Monthly Archives: July 2013

Toxic– Black Box Warnings Guest Post

Hey friends! Great news– today is my guest post day at Black Box Warnings. So head on over to their neck of the woods and check it out!

Click here to go check out my new post, “Toxic.”, and be on the look out for the accompanying compulsive doodle on the subject.


Three Strikes

I did not belong there. At least that’s what I thought as I was sitting at the long table for breakfast, my first meal at what I, perhaps rudely, call the crazy house. I know it’s terribly politically incorrect, but it’s the label that makes the most sense to me. “Inpatient treatment” is probably more accurate but it subtly masks the truth, the truth about how awful it is to really be in one of those places. And being there is awful. “Inpatient treatment” sounds like something you get after major surgery, not somewhere you go when you get majorly crazy– which is what it really is. So I call it the “crazy house.” Mental institution works too but I prefer crazy house, political correctness be damned.

Unfortunately, I did belong there. Looking down the table, I tried to assess the damage. Scanning the faces of the others who actually got up for breakfast at the ungodly hour of 7 a.m.– an ungodly hour for a student anyway, especially one who hadn’t been to class before 10 a.m. in a year– I tried to evaluate their level of craziness. Some of them were in blue hospital scrubs. Not necessarily a full set: some wore only the top; others, only the bottom. There was one old man in a hospital dressing gown, the kind that ties in the back but not tightly enough hide what should be hidden. I made a point not to find out whether he was wearing anything underneath the gown. There were others, like me, wearing sweats or normal clothes. Upon closer inspection, some of them looked quite ordinary, though sad.

I found out that the old man in the gown — who looked 70 but was probably somwhere is in his early sixties– was an alcoholic who’d tried to kill himself. It was not his first time in treatment. It seemed, based on the snippets he revealed in “group”, that he had been scraped off the cold floor of his rock bottom and brought into treatment, maybe as an alternative to jail. The circumstances were unclear. But, of the group of us, he seemed to be in the worst shape, at least phsyically. He joined our ward–the depression ward– after first being admitted to the substance abuse ward and was still going through the alcohol withdrawal symptoms and was usually ill. Despite this, he had a simple but surprisingly cooperative and somewhat positive attitude. It seemed like he’d gone through all this before and he might have known that this was going to be one of his last chances to get it right and get himself together.

There were a few other patients that appeared to be about the same vintage of the old man, and from there the ages were scattered from middle age to, what appeared to be, sixteen. I later found out that the girl I thought was sixteen was, in fact, twenty nine and married with two kids. Other than a twenty year old boy, I was the youngest on the ward.

The twenty year old boy was from Mexico and had only been in the States for a few years. His English wasn’t great but he was very chatty and always smiling. He was always at the coloring table with me and was not content to color in silence, which is what I preferred. He told me he’d tried to kill himself by overdosing on his cousin’s Valium. He arrived about the same time that I did. After they let him out of the hospital he was immediately transferred to our ward in the crazy house. Aside from that bump in the road he was very positive about his future– and his odds of getting out once the weekend was over.

I was determined to leave as soon I saw the psychiatrist I was assigned to, Dr. X. Breakfast had been enough to scare me straight and I was certain I was ready to leave, the sooner the better.

After we’d all picked at our breakfasts and returned our bland trays to the bland beige carts they’d arrived in, I was informed that it was time for “group.” I didn’t know exactly what that meant but I suspected that it would be lame and useless. It was not useless, as I later found out. The nurses, always watching our behavior and taking notes to report back to our psychiatrists, took group seriously and our responses and behavior during group were a factor in the formula that determined our release.

“Group” happened after breakfast and then once more after the last “snack time” of the night, around 9 p.m. (Yes, snack time. Complete with graham crackers, pudding cups, and applesauce.) During group we filled out a worksheet, the same worksheet, morning and night.

In the morning, we used the front of the worksheet which predictably asked us to desribe “how we were feeling”. The front page also required us to list our “goal” for the day. After that, we had to list three specific actions we would take to help ourselves accomplish that goal. There was a place at the bottom of the front page of the worksheet where we were supposed to list any “issues” we had in the previous 24 hours, describe any discharge plans we had, and write down any concerns we’d like our doctor/nurses to be aware of.

At night we filled in the other side of the worksheet, stating whether we had met our goal and how we felt about achieving/not achieving it. And then we went around the table and “shared”, the nurses watching, ever vigilant.

