their hair. My body is moving by feet, not inches. God has blessed me with another day of sobriety. I look forward to eating my bagel with butter and orange marmalade. Today, I will tell at least two people that I love them. And I will bury the plant that I killed. Compost for the earth. I promise God I will not bring home another plant.