| I wake up at six forty-five and I am shaking like a freaking leaf. I do not understand why I am shaking, all I know is I am, and I find this whole thing just a little unsettling. I sit up on the edge of the bed to get my bearings straight, I try to wait until the room stops spinning, and I wait for a few more minutes until I am strong enough to stand up. I know it this is just a mild form of anxiety so I decide to work through this one on my own. Kane is still sleeping and he is snoring away.
I refuse to wake Kane up just for a minor anxiety attack so I leave the bedroom without waking Kane and I brew a full pot of coffee. I should not be drinking coffee for the caffeine will not help the anxiety. I have seen patients with severe anxiety and they cannot even function or self soothe themselves. My anxiety is not that severe and I do not even think it is a moderate case. I would say it is just mild. I look deep inside myself and I am actually feeling worse off than I did yesterday. I am restless and I can hardly sit still but I think that this might be part of the anxiety. I am depressed and I feel like my muscles are heavy and that they just do not want to work.
I have a massive headache which could be classified as a migraine, my memory is all shot to hell, I am nothing but a failure, my anxiety is starting to increase, and all I want to do is go back to bed and sleep. I wish I could sleep this off but it does not work that way. I wish I could just process all these feelings and be done with this whole depressing thing but my mind will not let me do any type of processing.
I know my mind is extremely strong willed but this is ridiculous. I am frustrated by all of this chaos that is going on in my body and I am beating myself up mentally. I am like on a roller coaster ride and I cannot get off of it. I am a paramedic for Christ sakes! I know all of this stuff but I just cannot stop what my brain is doing to me. I cannot do this I think to myself. I do not think I am physically strong enough to battle this on my own.
I make a weak attempt to refuse a shower this morning but Kane expresses that I smell like a pig in shit. So after discussing it for a while I finally climb into the hot shower. I know Kane is right about the shower. I did feel a little better since I showered. Once I am dressed and ready, we leave the apartment, and now I just feel nervous about meeting this therapist. Kane and I each get a cup of coffee from Java King which is our favorite coffee spot.
We arrive at eighty Warren Street, Taylor Zeal’s office, and we are about ten minutes early. Kane and I enter the building together. I fill out multiple forms and I hand them in to the secretary. As we wait for Taylor Zeal, Kane holds my hand, and I know he wants to protect me and keep me safe. Kane can be so sweet when he wants to be.
Within five minutes I am being called into the office by a young man that I assume is Taylor Zeal and I ask the man if Kane can come into the session with me. This man introduces himself as Taylor Zeal. The man says that this is fine with him that Kane accompanies me for it is all about making me feel as comfortable as possible. Kane and I follow Taylor into a warm, comfortable room that is painted a bluish gray. This Taylor Zeal has a great taste in colors or so I think. Taylor closes the door to his office behind us and he smiles as he sits in a chair near where I am sitting.
Kane and I are sitting in plush black cloth chairs. I feel like the chair is hugging me and it makes me feel welcome. We make small talk for about five minutes or so and I know that Taylor is trying to size me up. Finally we get to why I am here and I am a little resistant at first to speak but then I start to loosen up a little. Why hold back just because I am being stubborn or afraid to be here? Why am I scared? I have no reason to be afraid, scared, or stubborn.
I am here because this Taylor Zeal wants to help me and that Salim has assured me that Taylor was a good guy. We talk about Logan and the nightmarish accident that Kane and I had the day before. I close my eyes as the tears burn and threaten to fall. Once the feeling has passed I open my stormy gray eyes again. Taylor and Kane look at me with concern and I am grateful that Kane is here with me. I do not think I could open up if he were not there.
The car accident was horrifying in every single aspect. This MVA, motor vehicle accident, is obviously fresh in my mind and it hurts just to think about it. I describe every horrid second in great detail and as I recount the details of the accident I tremble and I let the tears run freely now. I am angry at myself for crying in front of Taylor. I do not like to cry and here I am doing it in front of a stranger. I feel like I am safe here in this room with Taylor and Kane. I know that Kane will not let anything happen to me and Taylor is only here to help me. Both men are looking out for me.
Taylor patiently listens to me as I search for words and try to describe the unpleasant scene and the horrid smells that went along with it the best way that I can. After I completely spill out my soul I do not feel any better and this shocks the hell out of me. I thought that I might feel like a weight has been lifted from my chest once I talked about this issue but I did not feel anything lift and give me any relief. In fact I feel like the weight is dragging me down. It is almost like this imaginary weight is trying to drown me and I am struggling to be free.
I still feel just as helpless as I once did, I feel so angry, frustrated, confused, loss of interest in things that really matter, sad, tired, and I feel extremely worthless. I do not want to eat and I feel physically weak. Are these feelings normal? I describe these intense feelings to Taylor and he confirms that I am suffering from severe depression and I am also suffering from a moderate form of PTSD. This diagnosis makes sense to me and it is understandable. But that does not make me feel any better either. Taylor goes on to say that I have been through an extremely traumatic experience. No freaking shit I think to myself. A traumatic event? Really?
