SMILE (Part 10) – or They Want me Sad

17Jan13

Sad Blocks

Klonopin – 

It’s like they want me to be sad.  Slow and sad. And crying. I cry and cry in the day-room. Dr. Lopez with his long, pretty hair is so nice and when he smiles I think he knows just what to do.  So I said I’d take the stupid pills.  But now, they just slow me down and make me cry.  Why do they want me this way? I watch the crane over the river, move slowly with that long, yellow arm, a giant wrecking ball on the end.  But it just moves in circles and never hits anything.

Identification – 

“It’s called a chemical straight jacket, kiddo.  And don’t let them do it to you.  I know you’re still there, somewhere.  You still have a choice.  Refuse the meds!” Murray whispers.  He sits close to me at the dinner table as I shift my food around.  I don’t want to eat. I don’t want visitors anymore.  I don’t care about Johnny’s letters, the kids, Murray and his love affair with Jenny, Miranda and her stupid glitter.

A few days ago, I was looking forward to being made a Level Three – which meant I could go outside and smoke at selected times.  It meant your meds were working, your mood was improving. Level Threes have one foot out the door.  But to where?  It’s an assembly line of illness, one person brought in with bandaged wrists and tear streaked skin, another leaving with a paper sack of cloths and stacks of papers: affirmation worksheets, medication instructions, aftercare policies.  Sometimes, a family member picks them up with smiles and hugs.  Other times the patient is handed a bus token to nowhere.  It’s the hesitation in their bodies that scares me the most, the way their step is heavy and unsteady as the tempered glass doors are finally unlocked, how naked their wrists look without the hospital identification bracelet.

I’m going to keep mine on forever.

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9 Responses to “SMILE (Part 10) – or They Want me Sad”

  1. 1 BehindMyBooks

    A bunch of mental health morons just prescribed my fiance Klonopin for his depression. They have him take it at 2pm and then double it before bed.

    Drugging people up with tranquilizers, the best solution for depression. Its ludicrous.

    Love the piece, and the way you characterize everyone.

    • Thanks… yeah, the wrong meds can whack everything out. It’s a process of trail and error, sadly. Thanks for keeping up with the story and your feedback. How’s your work coming along?

      • 3 BehindMyBooks

        Well enough. It is still a bit of an experiment, and extremely unfocused. But I think it has potential.

  2. Sorry, I just started the follow–are you currently inpatient (on ward)? Or is these posts excerpts from a book that is to be published? Either way they completely capture the spoken and unspoken culture in there! I recall when, for no reason, I just didn’t care about the ward dynamics. My perceptual color scheme washed out. Funny observations and comradery shifted into an isolating apathy and morbid reflection. Realistic snapshot!!

    Sent from my

    • Nope… this piece is told in present tense, but it’s about an event that happened 13 years ago. It’s a chapter from my memoir I’m shopping around to get published. It’s true that funny observations and comradery often happen in these intense situations. I always can tell when a person has mental health issues when they laugh at psych ward humor. (Also, a good measuring stick for whether or not I like them! I tend to like people who laugh inappropriately and loudly….)

  3. Ihated the mdication too i felt like a stranger in my body!! what a beautful story!

    • Thanks Cathy! I’ve gotten a lot of feedback on this specific medication from other readers who loved / hated it. I think all meds have the potential for success, but it is very dependent on body chemistry and underlying conditions. As for me, well, obviously it wasn’t something I could stick with…..

  4. 8 kp

    I took Klonopin for anxiety and it was very beneficial. Can’t see it helping for depression.

    • It was used, in this case, as a way of pushing down the mania. But it has a depressant quality to it. So it really, really backfired. Thanks for keeping with this story. A few more installments until the finale. And then…. we start on another adventure!


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