“Do you remember rain before you understood it?” she asked.

The doctor followed her glance to the rain-wet window. “No.”

“Well, I do. And I’m feeling that feeling again now.” Her brown eyes were hard and shiny.

“What feeling, Jennifer?”

The chair squeaked as she fidgeted.  “Well, you know. You’re a child. You walk outside and wet falls from the sky. It drips down your eyes, you pretend you’re crying. It slicks your hair, you pretend you’re taking a shower. You’re trying to make it fit the pictures you already understand, but it won’t, not exactly, so you just run in circles with your tongue out. The dirt melts into mud, the trees smell strong. The next day, worms are dead on the sidewalks. It’s insane. You ask questions and are told about clouds, but there are deeper wonderings that you can’t even begin to share. You have a taste for magic now. You start to learn science, and you’re told you’re hurtling through space with billions of other universes. That the world is lit by a blazing sphere of fire. That gravity sticks you to the ground, and that on the other side of the world people are walking upside down, their feet to yours, stuck just like you are. Anything seems possible.”

“What are you saying?”

“Well, maybe anything is possible.” She searched the doctor’s white office with her eyes again, the black and white poster of Maslow’s pyramid above his desk, the latest DSM manual on his bookshelf, his bone-white fingers that signed endless prescriptions. “Why is the cure so cold when the world is so beautiful?”

The doctor nodded. “You’re right, Jennifer. Listen to yourself, you’re talking like a healthy person.”

She was grave. “I think I need to go. I think I need to live now. To touch things. Touch people.”

“I think you’re right.”

She was surprised. “You’ll let me go?”

“Yes. The cure is cold because you’re not supposed to stay here. It’s safe, but it’s not home.”

She stood to leave, but paused. “What is it like out there? I mean, what will happen to me now?”

He smiled. “Anything is possible.”

6 thoughts on “Psychiatric Unit

  • April 11, 2013 at 11:44 am
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    Oh Miracle. How is it that you have perfectly dictated the conversation I’ve been having with myself and my mind’s psychiatrist? Ever since my ER visit last winter, I haven’t been myself. I have become claustrophobic, obsessively compulsive, occasionally blonde (I blame the concussions), and anxiety/stressful situations cause me to lose my vision and wham bam a migraine from hell). But I’m getting better. How? by living life and getting out there. I didn’t go to church for several months because I couldn’t handle the noise and being surrounded by people who might or might not have showered. I’m going now, though. It’s still a problem but I’m getting over it– without medication. I feel as though I’ve had to relearn everything like how to deal with situations like not freaking out when a car cuts me off.
    This summer, I am traveling with a band overseas and I don’t even know where yet. I am ready for experiences. I am ready (I hope) to sit in a crowded airport and then squished next to a possibly murderous stranger on the germ-ridden airplane. I will possibly be in a third-world country infested with man-sized rats. But I can do it. Anything is possible.

  • April 11, 2013 at 12:27 pm
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    You are magnificent, PD. And traveling overseas with a band! I know how it feels to crawl through the darkness back into the -notsafenotclean- light. I’ve had to relearn living, too, after a season of passionate darkness. This was the transcript of my conversation with my own mind’s psychiatrist.

    Blessings to you in your fight. May you conquer!

  • April 11, 2013 at 2:23 pm
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    It does sound like you and the other you :)
    And thanks …. hopefully I will live through this summer. It should be an amazing time— so ready to worship Jesus! Concussion brought on phobias run far away!
    Flitta out. <3
    PS
    We should continue on someday with our Broadway worthy schemes :)

  • April 12, 2013 at 12:56 am
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    What’s the band? I’m so excited for you! I’m sorry that you had to go through that crazyland…I’ll be praying for your complete healing. It’s amazing how much our lives and emotions can be completely altered by something like a concussion. It makes me wonder how much of who I call Myself is just interacting neurons and neurotransmitters.

    I was just re-reading Flitta!

    PS
    I agree. Skype sometime?

  • April 12, 2013 at 1:56 pm
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    Taking philosophy makes me wonder the same things (not that I didn’t before but when all these questions are brought forward and every solution presented has problems with it it’s like ????). What separates your mental mind from your physical brain? How much is YOU acting as supposed to the predetermined response? It really is mind boggling and I am still cautiously forming my stance.
    It’s a summer band that a YWAM base in Montana puts together.. actually they put together several bands–we spend a month getting to know each other and rehearsing then off we go! Julie is actually in their dance program as well so we’re spending the summer together (at least half of it anyway) :)
    Actually I think you would really like what they’re about. They also have a drama program and a sports program–really awesome opportunity.

    Flitta is amazing. I recently found a copy of it when I was going through one of our old computers that is about to die and weeding through what was worth saving… Flitta made it by the way.

    PS
    Absolutely. Just name a time.

  • April 12, 2013 at 2:00 pm
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    Oh and I don’t think it was the one concussion that did it… I think it was the fact that it was like 3 in a row. And the bleeding on top of my brain. That too.

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