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Im_Still_Alive

I'm not well don't wait around.

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This post was not born of good spirits. It should be no more fun to read than it is to write. There won’t be any uplifting messages. There are no lessons here. No hidden morals to be uncovered. It can’t be anything other than what it is.


 


I just need to be rid of it.


 


Like that damned spot, I need it . . . fucking . . . OUT!


 


It’s been haunting me and I can’t deal. I suppose this is how the bulimic feels when she’s sticking her finger down her throat. Or stuffing her face full of laxatives.


 


Fuck.


 


I’m not writing this well. I’m disjointed. But I guess it’s fitting. Because I saw some shit the other day that disturbed me. Truly fucking disturbed me. And I can’t make sense of it. So I’m writing it out.


 


Purging.


 


As fucked up as that may sound.


 


I brought a friend to the anorexia ward this week. She’d been slipping for awhile. It wasn’t the first time she’d been to the hospital, but the last time had been so many years ago that we’d all thought those days were done. Over with. That she’d learned to cope.


 


We were wrong.


 


I’ll spare you the details of our trip, other than to say that I’m ashamed for looking forward to having a day off and going for a road trip. Sometimes, I just don’t know what the fuck’s wrong with me. It’s ok though. I learned my lesson. This trip could have never ended in anything other than suffering. I should’ve seen that from the start.


 


I began to get a feel for how severe things were when she started shaking in the waiting room. We’d been sitting there for hours already, and they wouldn’t let her take her meds since they knock her out. I thought it was just because she was falling asleep. You know how some people twitch when they fall asleep.


 


At least, that’s what I told myself. What I wanted to believe.


 


We were watching soap operas to pass the time. A mindless distraction. To ignore what was really going on . . . that she was being admitted to psychiatric care.


 


That shit’s for crazy people, right? For loonies that need straitjackets and padded rooms. Well, she’d been in padded rooms before. This time shouldn’t be so bad. Two weeks is all it’s supposed to take.


 


If everything goes smoothly. If all goes right and the treatment works without flaw.


 


If after if after if.


 


When they finally got their shit together and it came time to admit her, we began our long walk. Hospitals are a fucking maze. I lost track of all the twists and turns we took. But the deeper we got, the worse conditions seemed to get. This wasn’t some fancy new hospital with clean walkways and spotless white quarters.


 


This place was old. Worn. Pain and loss had settled the structure. You could feel it. The suffering. It was in the walls. All around you. In the very fucking air.


 


Sorrow.


 


You couldn’t escape it. As much as you might want to, you couldn’t. It penetrated you.


 


Stained you.


 


Like that hotel in “The Shining,” this place has demons. Ghosts of torment long since passed. But you could feel it. I still feel it. I can’t get rid of it.


 


I can’t fucking get rid of it!


 


We finally came around the last corner. We’d made it to the ward.


 


The doors here are always locked, so they have to swipe their card to let you in. And to let you out. To let anyone out.


 


But that’s not what they do here. Letting you out is just the carrot on a stick — the dream that makes you behave. What they really do is keep you in. Make you part of the family. Welcome you with cries of anguish.


 


But I’ll get to that soon enough.


 


When they opened those doors and let us into the hall I was uneasy. I can’t even imagine how my friend felt. Terrified, most likely. Scared out of her fucking mind.


 


I’ll never forget the lighting in that place. It was purple blue. Or blue purple. I don’t fucking know. All I know is that it was cold. No warmth. No soul.


 


What the hell is wrong with these shitty hospitals anyway? Is it really so hard to get some normal goddamned lighting? I can’t get that cursed image out of my head. The hallway was impossibly long. Lit like a fucking mortuary. The air reeked of illness and antiseptic.


 


Maybe that’s just my mind warping things, but I can’t stop thinking about it. I want to stop. I want it out of my head. I want it fucking gone forever.


 


But it won’t go.


 


It’s part of me now. Till the day I die.


 


The first girl we saw was a rail. She was talking on the community phone. If I had to guess, I’d say she was 80 pounds. Nothing but bones and sunken eyes. Yet she was wearing jeans that somehow clung tight to her legs. You know, those “skinny jeans” that are so popular. I wouldn’t even be able to fit an arm into them, and yet they clung like spandex on her.


 


It should be a fucking crime for clothing manufacturers to make jeans so small. No wonder such an underweight girl ends up feeling like she’s fat. With clothes so tight, how can she not?