After we’d completed the morning portion of worksheet, we went around the table and shared. Meaning we went around the table and, one by one, read off what we had written. There was a tad too much oversharing in the realm of GI troubles for my taste. We read our goals and issues for all to hear while the nurses watched closely and took notes. My goal was to leave as soon as I’d met with my doctor. I didn’t make it through my sheet without crying. Not a good move with the eyes of nurse-hawks on me, pens in hand and scribbling notes in my chart. Strike One.

After we’d all “shared” we were free to go. Free to go back to sleep, to lay in bed, to wait to be seen by the doctor (although I would soon find out that the doctors didn’t deign to visit with their patients on the weekends, leaving the unpleasant task to their nurse practioners), or to engage in one of the few “recreational activities” that were available to us. (Click here for details of how few activities there really were).

I anxiously asked the nurse 20 questions. When would I been seen by my doctor? How long until the doctors arrived? What if I wanted to take a nap, would they wake me up when it was my turn? Should I just wait in one the armchairs in case they forgot to wake me up? When could I go home?!? I was not a happy camper and I was nearly bursting with anxiety and nervous energy while I sat quietly and waited for my name to be called.

I didn’t like the doctor they’d assigned me to, Dr. X. He was the university’s psychiatrist– the only one. He thought I was a drug addict and at the beginning of my third year of law school he, and my counselor at the school’s counseling center, had decided I needed “more help” than the university’s counseling center could provide. And so they farmed me out to a community provider. Luckily for me: 1) I was on my Dad’s insurance and could afford to see someone outside of the univeristy and, 2) the therapist I was referred to was by far the best therapist I’ve ever had. (Unfortunately, when I graduated and moved back down South I couldn’t take her with me…still searching for someone to replace her, which will be very difficult.)

I was apprehensive about seeing Dr. X. When I checked in, he had me put on a low dose of Norco because he thought I’d be in opiate withdrawal. Once I found out that this was why I was being given those pills I started refusing them. I was not, in fact, going through opiate withdrawals because I was not, much to Dr. X’s surprise, a heroin user. This man had been my psychiatrist for a year, had been told about all the drugs I’d done or been doing– and heroin was never on the list– but he nevertheless pegged me for a heroin junkie. (Nothing against heroin junkies, I just know I would never last on that stuff. Because I would die. I like opiates too much, have very little self control, and so I suspect that I wouldn’t last long.) To cut him some slack, which I am loathe to do, the man is the sole psychiatrist for a university of ~12,000 students, including grad students like me, AND he was in charge of the facility that I had checked into– which was not affiliated with the university. Again, this speaks volumes about the inadequacy of the university’s counseling center. (For more on that delight, click here)

I sat in one of the almost-comfortable arm chairs in the common area and jangled my legs until my name was finally called. But I was not greeted by the familiar, smug face of Dr. X. I didn’t recognize the man who guided me into the little room with no windows. Apparantely patient-doctor conferences happened in this little room, just big enough to fit the round table and four chairs surrounding it. The man explained to me that he was a nurse practitioner and that Dr. X didn’t come in on the weekends.

I didn’t know whether this was good or bad news for me. I didn’t like Dr. X and I suspected he didn’t particularly like me either. So I thought I might have a better shot with the nurse practitioner.

I was wrong. I instantly told him that I was ready to check out and go home. He did not agree. He informed me that they usually don’t do “releases” on the weekends. And even if they did, he said he didn’t think I would get cleared to leave because of “substance abuse” concerns.

I started to panic. I absolutely, positively, had to get myself out of that place. I’d been there for a little over 12 hours and that was all I needed. I had been scared straight. I would stop doing drugs forever if they would just let me out. I had to get out of there.

I started to beg. Not a good move. He didn’t budge and took my desperation as a sign of weakness, indicating that I was not fit for release. When I saw that my efforts were unavailing, I lost it. Strike Two.

I started crying and told him that if they didn’t let me out that day then they had better pump me full of Xanax if they wanted me to make it through the weekend. Another bad move. He dug in and told me to calm myself down. I was informed that if I threw a full tantrum I would have to get “a shot”, i.e. being forcibly sedated, and then my chances of getting out by Monday would be nil.