Taylor begins by saying, “I believe that this case has triggered both the PTSD and the depression at the same time. You will be okay, I can promise you that.”
I snap, “I could have told you all that and as far as being okay? How the hell is that possible?”
Taylor is gentle as he speaks with me, “I know this isn’t easy but we will work through this and we will make you feel better.”
I ask, “We? Work together?”
Taylor softly says, “My goal is to make you feel like you once did before this accident.”
I have my doubts, “I will never feel the same.”
Taylor asks me, “Are you also feeling guilty that Logan died and you are still alive?”
I nod my head as I say, “Of course I do. Logan should be alive and he isn’t. That poor kid is dead and I could not do anything to save him. I should have done something more for him. I keep thinking what I could have done. I would gladly trade places with him if I could.”
Kane speaks up and he is a little alarmed that I said what I did, “Don’t say that.”
I snap a little as I say, “It’s just how I feel.”
Kane is calm as he says, “Jace, honey, it’s really okay. Taylor is not going to hurt you in any way, shape, or form. He only wants to help you get through this and so do I. I want you better as soon as possible.”
I look Taylor straight in the face, “Really? You just want to help me?”
Taylor smiles as he says, “Yes.”
I ask with some concern, “Whatever I tell you in here is confidential. Right?”
Taylor replies, “Yes. I want to help you feel better about all of this. You deserve to get some relief and I understand that it isn’t going to be an easy task.”
I agree with Taylor, “All I want is to feel better.”
Taylor says, “I know. We will get to the bottom of this but I need you to do the work to get there.”
I honestly reply, “I will do whatever it takes Taylor. I don’t like these feelings of anxiety, agitation, I am blaming myself, I have trouble thinking, trouble concentrating, issues with sleep, and I am having thoughts of wanting to harm myself.”
Taylor nods his head and holds my gaze, “Jace, death is not the answer here but it is a frequent symptom of severe depression.”
Kane raises his voice slightly, “Don’t think like that Jace! I don’t want to hear that again.”
I bite Kane’s head off as I say, “It’s just how I feel. Stop telling me what I should feel and what I shouldn’t feel.”
Taylor says gently, “Jace, I know that this is how you feel at the moment, but you do know it isn’t the normal way of thinking.”
I agree, “I know. That is why I said something.”
Taylor asks, “Are you really going to hurt yourself?”
I reply, “I am not going to harm myself they are just weak thoughts. Plus I believe suicide is the coward’s way out of life.”
Kane is disturbed by this, “Honey, I love you dearly, you are very much needed here.”
I say, “I know Kane. You want me to talk to Taylor and feel better?”
Kane says, “Of course I do.”
I firmly say, “Then I need to talk about every single thing. I have to be able to express myself.”
Kane looks down at the floor, “Okay, I’m sorry, you’re right Jace.”
I say, “I can’t help feeling like this way. It just seems like it is so hopeless. I just can’t get to the bottom of all this shit alone. I cannot find my way out of the darkness.”
Taylor says to me, “I want to see you twice a week until we can get you through this. I think this is a good thing and a good plan. Is this okay with you?”
I think for a moment and then I ask, “Can I ask you a question?”
Taylor says, “Of course you can.”
I ask, “When can I return to work?”
Taylor replies, “In a few weeks. I want to make sure you will not slip back into these feelings and emotions.”
I gasp, “That long? Really?”
“I would like to see you rest and watch mindless television. Go for a walk or a run or get some sort of exercise every day.”
I try to bargain, “I can still work though this and report to work at the same time. I really don’t need to take time off.”
Taylor says, “I don’t want you doing anything that is going to be high stress or stressful to your mind. Your mind needs to regroup in order to process all of this. So working right now is not going to be an option.”
Kane agrees with Taylor and he says, “I think this is a smart idea Jace. I don’t want to see you hurting or in pain. When I see you like this it hurts my heart.”
I ignore Kane’s sweet words and ask Taylor, “I will be out of work a few weeks?”
Taylor says, “Yes.”
I reply, “I’m gonna go out of my mind.”
Taylor says, “I want you to mend the best way that you possibly can. You have had a major traumatic event occur and your mind is racing and trying to grasp what is happening to it.”
I am still not sure that I like this idea and I am being a little stubborn as well, “I can handle it.”
Taylor says, “You may think you can but you really can’t Jace.”
I am slightly furious with Taylor, “You really don’t know me well enough to know that.”
Taylor quietly says, “Please trust me Jace. I really have your best interest in mind.”
Kane speaks up, “You have more than a month’s worth of personal time built up. Take the time off honey. You do deserve this break.”
I ask Taylor, “You really think that time off will help me?”
Taylor answers, “I do think it will help. It has helped other clients that I have seen.”
I am still a little unsure, “Are you sure about this?”
Taylor replies, “Your mind needs to rest, in all honesty it needs the rest, and it needs a break from all the tragedy that you deal with on a day to day basis. I would be feeling the same way as you if this happened to me. It cannot be easy.”
I protest, “I really can handle it.”
