To give your positive or negative attention to something is a way of giving energy. The most damaging form of behavior is withholding your attention.
– Masaru Emoto
- Smile like you’ve just got your teeth ultra-whitened
- Laugh at everything they say
- Nod incessantly to show you care
- Say “Oh!” and “Wow!” a lot
- Never break eye contact
- Talk about every trivial thing in existence
And now, you too can survive human contact in spite of your anxiety.
What’s writing really about? It’s about trying to take fuller possession of the reality of your life.
– Ted Hughes
But I can’t. Let me start out by saying that I know the rules. If a patient says something that leads a professional to believe their patient is in harm’s way, certain procedures must take place. I know that, and I am not hating on that. It’s just that, personally, knowing this makes it harder for me to tell my therapists and doctors everything. Sometimes I even lie. I am not a fan of the hospital, as unfortunately, it has never helped me in the long run. For me, hospitals are just holding cells. I understand that plenty of people are helped by them, but sadly, I am not one of those people. It may have to do with the fact that I’m partly to blame. While in the hospital I will constantly make light of my situation or even outright lie in order to get out as soon as possible.
When I am in the hospital I feel like another statistic, just a number that needs placement or straightening out. My fears of being on the psych ward have never allowed me to take full advantage of the resources there. The friendly faces of the other patients and the sometimes helpful staff do nothing to alleviate my fears. It’s like everyone’s out to get me. I say or do one wrong thing and I’m there another week.
I’m not sure where I got this comparison of hospitals to prison, but it’s there, and the fear is real. I wonder if any of you feel this way about hospitalization as well?
Everything I was I carry with me, everything I will be lies waiting on the road ahead.
– Ma Jian
I fear the day I’m able to function without the help of someone else. I fear the day it will be expected of me to pay bills, go to my job, and pay my taxes. I have never been well enough for any of these activities and more. And while I could learn how to do them there will still be a disconnect knowing what I know. That I’ve never really had the chance to be an adult despite my age. That I’ve never really been trusted on my own because of fears that I might hurt myself. I’ve never lived what others would consider a “life”. That opportunity was stolen from me by my illness.
What is it like to be “well”. To be able to go out in society and mingle and thrive and inspire? What is it like? I want to know while not wanting to know. I am too afraid of the unknown. Too afraid that, being so behind, I won’t do any of it right. Too afraid of succeeding only to fall back into old ways. I want to get better, but I don’t, and this back and forth is only hindering my recovery.
I am so afraid of both succeeding and failing that I do nothing. I am aware that I need to change this cowardly behavior. But how? How do I make myself believe that the same network that is helping me now won’t abandon me in the future? How do I convince myself that it is okay to fail at something I’ve never done before? If and when I find my own personal answers to my insecurities, I hope they will be enough to push me through.
What if evolution’s fundamental
Force were not endurance, but amazement?
– from Black Storm Days by Joshua Edwards
There is a voice in my head, and it screams. Day and night it screams. No words, just a voiceless outcry of I know not what. This scream will even invade my body at times (the frequency is increasing), turning me into a jumble of restless nerves. It comes without warning; it is suddenly just there and my body revolts at the surge of negative energy.
When this happens I feel like I have been split in two. One me is on the floor banging her head against the tables and walls, screaming for mercy. The other me, the me that is “here”, is as silent and numb as always. I don’t know which me is real at these times. Maybe they both are. Maybe I really am split in two when the scream descends into my body.
More often than not though, the scream remains in my head. It’s become a sort of resident now, a renter who doesn’t pay their rent. While I’ve come to expect the scream first thing in the morning as I wake it is no less daunting to know that something, or another part of me, is either so enraged or so in pain that it feels it needs to keep up this endless screaming.
What part of my life exactly do I need to change in order for the screaming to stop? Or is it an aspect of my personality that needs to change? Or the question I don’t like to ask: Is there even a way to make the screaming stop?
What torture lurks within a single thought
When grown too constant…
– from A Fixed Idea by Amy Lowell
I like shape very much. A novel has to have shape, and life doesn’t have any.
– Jean Rhys