 


She didn’t really notice us as we walked by. She was caught up in her call and her own dark world.


 


But the girl we saw next sure noticed us. She was walking out of her dorm. Dragging her feeding tube stand along side her. The tube was taped to the side of her face — stuck right up her nose.


 


She looked at us. Right at us. Then she started wailing. Not crying . . . wailing. Like a fucking banshee.


 


Anguish. Pain. Hurt.


 


I felt it all. That’s when I learned the truth. Her tormented cries stabbed it right into my brain. It’s there forever. All these years, I thought anorexia and bulimia were about body image. Trying to keep thin. Trying to look good for the boys.


 


Quit playing the diva. Just eat your fucking food and keep it down. It’s not that hard.


 


I’m such an ass. I can’t even begin to tell you how wrong I was. This shit’s for real. These girls couldn’t care less about the boys. They have issues. Serious fucking issues.


 


My friend has issues too. I won’t go into the details, but shit’s happened. Scary shit.


 


And scars remain.


 


When I looked over at her, after the tube girl started wailing, I felt helpless. Her eyes were open so wide. Taking it all in. What kind of fucking welcome is this? I reached out and rubbed her shoulder, but I knew it offered no comfort. There could be no comfort in this place. Never.


 


And there were so many of them. I thought there might just be two or three girls to a room here, but when I looked at the whiteboards hanging on the wall of each dorm, I saw so many names. Too many. But hey, they’re just twigs anyway, right? They don’t take up much space. Just pack ‘em away and forget about ‘em.


 


Fuck ‘em.


 


When it came time to admit my friend, we were taken to a place called the “Sensory Room.”The goddamn Sensory Room.


 


What the fuck is that?


 


I’ll tell you what it is. It’s a bright and happy place — full of color and cushions.


 


And it’s a fucking terror. A mask. It’s the smile painted on a murdering clown. The treacherous grin that conceals the truth.


 


The truth that this is no vacation. No getaway. Two weeks means nothing in this place! How can you ever get out once you’ve been admitted? You’re here until you get better.


 


But there’s just one problem . . .


 


How the fuck can anyone get better in a place like this? Where they pack the sick amongst the sick. Where corpses wail, and the very walls weep with sorrow. Here I am, a grown woman, and I was scared. Not by the girls, but of what they represent . . .


 


Affliction. Disorder.


 


Until you’ve seen it, you can never understand. These girls, these hollowed out shells, arereal fucking people. They’ve laughed. They’ve loved. They’ve had hopes and dreams.


 


And they’ve had pain. So much fucking pain.


 


Now they’re in the ward.


 


And my friend is too.


 


I looked back as we left her alone in the Sensory Room. I wish I hadn’t. It’s the image that haunts me the most. She’s sitting there, on that big over-stuffed couch, gaunt and shaking, with her head low and tears streaming down her face.


 


Abandoned.


 


By her family. Abandoned by me.


 


All I could think as we left her there was how the hell could anyone ever get better in such a place?


 


I called her up today. It took forever to get through to her. You can’t just call the hospital once and get connected. You’ve got to call five fucking times. Like you need to prove that you really do want to talk or some shit. Then they only give you ten minutes. I asked her how she was doing.


 


Not well.


 


She’s lost weight. They’ve got her hooked up to one of those feeding tubes now. Same as the banshee. And she doesn’t know when they’ll let her out.


 


I’m so saddened. But not surprised.


 


In the Anorexia Ward, how could it be any other way?


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I’m so sorry to hear and I hope that things will be a lot better now. I understand why you had to disappear for a while while you prioritized her well-being over all else. She could not ask for a better friend.

 

Hopefully, she does not feel as if you abandoned her. It sounds as if you went as far as you were allowed and stayed as long as you could. She’ll remember that.

 

You’re a great friend, Sandra and I can only hope there are tons and tons of others just like you who are willing to drop everything to make sure their friends in need are taken care of.

Best of luck to both you and her. I can’t say I’ve ever been in such a situation before, so I can’t even imagine what was torturing her inside.

This was a heart wrenching post, but I’m glad you were able to share this with us. People need to hear about these things. Even if this just reaches one person who suffers from anorexia, it will be worth it.

Keep laying down the hard truths Sandy, and I wish your friend the best with her recovery.

 

.

 

Edited by EvilActivity
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