I lie on my hospital bed with earplugs in my ears to soften the announcements that blast from the overly loud speaker in the ceiling. They are codes, mostly Code “Grey”. I feel a surge of envy every time a code is announced. Not, of course, for the distress and suffering of the person involved. What I envy is that their pain is visible and now they will be receiving all this attention. If there was one thing I miss about my time on marijuana was the way it lifted a lid in me and everything that I really felt came gushing out like a burst water main. That night, two people saw the real me.
I remove the mattress from my bed and position in on the floor in the corner, as far away from the speaker as I can get. That is where I’ve spent my entire day: lying under a blanket on the mattress in a dark room, disappearing into the corner like a wafer dissolves in your mouth. If I can’t kill myself, the next best thing is to sleep my life away. I am grateful that I got a little bit of sleep this afternoon. But every time I hear a code, it reminds me of the emergency I feel within. How much I want people to rush to my side and put out the flames. To see that I can’t go on like this. To put me in the more serious, longer term unit reserved for the maddest of the mad. A few years ago I nearly drowned even with surfers and others nearby. Right now I am surrounded by nurses and doctors and yet I feel like I am quietly drowning here. I’m sick of holding it together. I’m sick of not being able to cry when I want to. I’m sick of my vital signs being fine when I feel like I’m dying inside. I’m sick of people telling me my weight looks good when I am starving. I’m sick of stupid posters saying “think positive” and “there is always hope”. And I’m sick of being discharged when I am not ok.
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