I wrote this for a contest, and I was given the disease Munchausen Syndrome.
|I’m a person of easy addiction.
Not all addictions are bad. I tried to find angels to love, something to believe in. I found one once.
Needless to say I ventured slightly off track.
I know people speak with good intentions when they say that hope, love, happiness and help are all realistic things within your reach, but I find what they teach hard to believe. Throughout my life, through ups and downs and more downs after that, they’ve never been realistic to me.
Aside from you, of course. You were my angel. You wanted to help, I could see it in your eyes.
At first, it was the elegant way you moved, no matter where you were. It was the graceful articulation you placed on every word, and how true each word seemed to be. It was the touch of your fingers against my skin, and the gentle way you used to handle me.
That was then. This is now.
I’ve faked it all. I was a method actor without a script. I knew all the ways to pull it off and get what I wanted. At first, it was just for treatment; drugs.
My first fib was a tale of whiplash, due a sharp halt at a stoplight. All I wanted was to get my hands on Vicodin, or any other painkillers for that matter.
As I played out my role, the doctors did, too. After feigning throwing up with the help of the salt-and-water I’d taken before arrival, they admitted me to a room.
That was the second time I’d ever felt it; the sparks, the fireworks, the butterflies. True love.
I was enchanted by the quietness, the practiced care the doctors treated me with, and the amount of help and sympathy they were willing to offer. No one had ever paid me that much attention.
It was the white walls, the window, the television, the service, the comfortable bed, and the steady beep of the heart monitor that had me sold. The single noise against the silence was brilliant, a heart beating in a symphonic melody, creating a beautiful sound I longed to hear. I imagined it like an orchestra; a melodious hum of lives on the line.
After I left, I hardly cared for the pills. The only thing on my mind was the craving I had to return.
Soon after, I had a list of plausible reasons to go back, if only for a few hours at the most. Each story line was analyzed and carefully researched before I adopted it. Muscle pain, seizures, joint pain, back pain, depression, bipolar disorder, anything easy displayed and common would do.
I was lucky when I got to spend nights there. The doctor’s attention was at my fingertips. Whenever I felt like I required assistance, all I had to do was press a red button. It was what everyone’s dreamed of or joked about; the magic button of life. You press it and you get whatever you want.
Not only did I enjoy the benefits of the hospital care, but I also indulged in playing the role. I’d spin a tragic take, something to make their eyes fill with sympathy, something to make them look at me and see someone strong, a survivor of sorts even.
At first they were simple, small tall tales. After a while, they became dangerous.
Somewhere along the way, I lost.
Dignity. Identity. Purpose. Common sense. People who actually gave a fuck about my heart rate rather than people paid to do so. People like you. I lost you.
Somewhere, at some point in time, things spun out of my control, out of your control, out of his control, her control, their control. Our control.
I began to adapt the illness. I wouldn’t eat and I’d purge after meals just to appear malnourished and fatigued so they’d take me in. I began to injure myself in ways such as falling down stairs or slamming my hands in doors and call it accidents.
Soon I’d have to find a new hospital, due to building suspicions. Then another one after that, and another after that, and another after that.
I lay in a bed one specific evening. This evening was a crucial point.
They’d walked in to change the bandages on my wrists every so often, and checked to see that my conditions were fair.
One nurse asked why I tried to off myself.
I didn’t respond.
How could I? The suicide was supposed to be fake, but the blade of the knife felt so real. The blood looked, smelled and tasted real. None of it felt like fiction.
After I didn’t respond, the nurse apologized for asking such a bold question and walked out.
It was an act, I tried to reassure myself. It was just another one of my scandals. Of course I wasn’t suicidal.
However, the thought left me with doubts. Was I? Did I want to die?
The more important question, especially at that point, was; did I want to live? Why would I? What did I have left? I hadn’t seen your pretty face in months at that point. What did I have to live for? These clean white walls? These I.V.s?
As I spoke the question aloud, I realized I had no one there to answer me. There was no one to reply, no one, nor anything making a single sound. Shortly after coming across that realization, I had noticed a familiar sound. It seemed to be so familiar that I’d forgotten it was there. It was as if it blended into the silence. The only noise to be heard was that of the heart monitor, beeping away.
Both the doctor and a nurse walked in. The nurse, it seemed, was looking at me strangely, almost as if I was insane.
In firm hands, the doctor held several folders with four separate labels on them. Each label read the name of a hospital that was local, all of which I was familiar with.
The first words to leave the doctor’s mouth were, “You seem to fall ill a lot.”
In that instant, as I ripped the IV from my vein and tried to leap from the bed, the nurse was already at my neck with a tranquilizer.
I struggled, screaming words that were incoherent even to me in the fuzzy state the sedative put me in. The doctor called for help.
My world turned black.
Now I lie here and I swear I can see you. I scream out to you because I know I’m not insane. I know I’m not crazy, I was just confused. I know you understand that as well. You’ve always understood me, and for this I thank you.
I scream for help, struggling against restraints.
There you are, a splash of color against these white walls that have become my world, this endless white void.
You’re everywhere; wherever I look, in the air, at my fingertips. I can taste you on my tongue and I feel you fill my lungs. You’re all over me yet so far away, you’re in the back of my mind and you’re behind my eyelids. You wear a look of sympathy and all you can say as they shove me down and stick the needle through my skin is;
“Why did you let this happen?”