I couldn’t handle this information so I got up and left without saying anything else, but sobbing hysterically as I went. I ran straight to my room to cry my eyes out. On my way there I walked right through the middle of lunch, crying hysterically in front of everyone in the ward, trying to get back to my room so I could throw my tantrum in the semi-privacy afforded to me by a room with a door that shut but would not lock. One of the nurses called out to me as I went streaking by, “don’t you want your lunch?”

No. I did not want my lunch.

Strike Three.

It was going to be a long weekend.

Compulsive Doodling

With the bar getting closer and closer (Monday!!) my compulsive doodles are getting proportionately more detailed and trippy… Stay tuned for more posts.


The Institution on Saturday

I woke up to a girl screaming bloody murder in the middle of the night. I could tell it was coming from the other ward and, fortunately for me, it wasn’t my roommate, who was fast asleep and not bothered by the screaming at all. I, of course, was horrified. It was bad enough that I was sharing a room with a stranger, but I was actually scared of being around people that crazy. I was still pretty fucked up at this point (when I checked in I was high as a kite and not coming down any time soon) so it wasn’t hard for me to fall back asleep.

This was my first inpatient hospitalization (little did I know, it wouldn’t be my last). It’s the worst hospitalization I’ve had, and probably because it was my first. By the second go-round I’d resigned myself to the system. Before I checked in, the idea of checking in somewhere for a few days had been nagging at me, and the nagging got louder as my unprovoked crying jags became more frequent. I had been crying for almost 12 hours by the time they brought me to my room in the hospital, around 7:00 pm on a Friday. It was Fall Break and my roommate was gone for the week. Most of my friends were out of town or working on an appellate brief for moot court, which I was not involved in, and the Werewolf and I had decided to take a break from each other (and drugs). We’d been going pretty hard for a few months and the binges were getting progressively longer and more intense. I was fine with the break from him, but I felt no need to cut myself off from everything. I just learned to do drugs by myself.

The hospitalization did not meet my expectations. Looking back, a few of these expectations were silly and unrealistic. (For some reason I thought I’d have my own room, that there would be someone assigned to tend to me, and that it would be a nice little break from the world, where I could catch up on school in peace.) Not only did I have to share a room with someone (who actually turned out to be a pretty great roommate: not loud, slept normally, and diligent hygienically) but the “bed” that I was supposed to sleep on was not a bed. At least it shouldn’t have been.

Everyone complains about shitty hospital beds and futon pads etc., but when you sat on this thing, this sham of a bed, it felt like a park bench. With a mattress 6 inches thick and nicely rounded, it deceptively looked like a satisfactory institutional bed. But that mattress was not satisfactory. I don’t know how they make those things but that mattress was solid. It was incapable of being bounced upon because the mattress had no give– it was like a block of wood. The bed was easily made tolerable with a thick cushion pad. But you had to get special approval from your doctor to have one, because the pads were for people with back problems. Luckily for me, I actually did (and do) have a back problem. Unluckily for me, I couldn’t get one of the pads because, by the time I was sober enough to realize that the bed was a problem, it was Saturday. And on the weekends, everything comes to a halt and nothing gets done– not even simple, infuriating, administrative procedures. There are no scheduled activities, the doctors do not come and, worst of all, you cannot leave.

This was a problem I had not anticipated. By voluntarily checking myself into a psychiatric hospital, I assumed I’d be free to leave. And I wanted to leave. I woke up the next morning and by the end of breakfast, I was sure I was ready to go back home. Unfortunately, that wasn’t how things played out.

I was woken up around 7:00 am (how I ever managed to sleep on that bed is a mystery) when a nurse opened our door and announced that it was time for “breakfast and vitals, and then group.” I did not really know what this meant, but it didn’t seem like it was optional. So I got up. Breakfast was in the main room of the ward. Although it was a really big room it was the only one the ward. There were a couple of 6 person folding tables surrounded by folded chairs, all strung together towards the back; a few couches and recliners near the entrance, facing the 40″ rounded screen TV; some bookcases full of paperbacks, mostly vapid romance novels and bad fiction; and videos– not DVDs– video cassettes that you could play in the VCR under the TV. There was also a nurse’s station off to the side and a craft room that was kept locked. I sat as far away from everyone as I could, avoided eye contact, and waited until a nurse handed me my tray. I took off the lid to assess it’s edibility. Outlook not good. I’d gotten some “coffee” before I sat down and promptly learned that it was decaf. It was bad enough that they only had powdered creamer, but the caffeine-less coffee was just unbearable. It was bad enough to be stuck there with no phone, no internet, no computer, no drugs, no alcohol, no cigarettes–and so the decaf only coffee just made me feel shitty. Breakfast was a bust.

