Her name is Willett and she sits alone in the corner of the room with a blanket around her frail body and a lifeless gaze in her eyes. I’ve never quite seen someone who has totally given up until now and it’s the saddest thing I’ve ever seen. It’s a crazy world that she will put a real smile on my face, one that I haven’t had for a long time.
It’s 8:00 am and breakfast is being served (or I should say you grab the tray with your name on it, I’m still befuddled how my name is there because I don’t recall ordering anything) and I am suddenly sent back to junior high at lunchtime when your social livelihood depends on your next choice, where to sit. There about 10 tables each with a number of people sitting at them talking and enjoying their time together, then I spot Willett. She sits alone at the corner table with a look of total distrust and paranoia. I wish I could say I chose to sit with Willett because I knew somehow I was suppose to or that I could see she needed help. But the truth of the matter is I didn’t recognize one single person there aside from Willett and there weren’t many seats open, so I sat down.
Willett and I shared the distinct honor of both being admitted to the suicide watch hall of the psych ward. I had been admitted a couple days prior and the day before spent the majority of my time sleeping (thanks to the tranquilizers and I imagine the average of 3 hours of sleep a night I had been getting for the past couple of weeks, thanks mania). Now for those of you who haven’t had the opportunity to spend some time in a suicide watch room it’s kind of like a night at a Sandals resort room. The only differences are that you don’t have a view of the ocean, instead it’s a brick building about 3 feet away. The King size bed with soft linens and an undeniable abundance of pillows is exchanged for a single bed with one sheet, pillow case less pillow, and it’s bolted to the tiled floor. The hand carved cabinets are no where to be found, your clothes are just thrown about the floor. Also the whirlpool tub is replaced with a seat less toilet (stay classy Porter Hospital). Oh yeah one more thing, the intimate privacy you so desire at Sandals, let’s go ahead and put a camera right on you all the time (perfect if someone is paranoid they are being watched). Willett’s room was a few down from mine and I had passed her from time to time when I managed to awake from my hibernation to grab a drink or what not, solid connection I know.
Willett doesn’t say much, it’s as if she’s so weak and tired that she can barely muster up enough energy to lift the fork to her mouth. I try to make small talk but it goes with no avail, she’s terrified of me, of everyone and everything. She gets up and walks away and I sit there and think to myself even with the total chaos that has been in my life for the past few weeks and continuing to that day I was still happy to be alive and wanted to continue to live, I’m not sure Willett could say the same thing. It’s hard to imagine what events occurred in her (or anyone else’s for that matter) life to totally crush someone to the point that they have given up.
Over the next few days Willett and I eat together and her defenses come down a little (it was probably the milk I gave her every breakfast) she begins to actually talk to me a little but nothing huge. I have no idea where she is from, why she is here, what has happened to her to get here to this point of her life and I’m not sure I really wanted to, I’m not sure I could handle it. Over the next few days I could slowly see the life coming back into her eyes. One morning I wake up and am walking down to the shower when I see Willett dancing around the halls. I had to take a double take because this could not be the same woman that could barely feed herself a few mornings ago. It seems one of her friends had brought her a disc man and a cd, needless to say she liked it. The next day I stood by and watched Willett dance out the doors with her headphones, smile on her face, and life back in her eyes.
I smile and think to myself, if she can get through this there’s no reason I can’t. I finally smile.
Since many of my manic experiences involve music I’ve decided to add random music videos to the blog for my enjoyment and your inconvenience. Enjoy!