Month: April 2017

Flash Fiction Friday: The Window

Flash Fiction Friday: The Window

My mom told me he’d kill me if I didn’t leave him. That was 3 years ago and the last time we spoke. She doesn’t understand. He loves me.

I press my fingertips against the black plastic to feel the cold glass of the window. I watch the street below through a small slit. My feet are freezing, tucked up in the moth-eaten blankets of this familiar room. My room. I listen for the lock on the door or footsteps in the hall. He doesn’t like it when I watch.

The woman in a white nightgown standing on the street looks a lot like me. I see the swollen belly and wonder when she is due. I smile. I touch the tender spot where our baby used to grow and wince at the deep sorrow. An empty womb. He blames me and I blame myself. I should have fallen differently or turned away as he struck. I can still see the staining on the carpet where I lost our baby that autumnal afternoon.

I remember standing where the woman in white stands now. I remember wanting to step in front of the cars.

A fly lands on my arm and I shake it away. There are always so many flies in this room. I hear a shuffle in the hallway and tense. I’ve been careful. I’ve been so quiet. I’ve been good. I hope he isn’t mad. I listen for the lock, but the hallway has fallen silent again.

There’s a girl on my bed. She looks just like me.

She’s pale and grey, and a length of rope hangs from her bruised neck. Her open eyes look through me.  Her white nightgown twists around her, her arms outstretched toward me. I stand, my cold feet on the carpet and walk toward her, my nightgown swishing. I reach for her hand. Her wedding ring matches mine. I look at her brown hair and touch my own. Is she me?

Am I…?

My Post-Medication Rehabilitation Journey

My Post-Medication Rehabilitation Journey

When I quit my antidepressant medication, I was mostly hopeful but a little afraid. Would this be the time my boyfriend gives up on me being a dark-thought disaster queen? Would I spend my days in the black pool of despair that is my depressed mind? Would my anxiety keep me from leaving home or making a phone call?

So much uncertainty.

I’ve had to take a lot of steps to deal with this medication-free. I’ve had to develop vigilance and advocate for myself. I have to make decisions daily that will be better or worse for my mental health and well-being.

Quality Time – I’m spending more quality time with my son and it has been amazing. We’ve been playing more video games together and having more really good talks.

The News – I’ve been avoiding the news entirely. I don’t click on news stories or read about the goings-on of a society that seems very much in ruin. For me, right now, it’s important to steer away from doomsday and try to make some sort of mentally productive life and a triumphant return to my creative self.

Social Media – I’ve been limiting my interactions on social media and it’s been going really well. I check Facebook daily but I don’t spend all day refreshing it like I used to. Occasionally I catch myself being a little too invested and when I do, I close the tab.

Entertainment – I try not to waste as much time on YouTube watching things that don’t challenge me. I unfollowed a lot of accounts that created mostly garbage content that pandered to the lowest common denominator and I’ve been quite happy with that decision.

Reading – I spend a lot more time reading these days. At this rate, I should double my reading goal. I’ve made a return to my lost love of learning by reading more non-fiction. I’m also stimulating my brain by reading more imaginative fiction.

Writing – I’ve been pouring a lot of my strength and time into writing. When my son goes to bed at night, I try to divide my time between reading and writing. I’m still editing my novel but I’m working on setting a goal to be done my second draft by the end of April, at which point I am hoping to let a few people read it so I can get some valuable feedback.

Relationship – I’m learning to ask for what I need, and when the answer is no, to reassess its importance and work on compromise. I know I need to put myself first and to spend time with people who elevate me rather than push me down.

Toxic People – I’m getting better and knowing when to remove toxic people from my life. Difficult decisions need to be made at times, but I remind myself to be vigilant about my mental health and self-care.

There are probably thousands of other little things, but overall my mind is in a pretty good place and things are only getting easier over time as I develop healthier habits. I know now without a doubt that medication is not the right path for me in combating my mental illness, and that I’m capable of handling things myself with the right skill-set.