I was surrounded by strangers, all either nurses or fellow ward-mates. I glanced around to scope things out, trying not to stare at anyone. Not very many people looked super out of it, and almost everyone else looked either sad, content, miserable, or barely awake. And we all looked pretty rough. It was a general consensus that the food was inedible but certain people found certain dishes more tolerable than others. So trading began. I tried to stay out of it and was antsy for information about how I could check out. I picked at a few things on the tray, ate the fruit, put the lid back on, and took it back to the cart.

Since I got done early, one of the nurses came around to take my “vitals,” which included temp, blood pressure, that thing they put on your index finger, and questions like whether you’ve had a bowel movement in the past 24 hours. I was pretty confused about why they were taking these, it wasn’t really explained, it was just something you submitted to. He made some notes and rolled his cart away to the next patient.

We were instructed to wait at the table after we’d finished eating so we could get our meds and start “group.” “Group” meant getting a worksheet (the same one every morning), having quiet time to fill it out (and your “goals” for the day), and then sharing your paper out loud to everyone. My goal was to go home and I started crying when I was reading mine, not such a good move when you’re trying to convince people you’re sane. After everyone went, we turned the papers in and we were free. The next time for assembly would be snack time– yes, snack time– at about 10:00 am. All of this was technically optional, including meals. You could just sleep all day and that would be fine, as long as you woke up to take your meds. But staying in bed all day was not a good move if you wanted to go home soon. The nurses watched you all day and everyone was assigned a specific nurse, morning and night. Your nurse gave you your meds, checked in with you about how you were feeling, and they were the person you were supposed to go to first with questions or problems. And the nurses keep track of what each person does, all day, and they make notes about their impressions of our moods and improvements (or the opposite). This means that to get out, you have to appear happy and sane at all times, even if you’re feeling neither happy nor sane, because the nurses keep track of what goes on and the doctors consider the reports seriously.

The Formula for Release: Go to Group, meals, snacks + Take only one nap a day (preferably a short one) + no crying (even if you really need to)+ engage socially and positively with other ward-mates + act happy (even if you’re far from it) = Release aka Freedom. There’s a problem in there…..

On top of that, there was not a lot to do. If you didn’t want to sleep all day your options were: watch TV (basic cable and the channel had to be agreed on by everyone who wanted to watch)(it usually ended being something lame), read a book from one of the book cases (if you weren’t lucky enough to have your own, or to have had someone bring you your own), play one of the raggedy board games (not a popular choice), play cards, stare at the walls, go out into the hall and talk on the phone- at one of the two designated phone stations–(but not for more than ten minutes!), journal in one of the little notebooks provided, or color. Yep, color. I ended up doing a lot of coloring. If I wasn’t in my room crying, in my room sleeping (still miraculous with that atrocity of a bed), or making frantic, crying phone calls to my therapist and friends, I was coloring. Out of all the options, coloring was my best choice. I accepted and resigned myself to the fact that I would be spending my days coloring for hours just to pass the time, and I just colored.

The ward had a respectable collection of markers, crayons, colored pencils, and coloring paraphernalia. There were two baskets of magic markers (the skinny kind and the regular), boxes of Crayola crayons (the good ones), and an assortment of–sharpened– colored pencils. Pens were harder to get. There were also stacks of big children’s coloring books– the good kind, with Disney characters or dinosaurs or the Easter Bunny. My favorite though was the stack of black and white, psychedelic-style, patterns/outlines printed on white computer paper. They were perfectly geometrical yet trippy and had the perfect amount of space between the lines and shapes for coloring. Before I discovered those, I’d been doing an intense, geometrical yet abstract, page sized doodle. These are my specialty. Ideally, they can’t be completed in one sitting and involve pointed interest to detail. They’re weird but also weirdly soothing for me and at times I do them compulsively.

