Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A Mostly Fiction Story

It might seem to the casual observer that all I have been doing in the past few weeks is studying and obsessing too much. This is not true. I also manage to fit in crying and sleeping.
I know. I lead a very full life.
But for now, I would like to tell you a little story. It's a story about a girl and it is fiction...kind of.

Once upon a time there was a young woman. There was nothing extraordinary about her. She wasn't particularly pretty or funny and she had not yet been challenged enough to prove if she was intelligent. No. She just was.

One day, while in the depths of sorrow that followed her father's passing, she decided to visit a doctor. This was not the kind of doctor that specialized in fixing broken bones, but broken minds. She was promptly diagnosed with bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder. So many disorders. She thought her mind would never be put back into order.

But the good doctor had a solution.
Pills. Tablets. Capsules. Of every shape, color, and size.
Let the round yellow one dissolve under your tongue for panic attacks.
The blue ones will help you sleep.
Take the oblong peach one everyday.
The octagon-shaped one? Twice a day.
Take the small white one so that you don't have seizures from the peach pill.

She was a doctors' dream. Buying a two pill cases, a yellow one (day) and a blue one (night), to organize the dozen everyday medications. She kept meticulous records of her moods, feeling, thoughts, and side effects of the medications.

After a week, they started to work. Her hands shook but more than that, her mind was clear. More than clear...blank....a clean slate. It was exactly what she thought she wanted. She wasn't hurting. She wasn't crying. She wasn't.....anything, really. Her mood was flat, apathetic. But to her, it was better to have no feelings than to be in so much inconsolable pain.

It went on like this for months. Checking in with the doctor and refilling her pill cases.

She was the glass surface of a lake before sunrise, mirroring the dark skies above and the occasional shooting star. She was a museum exhibit, a craved out piece of history with only the the parts she choose to keep remaining in the records. She was an undisturbed stone at the bottom of a river bed, remaining still as the water rushed by, slowly wearing away her surface.
Slowly, the rushing water took away too much of her surface and the inner stone was exposed. Things started to happen to the girl. Things she could not explain.

She began losing moments of time. There were blank spots in her memory that others were required to fill. One night, she brushed the hair away from her face to find freshly pierced ear...piercings she did not remember getting.

Other things began to happen as well. The girl could no longer trust her mind, trust her senses. She saw things from the corners of her eyes and heard whispers hiding behind shadows and around corners of darkened hallways. When she cried out, "Who is there?" she was met with an icy, abnormal silence.

She went back to the doctors, only to be told, "Your mind is more broken than we first thought. You have schizoeffective disorder. But it will be okay. Here are some more pills."

And the girl took the pills. Every day, twice a day. A handful at a time.
They felt jagged sliding down her throat. She feared that they would pierce her skin from the inside out.
She waited for them to start working. Instead of the beautiful stillness she expected, her skin began to crawl. She curled into a ball on her bed, rocking back and forth with her eyes closed.

"I'm not here," she whispered when the voices started getting louder. "They can't find me."

But they did find her. They called her by name. Taunting her with promises of paradise, an Eden, if she did just one little favor for them.
The voices followed her where ever she went. To the library, to the store for tea, to the pharmacy. They were everywhere she was but no where for others to see.

But it was only to get worse for the young woman.

The thoughts she had where all contained in her mind until one night. In an instant, a dam broke and they materialized. Took solid forms. She could see them, touch them, feel them breathing on the back of her neck.
They were all different. One had the head of a bull, with a bright red body and eyes that turned words she spoke to stones on the floor. One was small, pale, and crawled like a spider on the ceiling, laughing at the girl while she closed her eyes and opened them again, only to realise that they were still there.
The most powerful vision was the worst. He was a satyr. A creature not unlike the Greek god, Pan. He was eight feet tall, with the legs of a goat, torso of a man and the huge, curled horns of a ram. He spoke but never moved his lips. His voice was in the girl's mind and felt like a million needles stabbing her all at once.

After that, they were always with her. When she was at the library, tiny monsters watched her from behind stacks of books. When she shopped for tea; dragons flew over her head, breathing fire on the other patrons. When she was at the pharmacy, demons with glowing eyes and charming smiles prepared her prescription.

She did not know what they wanted from her, why they wouldn't just tell her, or if they were even real or just a product of her damaged psyche. She begged the monsters to simply tell her what they wanted from her, so she could give it to them and they would be gone.

