It was like I was dreaming the noise of the fire alarm going off and the soft tap on my shoulder. But it was not a dream; I opened my blurry eyes to see a woman standing over me. She was standing there crying, shaking, and her clothes were disheveled.
“I’m so scared.” She said, standing there with her eyes darting around like she was following a gnat around the room. I opened my eyes and looked around the room to try to grasp at what was happening. My mind raced a mile a minute, egging on a major headache from the dead sleep I awoke from.
“It will be okay,” I tried to assure her, but she kept rattling on like a manic that was off her meds.
“I don’t know what to do! I’m scared,” she said. Still trembling like a leaf on a windy day. I sat up from my bed that was made up of yellow grooved foam, as the mattress, and thin white sheets that were so rough, it felt like a cheap roll of tissue paper. The blaring fire alarm had finally stopped. The nurse entered our room to tell us that it was just a false alarm. My roommate was still in a panicked mood. She walked over to her bed and sat Indian style, with her hands in her mouth, like she was biting her nails.
I’m so scared they are coming to get me.” She continued, “I’d jumped out of my two story window because they were after me.” I was confused, and I just wanted to go back to sleep like I was dead again. Instead, I let her continue to ramble on.
“Look! Look!” she said as she pointed to a freshly made scar on her arms. Quite frankly, it looked like she had a visit from Edward Scissorhands.
“Aw, it will be okay,” I tried to reassure her to no avail.
“No, it won’t!” she said.
“Why?” I’d asked. My roommate said these words that had me frightened me the rest of the night.
“Because I am a Schizophrenic and I haven’t taken my medicine in three days!” With her readily admitting her medical condition, I sat straight up in my bed and vowed that I was not going to go back to sleep. I sat there like a soldier, lying in wait for my enemy to cross my side of the battlefield. Watching roommate rock back and forth, I pondered three things: Why was I given a roommate that was a non-medicated Schizophrenic? Where was the nurse with my roommate’s medicine? And how in the world I’d let my life get so out of control that I was placed in a mental institution?
Being in a depressed state is like having a dark cloud over your head constantly. I remember that day when I wanted to end it all. I stared at my reflection in the mirror, and I saw a girl that was at her wits’ end. Her clothes were wrinkled from lying in the bed for two days, her hair was cut off, and her eyes were red and puffy. Looking away from my reflection, I looked in my left hand where I had placed pills that I was going to take. The pills would end it all right then, but something was stopping me from doing the unthinkable. I was like a Gemini; I had a good side and I had a bad side. The bad side wanted me to take those pills, but my good side told me to call and ask for help. My good side wanted me to see the brighter days ahead, but the bad side was outweighing the bright side.
I looked at my reflection again and said a prayer begging God for his grace and mercy to get me past this pain and heartache I was feeling. It was like he answered my prayer because I picked up my phone and called my sister. It was midnight and I feared she was asleep, but I pressed the numbers in my phone and she picked up right away. I could not get the words out of my mouth quick enough; she told me to unlock my door and that she was coming to get me. She wanted me to go to the hospital. I felt relief when I poured my heart out to her. It felt as though my heart was being pulled by a ton of bricks.
When I sat on the couch in the hospital, in what you would call ‘The Living Area’ I saw many faces that were sad just like mine. There were teenage faces, middle-aged faces, and elderly faces. We were all here because we could not handle our lives anymore. What stood out to me the most was a woman who looked like she was in her late-thirties to early-forties. She had curly blond hair and was the same size as me, skinny but shorter in height. She reminded me of a 1930’s Hollywood actress. She was constantly crying, morning to evening, her heart was broken. Her son lost his life to serve our country so we could have our freedom. There was another patient that was with me who experienced a traumatic childhood with sexual and physical abuse. I looked around the room, and I felt that my situation was nothing compared to their stories.
I remember going back to my plain little room and saying a prayer to God that I was going to get through this depression. I consistently prayed day and night, and all the hate, pain, and sadness were slowly removed. This story was two years ago; I can finally say that I am happy with my life. Some people keep stories like these a secret because they are afraid to be labeled as a ‘crazy’ person. I tell my story to give people hope, hope to stay alive because no matter how big you think the problem is, it is smaller compared to others.
Article Written by Lacey D. Northington
Lacey is a writer, diarist, essayist, and an aspiring screenplay writer. She has been writing in diaries, consistently, since she was ten years old. Her favorite author is Anais Nin, who inspired her to keep diaries and may have them published in the future. Lacey is also a proud mother to her nine year old son and they currently live in Springfield, Tennessee.