The Beginning… (Strung Out Day 2)


I walked into Columbia, not knowing what to expect in this study, but knowing there was no alternative.  I had to get better, I had to win this battle… Everything is a little vague now as I was 2 days withdrawing from Xanax after 10 years of taking it (which, by the way, is not how to stop Xanax, you MUST be under a doctor’s care, suddenly stopping can lead to seizure or death).  As emotionally raw and fragile as I was,  I was like Superman without the Sun, no power to protect me, except my Sun at that time was a little blue pill…  I  have always felt I was a very good people reader, I could tell by the tone of someone’s voice how they were feeling, the slightest change in facial expression would give me a character analysis, the way they dressed, the way they brushed their hair, the way they smiled or pretended to smile, and especally the eyes.  Eyes, if you really look into them, can tell you every pain they have felt. Having BPD means being pure emotion, my sensitivity was heightened always but especially now.  Still trembling, still twitiching, still floating on a cloud, I finally found the buidling in which I hoped lay a miracle.  As I asked the security guard behind the glass for the second floor, I looked into his eyes.  He was an older man, probably working at that job his whole life, wrinkled face, receding hairline. I began to panic again, I could feel his unhappiness.  As exaggerated as it was in the mind of someone with BPD, I knew this man was unhappy, with an unfulfilled life.. The movie preview began again in my head, scenes flashing, my father, once a vibrant energetic man, filled with dreams and ambitions.  Had life beaten him down? Still working at almost 70, he could have been that man behind the glass.  I had to get better, I had to make sure my father’s dreams of a “normal” family were realized… He gave me directions, it wasn’t far, but I had no memory at all, he handed me a pen, I tried to keep the pen steady as I wrote, I saw him staring at my shaking hand, making me even more nervous, quickly I wrote and walked away.  I couldn’t read anything I had written.  So, calmly I asked for directions.  Here I was, dirty sweatpants, sunken face, half brushed hair asking how to get to the psychiatric unit, at that point I didn’t care. I walked up and down the corridor looking for room 2731, to no avail for what seemed hours, I began tearing up and ran into the bathroom to compose myself.  The mirror showed a woman I didn’t recoginze.  Again I could only make out certain facial features, wrinkled eyes… straw like hair, pale skin, she wasn’t Fia Marie and I needed to find Fia Marie again… So, I threw water on my face and walked out.  Right in front of me was 2731.  I knocked.  The door opened, sitting in front of me was a very well dressed young woman, with kind eyes and a genuine smile, silky hair,  she must have been 10 years younger than me and here she was offering her assistance to me… I sat down and she began telling me about the study, I have no recollection of what she said, but just signed the paper in hopes.  Next stop, we visited the psychologist who would be in charge of the study.  She was an older woman, something in her facial expression intimidated me.  I spoke like a child, answering in one or two words.  She asked if I understood the study.  I nodded. I looked at the papers I was signing.  Subject 21016.  No name.  I was no longer Fia Marie , I was subject 21016.  Panic set in again, I looked at her, she was cut in half floating, I tried to pretend I was ok but I wanted to run as fast as I could back home.  “Is this going to help me?” I cried.  “What other alternative do you have?” she asked.  “I just want to warn you, I get frustrated very easily, it’s been so long and nothing has worked, I want to do this but how can I promise?”  “Why do you get frustrated?” she asked.  The question annoyed me, actually enraged me.  Didn’t she know that people with BPD want instant gratification?  But, I just sobbed.  “I’ve given my life to doctors for 17 years, it is frustrating that nothing works.”  “It is frustrating on this side too”, she replied.  “Well, I wouldn’t know I’m not on you side am I?”  I answered.  I saw a hint of anger on her face, which was justifiable but irritated me…  She  asked me what I was feeling.  I told her about the Xanax, how I knew she was in front of me but didn’t feel she was real, she was 1 dimensional, floating around the room. “Sounds like withdrawl, we’ll see if we can get you Xanax,” she said.  With that, I signed Subject 21016’s contract, hoping by the end of the day I could be reunited with my little blue friend…

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