I was two minutes late for the appointment, and I couldn’t bring myself to go in. They told me specifically to be on time, and here I was – late. I desperately wanted to avoid the haranguing I was certain to receive prior to the eventual denial of services. This certainty, the apparent attempt of my heartbeat to pursue a hummingbird and the sweat staining through my shirt in the stifling 40 degree heat, made the dread of tardiness simply stupefy me. I was transformed into a sobbing, sweating, hyperventilating puddle (Can you really be reduced to a puddle if you’re “smart”? Isn’t intelligence a preventative for that?). I didn’t really want to talk to anyone anyway – in fact, I really didn’t care if I simply faded and died (As I was hoping to). If prior events hadn’t seared into my experience that suicide DOES NOT WORK, I would have probably gone that route, but it seemed the only option left for me was to simply wait for the inevitable. I mean, nobody gets out alive, right? I would do anything – I mean ANYTHING – to help it along at this point, but active attempts were not only draining (and I had nothing left to drain), they were unfruitful. You just wake up the next morning and nobody even notices that you feel a little hung over from the pills and booze that “should have killed a horse”. Likewise, it is easy (although bothersome) to cover the deep tissue cuts that “had no reason not to sever an artery”. If I went in there, what good could possibly come of it? They would simply look at me and say (as had so many other providers and even an ER doc in the recent months) boy, there’s really nothing I can do to help you, but let me put you on a list for services and we’ll get back to you in a couple of months for the preliminary intakes.
My trusty boyfriend/Knight In Shining Armor kept hassling me with questions and ultimatums and I don’t know what all. I think that he just wants me to talk, so I summon up every microgram of energy I have left and try to clear it up for him. The familiar phrase comes out short, sweet, and I feel, to the point (not to mention completely explanatory): “I’m just rearranging chairs on a ship that’s going down.” I don’t think he got it. He’s several years my junior and as it turns out, unfamiliar with this literary gem and bereft of any meaning it may have.
Either way, the Knight drags me in, sobbing and sweating, to the admitting desk, where I pretend that I’m O.K. and normal (but know it’s simply a socially accepted farce – no one could believe it.), and check in apologetically. They don’t harangue me, they don’t look at their Timex or even the clock on the wall, they simply say “Have a seat and we’ll be right with you.” I’m in shock and discover the blue-eyed miracle of my life: this IS the intake. Promises are made. You will have a counselor, you will see a prescriber, there is an end to your hell, you will live again, and you can be yourself instead of this horrific shell that you don’t even recognize, it won’t be long now. I don’t believe them, but because suicide DOES NOT WORK, I comply.