Mornings in the Looney Bin

Morning was always an odd experience inside the locked ward at Mercy General.

At first, when the mind perceived it was not exactly asleep and coming to, the sounds and smells were odd but quickly comforting in the fact of the safety of being in a place one didn’t have to make all the decisions.

The sun coming through the window was reminiscent of her childhood home where in the mornings the sun would stream its cheery brightness right over her bed.  If she didn’t actually look at the window as she came to full consciousness, or kept her eyes closed as the sun warmed her face, she didn’t have to acknowledge the bars on the window or the extra thick glass that distorted the view to the outside world.

A mere moment until there was no choice but to admit she knew where she was, but if she stayed very still, it could seem like it was much longer.  Once further denial did not fit into the imagination, there was a twinge of wanting to get the hell out of there warring with the relief of being there.

She still wore the same red dress.  It had been almost 4 days and she had no clothes except this sad remnant, although she was actually starting to like it, imagining herself like a lonely waif wandering the halls in search of the answers, in search of herself.

Whatever pills they gave her to swallow at night knocked her out completely and she didn’t even dream anymore.  Time passing was stealing her ability to care, she thought every now and then, certainly her ability to cry.bipolar

She would lay in bed as long as possible, waiting until the insistent voice of the nurse came close to her door announcing breakfast and time to get moving.  She didn’t want them to catch her loitering and motionless in her bed, afraid it would signal something that would equate more pills or more talking to strangers or more …anything.

The first 2 mornings she awoke with optimism, which clearly she did not feel anymore and wondered if the pills stole that too, or if it was just disappointment in once again hearing only an excuse on the phone why she had no visitors, and why she would have to wear the red dress yet another day.

Sitting up, she tried to run her fingers through her hair which, with only the small combs they gave out in the generic toiletries, had become a tangled and unruly mass.  She wondered why no one noticed or thought it odd, as in her mind she looked more crazy with each passing day, than she had the night she went to the hospital.

She hardly recognized the reflection staring back at her when she stood in front of the mirror in her bathroom.  Fully aware it was more like a mirror at a fun house carnival and warped her true reflection oddly, necessary because mirrors could be broken and used to commit suicide, it still seemed, more and more, not her with each passing day.

By now the floor was abuzz with the talk and laughter of other patients getting ready to go to breakfast, and the smell of coffee drifted into her room, another comfort taking her back if she closed her eyes and just inhaled, forgetting the place and circumstance and the actual source of the wonderful aroma.

He always brought her coffee in the morning, sometimes going out to the coffee shop to get her favorite and surprising her with a sweet, coffeecake or scone, usually going to make it in their little cozy kitchen on the cappuccino machine they had bought together when they moved into the perfect little house they called home.

He wasn’t thoughtful about a lot of other things, but he always brought her coffee.  She missed him but as she conjured an image of him in her head, she could not feel it, not ache like she did when she usually missed him and thought it was scary this lack of feeling but noticed she did not feel the feeling of fear either.

It was all just thought, just words floating through with no feeling to match or push them to extremes.  Odd and unsettling, again just a word.

A last glance into the warped mirror, pulling her hair into a tangled mess of an up-sweep, she took a deep breath and went to face morning, and find her way to the coffee.

 

Something I am starting to work on again.. a small piece of the big picture.  I was stumbling through YouTube last night, couldn’t sleep, this song reminded me of this story.  The connection is maybe not apparent but I decided to dust off the WIP folder and share both…and maybe see where it could go.  Deeply feeling lots of things lately, trying to find my way

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15 responses to “Mornings in the Looney Bin

  1. Get. Out. Of. My. Head.

    This is brilliant in showing the patterns and styles the moods take you through. God, I write this kind of thing in my notebooks, daily.

    • I always wonder how you do it. I gotta get it out. I don’t know what to do with it .. Thinking it unrecognizable or myself unable to tell.. Thank you. I broke into tears just now reading your comment. Sounds trite in a reply but its all I got right now. Thank you.

  2. Lizzie, I am sorry you are feeling lost. Some times there aren’t words that adequately describe feelings. and if you do find the words they can’t find their way past your liips.
    Just know I care.
    Hugs
    Carrie

  3. To me as a reader, her listlessness is palpable. I wonder how she doesn’t feel hopeless when she thinks about her situation, analyzes it, yet is detached, as if looking at herself from a distance.
    I think this is strong. Do go back to it. ;-)

    • Isn’t it funny.. I couldn’t write..I really thought I lost it . .I heard this song and its like a dam broke.. Its all intertwined.. The music brings it up .the words get it out..maybe this is my book..certainly a story. I cry everytime I play this song.. ..I try to at it til I stop.. It’s one of those ..and here I go….storytime. :-)

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