Priority One

You are on call, you head to your assignment not knowing what to expect. what you find horrifies you. But you can not let others see that. People need you. People are relying on not the things you head, listened to or seen, people are relying on you and what you know you know. So what are you going to do? How are you going to do it? How will your actions affect others?


6. Respite

When I was committed I was a mess. If I wasn’t committed I might have died sooner. Before I was committed I didn’t give a fuck what happened to me, what anyone thought happened to me, I’d wondered if anyone else would have cared what happened to me. I questioned everything including the point of my existence. Yes, existence, not life, because I didn’t have a life before I was committed and if I did, it’s been taken from me since.

This mess started when my roommate walked in on me in the bathroom. I can’t remember what I did or why I was in there. But she said she found me half conscious, blood all over my arms and legs and an open bottle of Valium tablets next to me, only three left out of 10.  She said she called an ambulance and they apparently could do nothing for the drugs I’d swallowed except give me fluids and bag me. I woke up in hospital, a tube sticking out of my arm, a cuff on the other, oxygen over my nose, my clothes, gone. My roommate; also gone.

After they pumped my stomach they put me on other drugs. All this was about three years ago now. I’ve been here since. Three years of drugging, three years of endless therapy sessions, three years of alternating ECT drugging and other treatments I don’t have the words to describe. It’s got me nowhere.

When I started taking Prozac, everything I felt, I felt on a distant level. As though I was outside my body, like I was in pain but there was a hazy vile masking it from my dulled senses, like morphine does to pain. My emotions were gone by the first week, I could feel nothing, I couldn’t be bothered giving a fuck about anything not even getting better. The shrinks around me knew jack shit about me. They’d taken the numerous scars and fresh cuts on my body to mean I wanted to end my life but before the incident with the Valium, all I’d wanted was the pain to go away. Because it works. It’s like a reset button I can press when things get to be too much, when the pain becomes unbearable, or when I just need to feel something, to remind myself that I’m alive. They didn’t know that when all this shit started I didn’t want to kill myself.

After two months of drugging and electroshock therapy I was defiantly fucked. I’d lost all feeling emotionally and physically. The ‘shrinks’ around me were talking to me, worming info out of me every week, asking me how I feel about everything I didn’t care about, asking me how my meds are going, I’d tell them I don’t like taking them as they make me feel weird, they try to taper me off them but each of the five times I’ve tried I’d crash and burn worse than before. The withdrawal was the same as coming down off cocaine. And yes, I’ve done cocaine.

I’d tell him then that I wasn’t feeling good, I was feeling sick all the time, throwing up, hearing voices telling me to hurt myself, that if I did I would feel better, telling me that I will never get out of here, that I will be stuck here because I was mad, insane, too far gone.

I was falling down the rabbit hole, down to a place where everything is the same, yet different, fucked up, familiar somehow but wholly unfamiliar.

For weeks I’d been in that hell hole disguised as a respite, not serving a function in society, or even in that building. Rolling through life. I’d stopped caring, feeling, listening, months ago.

I’d forgotten what it was like to feel anything. It was like my emotional antenna has been broken off and then there was just static, white noise. I couldn’t see any light, any hope, and any happiness. I didn’t remember what I wanted to be let alone what I was doing before I landed myself in this hole. My shrink tells me I was a nurse. Only very faintly did I remember those days,  let alone life before I was committed.


Right now as I speak to you anonymous readers, I hold the prepped syringe to my distended veins. I swiped it from the cabinet in one of the exam rooms.

Morphine Sulfate.

The sedation which is going to follow is going to render me inert, non-functional, and perhaps even dead. Don’t get attached, don’t sympathize, don’t pity. This is what I want. After all it has to be better than living right now, right?

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