My two-bedroom apartment patiently waited for me for ten weeks. Ten weeks, almost to the day.
The bed where I scattered and counted out 46 trazodone, the couch where I felt the heaviness of sleep hit my eyes like an anvil. The door that still remembers the hammering knocks of EMS as they answered a concerned call. Everything is here, practically untouched, like a scene in a museum. A shrine. For the girl who was rushed away in an ambulance ten weeks ago.
To be quite honest, I wasn’t thinking I’d ever see this apartment again. I was supposed to be in Residential treatment for the next week, then PHP for another 6-8 weeks. Maybe even IOP after that? Maybe living in Mountain Home with my parents. Or anywhere. The world is my oyster. My lease is up in May so I was just going to have my parents move me out of this apartment into a storage unit while I was still in treatment and figure out the rest when the time came. I had plenty of time. I swear, it felt like I had plenty of time.
But because of COVID-19, there is potential for domestic travel restrictions. My current level in treatment, Transitioning Residential, was canceled until further notice. ERC was talking about making their PHP virtual. I felt claustrophobic with the risk of getting trapped in Denver or thrown into chaos. So plans were arranged, a plane ticket was bought. I didn’t even sign a 72 hour notice for discharge. I gave my team a 5 hour notice. And I just walked out the doors of ERC, back out into the world. No one tried to change my mind or even batted an eye. After praying and sobbing and hoping and wishing for ten weeks to please please please just let me go home, everyone just.. let me go home.
The plan was originally to go to my parent’s house. But we don’t want to risk spreading airport germs to anyone else so here I am, quarantined in my apartment for 2-14 days.
This faithful apartment welcomed me back as if I never left. Today it’s felt like I never even left. Like the past ten weeks didn’t happen. As if I am the same girl who shut down, abandoned everything, gave up. When I passed through the doorway yesterday evening around 7pm, it felt as thought I spiritually stepped back into the physical being of the girl that I was ten weeks ago, on January 8th.
I’m not that girl any more. Right? Please, someone tell me that I am not. I desperately don’t want to be that girl any more. I could cry at the thought. Ten weeks, just to step back into the same debilitating ruts? Ten weeks of uncomfortable, painful, exhausting work just to be in the exact same place? Please. Tell me I’m not letting this happen.
My throat is raw, my face swollen. From only one full day of being back in this apartment. For the third time today, I gag myself and expel everything I have eaten back up. Eight homemade blueberry crumble oatmeal bars with yogurt come out like wet cement. I cough. I heave. I choke. The oats scrape the roof of my mouth. I cannot breathe. Please, tell me this is a nightmare.
You can’t. Because it is happening. This is real life, I am wide awake. The work does not work. I want to scream.. THE. WORK. DOES. NOT. WORK.
Why do I even try? What is the point? Thousands of dollars, weeks of treatment, hours of therapy.. for what? To be stuck in this body forever. I will be stuck here as this girl, in this body, in this disgusting, exhausting rut forever.
And I can’t tell anyone. Because then I’d have to leave my apartment again. I’d have to leave the safety of my rut. I’d have to do more work. More work that, hell, may not even work. And I’m so tired. So so extremely tired, guys. I don’t want to do any more work right now. I just want a break from the work.
I just want to give up. I just want to throw in the towel. It doesn’t feel possible that I could do anything else but give up.
I want to stay in this apartment. Why in the hell do I want to stay in this apartment? Why do I want to lie to all of those I love and tell them I’m doing great, I’m intentionally working towards recovery? This demon in my mind is trying to kill me.
My prayers and wishes and sobs and pleads have been answered. I’m home. I’m back in my apartment. “Be careful what you wish for,” they say. I know. But I need a break. Just let me have a little break.