Saturday, 30 July 2016

Space.

He said, I don’t understand your concept of taking up too much space.

She doesn’t really understand it, either.
She just knows
It matters.
It matters.
It matters.

What is too much space, anyway.
What is space as it relates to the human body at all?

She measures her space in pounds and inches. Eighty-three-point-three pounds. Twenty-one inch waist. Thirteen inch thighs. But what does that mean? Why does it matter?

Is she the space between her thighs, the daylight shining through? [Subtle references are important, you know.] Or is she the space her thighs take up when she sits in the chair – her chair – and her thighs expand to roughly the size of Texas? Does she take up more space in that moment? Does it change the amount of space she occupies at all?

He says, The amount of physical space you take up in that chair has diminished.

She doesn’t know why this is Important TM. But it is.

She takes up too much space.
That is all she knows.

It’s in
the way
she makes
people
worry.

Or
the way
she is awkward
and clumsy
and stupid
and ugly
and worthless
and small.

Small on the inside. Large on the outside.
She is a reverse Tardis.


It’s in
the way
he asks her
to tell him
that she
is still
breathing.

Or in
the way
her mom
tells her,
If you die you will be effectively killing me too.

It’s in all the ways and all the things and all she knows is that she is too much too much too much.
Too much.
Always too much.

She wants to be able to explain. She wants to say, But don’t you see? Can’t you understand? I have to be smaller. I have to be.

But she doesn’t quite know how to make the words come out.
Or how to say,
I need to be SmallTinyInsignificantNothingNothingNothing.

Or how to say,
I need the number to get smaller smaller smaller until it’s barely a number at all.

He says, You’re not George’s grandmother. You’re not in George’s Marvellous Medicine. You aren’t going to get smaller and smaller and smaller until you disappear.

She doesn’t say it
But she thinks,
Yes. That’s true. But I will die. And maybe
 that’s something
like
the
same

thing.

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

drowning.


It is an odd place to be
where you feel you cannot speak
or move
or think
or breathe
at all.

It is like drowning.
Slow-motion-can’t-breathe-can’t-move-can’t-think-drowning.

You know how to swim.
You do.
But your limbs
refuse
to work.

They are so heavy.
You are
so heavy.
Heavy.
Heavy.
Heavy.

You weigh too much.
You speak too much.
You eat too much.
You breathe too much.
You take up too much space.

You are
too much.

You are
You are
You are

heavy.

too much 
too dumb
too stupid
too numb

Heavy.

And so
you sink.

Down
Down
Down.

Into the abyss.



Drowning.

Saturday, 2 July 2016

Circles.

He walks behind her as they head towards his office. She holds her breath and counts his steps and focuses on remaining upright. The hallway seems to go on forever, until finally, finally, they reach the door. With trembling fingers and an unsteady hand she reaches out and grips the handle. She practically falls into his office but she holds it together long enough to shuffle over to her chair. She all but collapses into it and stares intently at the floor.

"How are you today?" he asks, following her inside.

"Good."

She knows her voice is lost in the empty space between them, so she tries again.

"I'm good. How are you?"

She can feel his eyes on her as he makes his way over to his chair. He doesn't answer her question.

"You looked a bit wobbly in the legs, there. Are you okay?"

Damn damn double damn.

"I'm fine," she says, shifting her head so that her hair covers her face. Long hair makes an excellent shield, you know.

"How are you feeling?"

She can hear the anticipatory doubt in his voice. She works hard to keep her words even.

"I'm fine."

Fine, fine, fine.
I am fine.

Silence hangs in the air. She tugs a loose thread on her sweater and counts the beats between her breaths.

"You look really unwell." He is refusing to back down. She pulls the thread in her sweater a little harder. The seam begins to unravel.

"How are you feeling?" he asks again. There's a level of insistence in his voice. She knows he's not going to let it go.

"I'm a bit lightheaded," she concedes. The thread snaps. "And tired. I'm just tired."

She can practically feel the skepticism radiating out of his pores. She tries to ignore it.

"Yeah? How many times have you hit the deck this week?"

She laughs.
He laughs.
But he doesn't find it funny.

"I don't know. A couple of times." She tries to sound nonchalant. He is not fooled.

"Too many to count?"

She chews the inside of her lip and remains silent.

He shifts in his seat and changes tact. "What's your heart rate right now?"

She shrugs. "I don't know."

"It's right there on your wrist," he says, nodding towards her fitbit. "Check it. Please. Tell me. Please."

She hates it when he says please.

It is 43. She says 49.

They talk in circles. This is dangerous. I'm really worried. When last did you eat. When last did you sleep. How are you going with suicidal thoughts.

She says, I don't know how to qualify that.

He says, Are you going to fatally harm yourself today?

She says, No.

Circles circles talking in circles.

Can you see the dietician again. Can I call acute care. When next are you going to see your doctor. How are you feeling. Are you okay. Are you okay. Are you

Okay.

She says, yes, yes, yes. I'm fine. I promise you I am fine.

He says, You're not fine. You need help.

She says, I have help.

He says, It's not enough.
You need a team.
I'm not

enough.

She says, I don't want a team. I only want you.

"I'm not going anywhere. But a team can help in ways that I'm not qualified to help. Medically. With medication. They can help. Let's get you more help"

"I'm really scared of having a bunch of doctors all saying I need to do something I don't want to do."

"Doesn't that tell you something? If three or four medical professionals are all saying you need to stop, don't you think that means something?"

She tries to disappear into the chair.
It doesn't work.
Solid matter, and all.

He sighs a lot.
Says, I'm worried, a lot.  I'm worried. I'm concerned. I'm scared.

Scared.

She hate hate hates the scared word. He's not allowed to be scared. She is scared. She. Scared is her emotion. He is not allowed to share it.

At the end of the session, when she tries to stand, her Bambi legs made an appearance and she doesn't quite make it out of the chair. She sits there staring at the floor. He stands there staring at her. Indecisive. Unsure. Concerned.

Always concerned.

She counts
Then

She holds her breath

as she
stands
up.

Slowly slowly slowly. Almost there. Slowly. But he wants to talk. So she has to breathe. And grip the arm of the faded chair in an effort to remain vertical.

He says, Are you always this unsteady?

She says, I'm okay.

He says, How the fuck do you run while you're like this?

She laughs. He swears so much. She swears a lot more because of him. He is a bad influence on her.

She says, Now you know why I hit the deck so often.

She waits for him to open the door.
He doesn't.
He always does it.
But he doesn't.

He says her name.
She doesn't look at him.
But she waits.

He says, Can I walk you over to the hospital?

She snaps.
No. No. No.
No.
I'm fine.
No.

She doesn't look at him.
Doesn't know if he responds.

The words tumble out of her mouth.
Bye. Thank you. Good bye.

She opens the door herself.

It is sunny as she walks over to her car. On the way she stops on her favourite patch of sidewalk. There's a manhole cover in the middle of the pathway. There's a label stamped into the cement. It says, 36 kilograms. She stands on it for a while until her Bambi legs go away.

She doesn't know why it makes her feel better.

But it does.