But the monsters had a plan. They would torment the girl until there was nothing left of her and they were sure she couldn't say no.

This went on for months.

One day, the satyr appeared in the girl's bedroom. He was massive and dwarfed her as he stood. He opened his mouth to speak and the girl saw hell. His voice was death and cancer and ugliness. It took away every good thing that was left in the world, of the few good things the girl managed to cling to in the past year. The poetry, music, flowers and all hope that the girl was able to hold on to faded away as her eyes met his.

The satyr told the girl that she was part of a bigger plan, but that she wasn't strong enough yet. That he could make her strong enough. That he could make her better and more powerful than any being in heaven or on earth. He laid a heavy crushing hand on her shoulder and slipped a blade into her palm.
You know what you have to do, he whispered into her ear as he tried to guide her hand to her wrist.
In that single moment, the girl realized what her life had become. She was no longer the person she use to be. No longer anything that even resembled a person. The fear and pills that she thought would save her from them only served to poison her from the inside out.
She thought of her family, the ones that had stood by her as her friends and church backed away with disgust at the thing she had become. What would they say when they found her body?
How trivial in that moment as the cold blade graced her skin that she thought of the books that sat on her shelve that she would never get to read. The word never to touch her lips and her hands to never feel their silky pages.
How trivial that she silently wept a tear for the family of mourning doves outside her window, that she would never get to see the mother showing her fledgling how to fly.
How trivial that she yearned for one more bare foot walk in the grass at 4am, while the sky was clear and the city was finally quiet.
How trivial, indeed.
A white hot anger began to boil in the girl's chest. A tiny spark that rapidly grew into a raging inferno that traveled up her throat and out her mouth as a single word.
It would not be her final night on earth, the girl decided. She looked the beast in the eye and said, "I am already strong enough." The satyr let out an unearthly bellow as the room erupted in flames and they were both engulfed.

The next morning, the girl opened her eyes after a marathon of nightmares comprised of demon howls and tortured souls begging for her to save them. Her gaze fell upon the pillbox that sat on her nightstand. The pink ones and peach ones and white ones waited for her.
She let them wait...and wait...and wait.
The girl never took them.
After a week, she stopped seeing the creatures. After two weeks, the voices went away. After three weeks, the nightmares stopped...mostly.
She still has nightmares today but she no longer wakes up bruised from fighting things that only she can see or crying over words that only she can hear spoken.
She is better now.
This *story* didn't go through very much editing. I mean, how can you edit something like this? So sorry if it only makes sense to me.

Bad Romance by 30 Seconds to Mars

Oh yes. It is the kind of music that soothes the hungover *tired* soul.

But, then again, all that pent-up sexual aggression that I am repression isn't helping much either.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Hi, My name is Firefly

Hi, my name is: Firefly

Never in my life have I been: skydiving, snowboarding, or seduced by a man who speaks a different language while in a foreign country (preferably Italy but I have a thing for Finnish accents too). I know, my life is empty.

The one person people who can drive me nuts is are: two of my brothers. Don't get me wrong, I love them to death but I get tired of taking the role of the "responsible" sister.

High school: was an awful time. Honestly, the only positive thing I can say about it is that it is in the past and I never have to go through it again.

When I’m nervous: the butterflies in my stomach grow 10x their normal size and start running relay races.

The last song I listened to was: Circles by mcArtney. Click here for his Myspace.

If I were to get married right now my best man/maid of honor: my sister. :-) But I think I would have to find a man first that I actually want to marry before I start thinking about maids of honor or flower arraignments.

My hair is: wavy, dark honey blond and usually pulled back.

When I was 5: I wore dresses all the time and never colored outside of the lines. EVER.

Last Christmas: was pretty good. Very low-key. We bucked tradition and made eggrolls.

I should be..: studying my pharmacology, ACE-inhibitors, beta blockers, and anticoagulants so that I don't fall behind on my studies. On the menu for tomorrow; antineoplastics (cancer drugs), baby!

When I look down I see: that I need to work out more often but it would just be so much easier to find a guy who loves my love handles. ;-)

The happiest recent event was: finding out that I will be leaving for Florida on Tuesday. A little relaxation and sun is just what the doctor ordered.