I quickly switched to the patterns once a fellow patient (inmate seems more accurate) showed me where the stack was neatly arranged by the window and pointed out the cool pattern ones to me. Completing one of these, and making it look respectable, involved some planning before the actual coloring could began. I, of course, wanted to make a respectable one. The good ones were taped to the wall with the other colorings that had also been singled out for this special display. Once I’d judged the size and intricacy of the pattern I had chosen, I knew it was going to take more than one sitting to complete. Perfect. I selected my colors (I had already considered my color scheme and decided that I would use most of the markers in completing mine), cleared of a swath of the table, and settled into my activity. The activity I would use to pass an entire weekend’s worth of time.

And that’s how I managed to spend an entire weekend just coloring. My first weekend of inpatient treatment at a psychiatric hospital.


As always, feel free to contact me with any comments/questions/concerns you may have, or if you just want to drop me a line to say hi!  

Red Eyes

Today I feel like crying.

I’m taking a break from the serial (look forward to the next serial post, which–insider preview– is about my first hospitalization). It may be summer outside but there’s no summer for me, and as the Fourth of July looms near I’m painfully reminded of this. I rarely leave the house: once a day if I’m lucky –and any more than that just adds to my stress.

I have visitors from the outside that stop by from time to time, always a welcome distraction. The sick thing is that soon enough I need a break for them, even though they are here to be a break for me.

I compulsively pick at my hair and my eyes. My fingers run through my strands, searching for the ones that aren’t uniform, that aren’t completely straight, like the rest of my hair. My fingers search for the strands with kinks, the ones that are for some reason coarser than the rest of my hair. I pull them out. I stare at my ends, grabbing them and bringing them up close to my eyes for inspection. Split or broken ends are worried about. I eventually fling all of my nearly-waist-length hair over my shoulders and try to get back to the task at hand, perpetual studying.

But there’s something in my eye. I rub and scratch at the eye, trying to pick out whatever speck of dust or allergen has landed there. I can’t find it but I can still feel it in my eye, I can see it as it clouds the peripheral vision of the affected eye. I rub, scratch, pick. I get off of the couch. I make my way to the big mirror in the bathroom and lean over the sink staring at my red eye, trying to find the irritant-culprit. I open my eyes wide, unblinking as I diligently search for the intruder, the cause of the irritation. I roll my eyes around, trying to find it. I rub them again. I poke around at my other eye, making sure nothing is in that one. More eye rubbing. At this point both of my eyes are swollen and completely red. The speck, eyelash, loose fiber, whatever, is nowhere to be found and is now certainly un-findable. If there ever really was anything in my eye at all.

I look at myself in the mirror. I look very bad. My eyes are swollen like I’ve been crying for days and red like I’ve been smoking for days. My long hair, my prized possession, hasn’t been washed in a week and is banished to a clip to mask its greasiness and to keep my picking fingers at bay. I’m probably in pajamas of some sort, even though it’s late in the afternoon. I’m as pale as ever because I never go outside. I’m supposed to be running but the combination of the intolerable heat and the paralysis of my anxiety has kept me shut in the house.

I put in some eye drops, give my eyes a last good rub, and then resolve to stop rubbing and picking at them. My compulsive eye rubbing has gotten better. At the beginning of the summer, my allergies were nearly unbearable, as was the itching in my eyes. At that point, it was nearly impossible for me to stop rubbing them once the itching started. I’d have to law down and place a wet washcloth over my eyes while laying on my hands, disarming them, to keep them from going after the itch again. At least now my eyes don’t really itch. Even though I still pick at and rub them like allergy season is in full swing. This concerns me. I know it has to be bad for my eyes on some level. But more importantly, I’m worried about what all this rubbing and picking will do to the sensitive, delicate skin around my eyes. I’m very worried about wrinkles. I usually take impeccable care of my skin and hair, trying to delay the aging process by being proactive. I have at least three or four different moisturizers for my face, all the same brand. Some are laden with SPF, for use during the day. Then I have my nighttime moisturizers, some with retinol to help repair damage to my skin, some without retinol- which can be harsh- for nights when my skin needs something gentle. I keep a small bottle of moisturizer in my purse for nights when I don’t come home. I have various anti-wrinkle serums, acid treatments for acne and pore imperfections, cleansing masks, toners, and blemish gels. All this to slow the inevitable, the wrinkles that are coming, deepening. These days, I usually forget to wash my face at night and so my skin goes un-moisturized, the serums go unused. Instead, I spend the day tearing at my eyes and roughly picking at the delicate skin surrounding them, the skin that I try so hard to preserve.

