Tuesday, April 25, 2006

the round window

my room is on the west side of the shepardson building, which means that it overlooks the space between it and the baird building. the thing that stands out about my room is that it is the only double room on shep 6, and it has a round window.

you can get a pretty good look at it from the walkway from baird; roughly halfway down the wing there's that one circular window and its accompanying ornamental brickwork. it's a nice architectural detail that probably goes unnoticed most of the time.

the west side of shep 3 looks out onto a rooftop and there's lots of bricks and ductwork and pigeon netting, which the pigeons absolutely love. the east side of shep 3 doesn't look out at all; there are no windows but instead they've poured the engineering building into that space.

shep 6 is a lot more open, if you discount the heavily locked double doors. it's hard to discount the doors if you're coming or going, because the elevator deposits you in that teeny little lobby and they have to hit the green button from the nurses' station to open that set of doors to let you into what can only be described as the lock chamber; the second set of doors can only be opened once the first set lock behind you.

but it's brighter up here. more light gets in the windows on the west side of the building, and there ARE windows on the east side. and there's the screen porch.

i love the screen porch because of the access to fresh air anytime i want to breathe it, but also because of its obstructed view. it's a view i love to hate. they need the screening to be secure,so if you're looking out from the activity rooms (which are large and have big windows), you see the mountains pretty clearly, but the closer you get to the screening, the harder it is to see out. it's like a solid sheet of metal with lots and lots of little circular holes punched in it and if you're far enough away or if you keep moving, you almost don't see it but once you settle close by it suddenly leaps into your focus.

if you sit in the chairs on the porch you have to not mind the wall suddenly appearing.

it's a lot easier to talk about the windows and walls than it is to talk about how i'm doing because at the moment i'm not doing very well.

today we had a meeting, my parents and my best friends and my pastor along with the social worker and the doctor. the idea was to put everyone on the same page with regard to supporting my recovery. it was quite a powerful thing, having them all show up to support me but on the flip side i feel all worn out. i slept all afternoon and missed dinner.

i think they've just given me a roommate, which is enough to make me want to kill myself, right there. i feel like a trapped rat; i feel like i have to run. of course in group they'd label it a fine set of cognitive distortions, but from where i'm sitting death seems like a very fine emergency exit.

and i have a very deep ambivalence: maybe i don't want to recover. maybe i just want OUT.

i don't know. it's hard to know. it's hard to think about it clearly, it's hard to think about it at all in the face of all the love and support i'm given.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

still breathing

i'm still standing, still drawing breath. but it was close; about eighteen inches close. i don't know really how i was saved, but i know that Barbara was there and rumblestrip was there and my heart softened and and i came down.

they wanted me to come in before that and after that, but i wasn't going, not before Easter.

monday following Easter and i went in for ECT and they found me strangely treatment compliant. i went straight from there up to shep 6, which is where they keep the involuntaries. i'm voluntary myself, but they're full up on shep 3 and to tell you the truth it's not that far from here to there.

i'm having a really bad day; every time i think about it i cry. but i got some reading done. i finished Watership Down, which i was reading because rumblestrip likes it. there's another book rumblestrip lent me as well.

and i finished up reading acts and i started reading Small Gods, which my sister thought i should read the last time i was in. my sister has an ironic sense of humor.

there are a couple of things Barbara lent me, and i spent some time marking up my hymnals, preparing for sunday under the assumption they're going to let me out on pass to go to church.

tomorrow i have ECT, which wipes me out and is destroying my memory, not that anyone would want to remember my life lately. and you should see the collection of bruises i have from the IVs.

i can't light a candle here when i go to my evening prayer as is my habit, so i will appreciate it very much if you will all take over for me while i'm here.

i'll let you know how it goes.


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