Taylor says, “I’m sure you can but let’s try to rest for a few weeks. I bet you will feel much better when the rest period is over with.”
I promise both Kane and Taylor that I would take the time off. I really do not like taking time off of work and I rarely do. This is why I have so much personal time built up. The higher ups keep asking me to take a few days here and there but I never do. I really have to be on my death bed in order to take the time off.
I really do not understand how this time off is going to help me mentally but I did make a promise and I always hold myself to my word. When the hour is over with we make another appointment. Kane takes my hand and together we leave Taylor’s office. We take our time going back to the apartment. Once we are settled in at home, I call Salim, and he already knows that I need the time off. Salim says that Taylor called him already and explained the situation. Salim grants me the three weeks off and he says if I need more time than that I should call him or have Taylor call him. I do not think I am going to need more time but I promise I will call if I do need the extra time.
I change into my black cotton nightgown that has a picture of a sheep on it and it reads ‘Got Sheep’ in hunter green block letters. I enter the living room where Kane is watching the mid day news. I lay on the couch and I place my head on Kane’s lap. Kane runs his hand through my thick dark brown hair and this feels wonderful. I am lulled to sleep by Kane playing with my short hair.
The next thing I know is there is some crazy talk show on the television and two women are fighting over some low life guy. Oh dear, a man is not worth that, nobody is worth fighting over. Any man that cheats is doomed to do it again and again or this is just how I feel. Is there an exception to my reasoning? Probably but I doubt it happens often. I sit upright on the couch and I look around the room and I am in a total fog. I rub my eyes to clear my vision. I cannot find Kane. Kane is not in the room at all. Where the hell did he go? How long has he been gone for?
Kane is no longer sitting on the couch. Did he just go into another room? I call out for him and Kane does not answer me. I am concerned and a little scared as well. I get up off the couch and I search the handsome one bedroom apartment. Kane is nowhere to be found. Kane has disappeared yet again. Kane does this often, he just disappears for no reason, and then he shows up hours later with no explanation. I check the kitchen and there is no note left behind and again this is no surprise.
I grab my cell phone from the coffee table and there is no text message from Kane and again this comes as no surprise. I then punch Kane’s number into the phone. The phone rings four times and then it goes into voicemail. What the fuck? I am bullshit about this for I know Kane has his phone. I searched for it and it is not in the apartment. Even if I missed the phone I would have heard it ring and there was no ringing in the apartment either. I hang up my cell phone without leaving a message. I despise leaving messages unless it is an emergency and this is not an emergency situation. Kane will see that I called and hopefully he will call me back when he has a minute. What is Kane doing? Where did he go? Why is he not answering his phone? Did he get called into work? I am anxious and now I am also worrying.
I go into the kitchen with my anxiety rocketing out of control, I am asking myself ‘what if’ questions which I do not have any answers for, and I start to brew a pot of coffee. It is not like I need coffee at the moment for it will make me even more anxious and jumpy yet I still brew the pot anyhow. I sit at the kitchen table and I am in lost in thought. I am now on my second cup of coffee when Kane finally comes home.
I demand, “Where the fuck have you been?”
Kane replies, “I went down to the station to talk to a few of the guys and then I went to Pie Stop to get some subs.”
Again I demand, “Why didn’t you leave a note or a text or answer your phone?”
Kane answers, “I forgot to turn the volume up after we met with Taylor. A note or a text? I just didn’t think Jace. What’s going on?”
Kane then goes into great detail that he did not feel like cooking tonight so he thought getting take out would be a nice treat for the both of us. Kane drives right by Pie Stop on the way home from the station. Kane is right, it is a nice treat, but he did not have to do this. I do understand not wanting to cook for I do not want to cook sometimes and I suppose that this night is one of those nights that I would not want to cook either. I just did not feel up to it. I gaze at Kane for a moment as he unloads the bag of hot food. Kane has a large cheeseburger sub with lettuce, pickles, and ketchup. I have a small steak and cheese sub with pickles and mustard. Kane also ordered a large onion ring. I get a couple of sodas out of the fridge and then I sit at the kitchen table and I fold my hands.
Kane says, “I knew neither one of us wanted to cook tonight so I thought that this would be alright.”
I reply, “You’re right. Cooking isn’t what I want to be doing right now either. Subs are always a good choice.”
Kane says softly, “I want you to just relax, honey, you have had a hard day today, and I don’t want to stress you out.”
I reply, “I know and I am not really up for doing much. I just don’t have the energy to do so.”
Kane smiles a little, “That’s what I thought.”
I reply as I finish half of my sub, “Dinner is really good Kane, thank you.”
Kane replies as he worries, “You only ate half of your steak and cheese sub honey.”
I reply, “I’m not all that hungry at the moment but I will eat the other half later.”
Kane says, “Okay, I hope you do.”
I smile a little as I say, “Thank you.”
Kane asks, “For what?”
I reply, “Getting us dinner.”
Kane kisses the top of my head, “Not a problem. Go rest. I got the clean up tonight as well. I don’t want you doing anything right now.”
I say as I yawn, “Again thank you.”