I wear a sports bra almost every day. I think I’m trying to make myself more likely to do the impossible, to go for a run. I’m technically not supposed be running because of my chronically injured back. But I want to run a marathon (not my first) in January. So I really should be running. But I haven’t managed to get myself out of the door in the past week. I have a schedule that I’m supposed to be following, each missed workout shows up in ugly red, which makes my stomach churn with guilt and anxiety. And then I get anxious about being anxious. I’ve tried getting up early to beat the heat but I haven’t had the self discipline to do anything more than shut off the alarm and go back to sleep.

I really shouldn’t neglect my running. It helps stabilize my mood, is an outlet for stress, and would get me out of the house (which I desperately need to do and avoid doing with equal desperation). But inside I stay, sports bra and all. I only allow myself to run after 6:00 pm in the evenings because of the heat. I have to be back before the sun starts to go down because I’m very worried about safety in the city, no matter how rational or irrational this may be. This usually means that I have to be back by 7:30 pm. So if I wait too long after 6 to start my run I won’t go at all because I might get back too late. It’s an easy excuse. Sometimes I don’t go because it’s raining, or there’s a chance of rain, and so I stay inside, even after the threat of rain has passed. I really shouldn’t let the rain stop me; after all, it’s usually around 90 with a heat index nearing 100 with humidity. Some rain on the run would probably make the experience more enjoyable by cooling me down. Other days it’s because my back hurts too much. Or I’ve got plans for dinner that interfere with my brief running window. Or I have friends in town for the day (never mind the stress that that creates). And sometimes I just let myself stay inside because I’ve spent too much of the day agonizing over whether and when to run. So I give myself a break and let myself skip the workout because “I deserve a break”. I’m terribly self indulgent. Occasionally, I smoke too much before 6 and that completely precludes any sort of exercise.

Although I’m not exercising regularly I’m still losing weight. I don’t mind– who doesn’t like losing weight?– especially since it’s the result of zero effort on my part. Except I’m getting a little too skinny. I don’t want to have to buy new clothes. Right now everything, for the most part, fits splendidly. I don’t mind things being a little loose. But I’m starting to loose my boobs. Which I cannot allow. I’m trying to maintain my weight at 135 lb, a healthy enough weight for a 25 year old, 5’9″, female. But the scale keeps slipping past 135, closer to 130. Not really something to complain about, I know. It’s a problem I secretly like having.

I get nauseous every day around noon. I eat breakfast but after that I have no appetite. I drink a coke for the nausea. If it’s really bad I’ll take a few hits off my pipe (a small luxury afforded by my summer of unemployment). I’ve lost 20 pounds since January, essentially with no effort on my part. Until a few weeks ago, it had been at least 4 months since I’d worked out. I just never feel like eating. It could also be the Vyvanse I’m prescribed for ADD. Sometimes I have bubble tea for dinner, the chewy tapioca pearls are enough to fill me up. Worried that I’m not getting enough nutrients, I recently spent $70 on vitamins. Perhaps not the best use of my meager allowance. But now I take 10 vitamins in the morning and 4 at night. I’ve pared my meds down to 3 pills in the morning and at night, with lorazepam as needed. That makes for a total of 20 pills/vitamins a day. At a minimum. More pills if I’m anxious, my back hurts, I get a headache, or if my chronic heartburn (sexy, right?) flares up past tolerable levels.

I get overwhelmed and completely enveloped by stress at seemingly random times throughout the day. And when I’m overwhelmed I want to cry. A fairly normal response, I’m aware.

Today is the first day of July, which means the bar is three weeks away.

And so today I feel like crying. I want to cry because I’m stressed out, because I feel like I’m not preparing enough, because I’m wasting too much time. I want to cry because it’s summer and I never leave my house. I want to cry because I never want to leave my house, because of the anxiety, and I want to cry because leaving my own house makes me anxious. I want to cry because I’m afraid of what will happen if I don’t pass the bar, what I might do to myself. I want to cry because all I do is study and because I’m exhausted and because the end is still weeks away. Not every day is this bad. But today is. And I just want to cry.

But I don’t cry. I just don’t. Maybe I can’t. Maybe wanting to cry is as far as my body and my mind will let me go, maybe my body can’t spare the energy to produce tears and sobs. Maybe I don’t cry because I’m afraid that once I start I won’t be able to stop.

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