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Milligrams, Bandages, and No More Shoelaces
They took my studded belt. And my shoelaces.
“You’ll get them back when you leave. They only take them from you because some people would use them to… well, never mind. You’re a good girl. Right?”
Nurse Sunshine-And-Rainbows looked down at the bandages covering my left arm, and sucked in a tiny breath.
I’m a good girl alright.
When I finally got to your office, you were looking at my file. You told me I could sit down, and that your name was Dr. Lincoln, but I could call you Janice.
I didn’t move a muscle.
You kept talking while I firmly resolved that I wasn’t going to speak until I was miles away from here.
You told me I have to keep this journal, date my entries with a “mood” include, and write in it every day so you know how I really think and feel. You think I’ll be more honest to a piece of paper than to you. You’re right.
My eyes are still adjusting to all the white in this building. You’d think they’d give it more color - white is such a stereotype. But I guess when you’re dealing with people like me, color isn’t high on your priority list.
I hate when people like you say that. People like me.
Brunettes? People with freckles? Those of less than average height?
No. You mean the problem patients. People like me are the serious cases.
The ones that might not get fixed. The ones who never leave.
Lexapro, 30 mg.
Zyprexa, 20 mg.
One half grapefruit at every meal, and two bottles of water a day.
All that’s supposed to help with the Zyprexa, or something. I don’t really like grapefruit, but you encourage me to do it anyway. Encouragement is different than force, you remind me. And alright, maybe you don’t force me, but they do. The mean looking nurse who replaces Nurse Sunshine-And-Rainbows during my lunch hour hovers near my empty table, ominous like thunder and quick as lightning to stop my hand from tossing any plate that’s not spotless. “I have orders to make you eat that entire half,” rumbles Nurse Storm Cloud, and so I sit back down and stare at my fourth of a grapefruit until Nurse Headphones replaces her. She doesn’t notice my un-empty rind.
“Keep up with the fruit,” you say at our next session, clicking your pen.
I note that you have annoying habits.
“We’ll keep this dosage for now. You can go now, Aimee.”
So I’m staying medicated.
Side Effects may include, but are not limited to: a false raise in hopes, worse depression, suicidal thoughts, cutting (again), failure to tolerate the color white in excess, and it may increase the probability that I will never actually speak to you.
Today I watched you read both of my entries. I tried to guess when you’d be reading my joke by your laughter, but you didn’t ever laugh. I was slightly disappointed.
You asked why I had only written two entries in three days.
I counted the green objects in your office.
You told me it was essential to my therapy being successful, and that you were a tad bit upset with me for ignoring your request.
11 green objects. I started on blue.
You sighed like you hadn’t slept in days and you told me to look you in the eyes.
Slowly, my eyes wandered towards you, counting all the way. 15 so far, I noted, including your eyes.
“Please,” you said, leaning forward. You reached towards me, so I sat on my hands. Your head dropped a little. “I’d like to help you.”
After a few minutes, I grabbed a pad and a pencil and wrote “OK.”
Maybe it’s time for a change.