If I were a character on ‘Friends’ I’d be: honestly, I never watched Friends. Awful, I know.

By this time next year: I will be getting ready to graduate and studying like a mad woman for the NCLEX-RN.

My current gripe is: that there isn't enough hours in the day and that I slept on the arm wrong last night so my shoulder hurts.

I have a hard time understanding: who the fuck Justin Beiber is and why he is famous. Oh and why the Beatles are not available on iTunes. That sucks. Because I really don't want to have to pay $200 for the complete box set.

There’s this girl I know that: applied to nursing school on a bet and now is almost half way through the program and has no idea how she got there....oh, wait.

I like you when: you call out of the blue because you heard a song that reminded you of me (please , not Buck Cherry's *Crazy Bitch*) and it made you want to hear the sound of my voice.

If I won an award, the first person I would tell would be: Mother Dearest.
Take my advice: Make sure to take your vitamins, eat your spinach, and always bring a sweater.

The thing I want to buy: a big thermos so that I can carry my tea with me in the mornings.

If you visited the place I was born: You either took a wrong turn or are crazy because no one in their right mind comes to this town on purpose.

If you spent the night at my house: We would watch movies obscure vampire movies (Dracula 2000, anyone?), make the best brownies you have ever had, and talk about how our chosen fields are a waste of talent and potential.

I’d stop my wedding if: wtf is up the all the wedding questions? That isn't all we girls think about, you know.

The world could do without: religion. There, I said it.

I’d rather lick the belly of a cockroach than: That sounds truly horrible. No thank you.

Most recent thing I’ve bought myself: A fabulous new facial moisturizer and a box of assorted teas. And some music on iTunes.

Most recent thing someone else bought me: A classmate brought me the most delicious blueberry muffin on Thursday morning.

My middle name is: Danger.

In the morning I: am usually up with the birds. My favorite time of the whole day is right before the sun comes up. It is still chilly from the night before and the world is just starting to wake up.

The animals I would like to see flying besides birds are: Turtles. That would be awesome.

Once, at a bar: when *Bad Romance* by Lady Gaga started playing, I yelled very loudly, "I love whore music!" and sang and danced the whole song.

Last night I was: Studying cancer in my textbook and watching Private Practice on Hulu.

There’s this guy I know who: loves me unconditionally. I just haven't met him yet.

If I was an animal I’d be: hummingbird. Or a chameleon. A Karma Chameleon. (you are totally welcome for the random Boy George reference.)

A better name for me would be: Abigail or Amelia. I love old fashion names.

Tomorrow I am: putting the textbooks away and going to the zoo with a girlfriend from school. We are going to see the otters and trash talk our professors. It should be very good therapy.

Tonight I am: going to have sweet dreams about pharmacology.

My birthday is: in May. :-)

This post was inspired by the fabulous Kim @ Mermaid in a Manhole.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Retail Therapy

Nothing like buying a new organizer and a few songs from iTunes to get me in a better mood. Also, spring break is only a week away so that helps. :-)
And, on a side note, Chessmen are one of the best Pepperidge Farm cookies every.


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Don't Take Any of Them Home with You and more Lessons from the Psych Wards

Over the past few weeks, I have been attending my mental health clinical rotation. Here's what I have learned:
  • Correcting a nurse by telling them that their "patient isn't crazy, they are sanity-challenged" will get you labeled as a smart-ass.
  • Asking someone who is residing at a mental illness hospital "What are you in for?" is a very, very bad idea because A) they will tell you they either raped their sister or murdered their next door neighbor with a hatchet and B) it will most likely be considered untheraputic communication by your instructor and she will give you a sad face on your evaluation for the day.
  • Talking about drinking games at a chemical dependency unit is another bad idea...even if you patient is your age and she brought it up. ("High card! Take a shot!")
  • Don't call the teens on the adolescent wing "moody little fuckers" under your breath because they have hearing like bats.
  • But if you do, and they tattle on you, it's okay. Because those moody little fuckers lie all the damn time and no one believes them anyway.
  • Trying to focus on the movie "Shutter Island" enough so that you don't sound semi-retarded when discussing it in the group sessions is very difficult when you have been drinking Crown Royal out of a water bottle (straight, bitches. Because we nursing students get down like that.)

But in all seriousness, the past few weeks have been a very enlightening experience. It seems like one of those "But for the grace of God, there go I" types of things.