(Im)[in]patient

You can see through the symptoms, past the stigmas, bedlocked all day, getting up only to eat or shit, and there’s the not being able to pay for your meds and so taking what you have every other day, then every third day, and of looking into the mirror and seeing exhaustion, eyes hazy, cheeks hollow, and of waking up and holding your skull to figure out what’s really going on, with also of course the putting off hangouts, rescheduling, and then ghosting altogether, and there’s weeping in the morning and at night with no reason, of the way that people look at you different once you disclose your diagnosis: pity or fear or both, and then there’s going to one specialist, then another, and being (im)[in]patient, and there are the side effects, blurred vision and slurred speech and constant fatigue, and there’s taking one to counteract the side effects of another, then taking another to balance out the new side effects, and there’s finding the right pharmaceutical cocktail that will keep you alive, and then there’s getting cocktails with friends and the panic attack that comes only because of people being in your vicinity, and there’s bringing someone home and having to stop without knowing why, and to go out in a field where there is nothing but grass and open sky and to lie down in this and look up at this and there’s nothing more you can do now but to lie here and wait, and of course there’s not sleeping for days and having the delusion that you’re now in hell and your body is a macrocosmic vessel holding light and dark and you’re walking through the grocery store in clothes you haven’t washed in weeks, walking through aisles and seeing the lights all around, the cold air of the freezer section, and the faces of grocers are distending into sneers or ghoulish smiles and everything you hear is directed at you, and that you haven’t taken your meds in a week, haven’t slept, haven’t eaten or showered, and there’s making a concerted effort to get out of bed and get to your therapy appointment, and there’s tracing it back, or else trying to, back to the source, where it all began, and was it some instance in your childhood, eating paint chips or dust bunnies or teething on the electrical cord, what was it you want to know, and it’s so hard to remember when you haven’t slept, so you take benadryl like it’s candy and knock out for a day or two, get your shit together, wash, etc., and you’re still wondering what it was, sourcing it back to trauma that might’ve caused it all, and your family history becomes a set of Russian dolls, pulling out one surprise after another, and you’re unearthing bodies buried with concrete slabs on top of the caskets, and old wounds bleed freely as you lie in the bathtub with no water, grabbing the razor but not knowing what to do with it, and thinking of drawing the bath first, and the jumble that comes with counteracting your body’s natural instincts, fears, etc., and there’s putting down the razor, picking it back up again, wanting to cease consciousness, it’s here, the weight of being as you see it now, the supreme responsibility that comes with being alive, and you’re looking at your arms, the way the blood courses through your veins like miniature rivers, and you’re not a macrocosm after all but a micro-, and you’re still palming the blade, now testing it on a small patch of skin as if this is some sort of allergy test, and you let the blood trickle slightly down the flesh before pulling back and then wanting to do it and then wanting to do it and then wanting to do it and then not…wanting…but it isn’t clear which way this is going to go, and so you put the blade down to think it over, and in the process you fall asleep, and wake up half a day later, not even remembering why you’re in the bathtub, until you see the razor, and before you can stop yourself you throw it in the trash and take the trash out to the dumpster and don’t look back, and you come back in, and you sit, and you listen, and you cry, and you remember to breathe.

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