Excerpt from Chapter 6: Degenerate…
“She’s a nice girl, just here because she’s a little depressed. Go talk to her.”
I heard the doctor from the ER whisper outside the door of my hospital room. I was laying on my back in the lumpy, stiff bed. The kind nurse had given me a blanket to keep me warm because my lips were quivering. But the blanket felt itchy and rough. I so desperately needed something soft to touch or to fall into at this very moment. I pushed the blanket aside horrified at the thought of how many other patients before me had used it. It also had the faint odor of bleach or ammonia. Bleh. I continued to lay there staring up at the white sterile ceiling. The fluorescent lights were twitching and tweaking. As I squinted and started to see the blue and purple blobs form before me eyes, I wondered if this is what it would be like to look up from my own coffin. Before I could ponder that thought any further a young woman appeared by my bedside. I was semi startled and after a few quick blinks she slowly came into focus.
“Hi, there. Sorry if I startled you. I’m a case worker with the hospital. I was called in to talk to you today. I hear you’re depressed? She smiled sweetly.
I wasn’t sure if it was a question. Depressed I thought to myself? I guess so, maybe? But I was more amped up and out of control, like a meth head on a rabid binge. Depression actually sounded real nice right about now. The numbness, the void, the not caring. At this point I still cared, I cared too much. But if I had to pick my poison, depression it would be. I would rather be in a sedated state of being rather than the hyped up crazy girl I had become. The sounds of various hospital machines beeping and the squeaky wheels of the beds as sick patients were being pushed to and from, was unnerving. I started to lose focus on the lady at my bedside and became hyper focused on all the ominous sounds. But I slowly snapped out of it and sat up more in the bed. I smiled faintly and cleared my throat.
“Oh, um yes I guess depressed but more anxious. I have OCD. I’ve been diagnosed and lately it’s been spinning more out of control. I can’t eat or sleep. I’ve become angry and confrontational. That’s actually what landed me in here. 24 hours of no sleep, a vicious fight with my Mother that turned physical.” My voice trailed off.
I looked down at my lap as my tired and overly used tear ducts began to fill. My lips quivered and I started to tremble, but I couldn’t finish the rest of the story. It happened only a few hours prior to me getting to the ER but the events of that evening in the kitchen with my Mom was to hard to even think about, let alone to speak into existence. The young case worker must have felt my anxiety and pain rising so she quickly pulled up a chair next to me. This was like the twentieth time or so I’ve been to the ER due to my unrelenting panic attacks, but it was the first time I had ever spoken to a social services worker. Shit, this time must be bad. I thought to myself. I let out a deep sigh. She gently explained to me that she just needed to ask a few questions. Probing questions might I add. Like was I suicidal, how many days within the last thirty days did I feel hopeless and depressed? Try ALL thirty lady.
The endless questions continued on: Did I abuse illegal drugs, pills, or alcohol? Was I ever sexually or physically abused or neglected? The questions began to swirl around in the vortex that was my mushy brain. I couldn’t comprehend much of what she was asking or saying. I had already been asked these very questions by numerous therapists and various doctors over the years, about any suicidal ideation I may have had. I guess unless you’re deemed homicidal or suicidal by the law and or the state, you’re deemed to be a fit, and normal human being. An accepted, functioning member of society. What a crock of shit. Just because I never seriously contemplated suicide, (trust me the thought did cross my mind many times) doesn’t mean I was normal, fit or that I was even close to being okay. Why did it take me jumping out of a balcony or slitting my wrists, cutting or shooting myself in the fucking head for anyone to realize how very sick I was.
If only this pretty young lady sitting there beside me knew why I had brought myself into the ER in the first place. She and the doctor who saw me wouldn’t think I was so normal and functioning after all. They would probably think I’m a degenerate fuck up like I knew I was.
Thanks guys I hope you enjoyed this excerpt. I’m looking forward to work shopping and peer reviewing our pieces together during our next class! Take care. Xo.