Sitting still is hard. Sitting still is very hard. You can no longer escape. You are handcuffed, and there is no way out. Love helps. Comfort helps. Questions work. But still, sitting still is a challenge. I like challenges, especially hard ones.
I was recently hospitalized for some mental reasons, I didn’t find it that helpful. It kinda sucked and was somewhat traumatic. I look back and think to myself “I really don’t think anyone in that hospital knew what they were talking about”. I met a guy who was hospitalized 15 times, he originally said 15 but was embarrassed and then said 10. He was such a nice guy, very wise. He tried to kill himself multiple times in his life, ever since he was a kid, hes 62 now. “God wouldn’t take me” he said. And I thank God that God didn’t take him. I learned so much just from listening to him say “today was a good day” it was a profound insight into the human psychology.
I met a man who tried to kill himself by over drinking and stopping his diabetes medicine, he ended up in the ICU for 10 days in a coma. God didn’t take him either. He turned out to be very funny, after the tension came off he made some hysterical jokes without even trying. He was the type of guy that didn’t have to try, he was just being him, and it was hard not to like him. He didn’t talk much, but I couldn’t help but laugh when he spoke, he had a Russian accent and was very simple, it was quite funny.
I also met a friend named Scott. He was an older Jewish gentleman, retired school teacher, no family besides his sister and her husband and his best friend. He tried to kill himself in the hospital. Me and this guy just seemed to get along very well, it was something about his energy. I tried to help him, but it didn’t work. Anyways after 5 days of no sleep and an over active mind, he went insane. Literally. But then the next day in group therapy he was so expressive in what he said “I’ve been in this hospital 5 days… I got 3, no 2 hours of sleep!” Gesturing two fingers while explaining. Eventually he freaked out and they had to needle him out, so that day in therapy when he was talking about it he said “You know I really think the best medicine is a good nights sleep, even if it’s not natural.” So this inability to sleep kept happening, he would be up all night with racing thoughts and wanted to kill himself, I don’t think I helped. He was a very smart man, the day I left we had a conversation on the North Korea situation and he explained to me a situation where there were protests in the 60s against Vietnam and three students were shot and killed. It made me reflect and really think about my beliefs on violence and killing solving problems, I determined it’s not worth it. I never saw the reality of my beliefs until he spoke.
Another woman I met was a heroin addict on methadone. I was always curious about heroin so I asked her, “how is it?” She said “It’s the best thing in the world.” Then she went on to talk about the unfortunate part which is the addiction, I asked her “Would you recommend it?” And this is where she really got passionate, she said “absolutely not! I wouldn’t, and never have or will be with someone the first time they try it!” I asked her about the withdrawals and she said exactly what every video I watched said and how horrible it was. I feel like there’s a simple root or plant that can wipe this out but that’s for some other time. Anyways it turns out she suffered abuse from a young age for a period of years. She spoke about an experience where she was in a rehab and told the story and one person looked at her and said “you liked it!” she said the counselor didn’t stop or even help her. I asked her if she ever had any clean time and she said “Oh yeah, 11 years, then 2 years, 1 year, 3 years.” Then we were sitting in group and the subject came up that there will be a dog coming the next day and this woman lit up like never before. She LOVED animals, she was even a volunteer at an animal shelter for a number of years. A heroin addict volunteering. Weird world.
I also met some students from NYU. I liked and learned more from the patients than I did from these book worms. Same song and dance, “do you feel this way, why do you feel this way, what happened in your past?” I don’t mean to judge, but I could tell that being able to say “I go to NYU” was one of this guys crowning achievements in life. I really look back and wanted to say to him “what’s NYU going to do when you have no food in your mouth, you’re broke, you’re homeless, and your starving? What are you going to do? Did your degree prepare you for that?”
It just makes me think of the comforts of life and how we hide behind these illusions of grandiosity like “NYU” or “Fordham” or “Executive”. Eventually I will see it the opposite way but for now that is how I feel. And then they wonder why they are unhappy and in mountains of unforgivable debt right when college is free next semester.
Although being away from home really made me realize how unappreciated I was of the comforts of being home and having a family. I love it. I don’t want to make it bigger than it is, or be attached to it, but it’s better than being surrounded by strangers and dickhead doctors who couldn’t tell an ass from a foot.
After I came home I thought deeply about the whole situation and said to myself, look if this were business, and a guy came in with a problem and I’ve been unable to solve it 15 times, I wouldn’t be in business for too long. It’s not healthcare, it’s sick care. Kill me, call me names, spit on my grave, but don’t drag it on, if you’re gonna do it, then just fucking do it!
So that was my hospital experience which was pretty shitty, but definitely informative.
Anyways I recently saw a video online of a cop pulling over 5 African American 12 year olds and holding them at gunpoint. They were literally just standing in front of a house. Not even together, just all spread apart, you would think that they were just hanging out. Anyways it brings up this idea of “saftey” and “protection” and “law enforcement” and fucking “authority”. The mother was in tears and all the cop said was “I understand, I understand, but the way they were dressed…” I’m sitting there like “your practiced calm and reassuring tone won’t help you when an angry black guy sticks a gun in your face.” But it probably will. Either way it makes me question this idea of authority and the authority within my own mind.