Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Trust and Obey (don't write about the song) (05/21/15)
- TITLE: With a Sparrow's Voice
By Bonnie Bowden
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Frantically, I paced back and forth in front of the nurses’ station. I waited for the next dose of magical elixir that would restore my sanity. Painful images: twisted red metal, yellow police tape, and orange traffic cones looped through my mind in unrelenting fashion.
The nurse spoke through the glass window, “It’s not time for your medicine yet, but Judy will escort you to see Dr. Von Mohr.” Eyes cast downward, I followed the sound of the squeaky Dansko clogs all the way down the long, linoleum tile hallway, through the locked door, and into the waiting area. After entering the office, I slumped down into the green vinyl chair and stared vacantly at the clock.
“So, Bonnie, how are you feeling?” the doctor asked.
“Not good,” I mumbled, as some of my stringy hair fell over my face.
How did you sleep last night?
My lips curved downward as I answered, “I started to doze off about 2:00 A.M. and was awakened by a flashlight shining in my face about 4:00 A.M.” Tears rolled down my cheeks. “Please give me something to sleep; I just want to sleep!”
“With all the stress you’ve been dealing with, have you ever thought you’d be better off dead?”
“Oh, sure, the thought has crossed my mind, but I’d never really hurt myself. You don’t think I’m crazy, do you?” I laughed nervously.
He didn't laugh. Instead, he looked down at the chart and started to scribble some notes. “Unfortunately, the medicine is going to take some time to work,” he said, “but I think I should up the dose of your antidepressant.”
“We’ll meet tomorrow to go over your treatment plan. If you take your medications and follow the rules, you should be able to move up to Level 2 fairly shortly. “
Debbie, a different escort, was waiting outside the door to return me safely to the ward. My heart pounded wildly and my hands turned clammy when I read the “Danger! Elopement Risk!” sign on the hallway door. I was locked inside with no escape. I wondered what I had done to deserve this.
Since I was new to the unit, I had very little freedom, so I decided to wait in the day room until group therapy began. I went from chair to chair looking for one without any type of stain or blemish. My mind had begun to race again—brother, blood, defilement. Finally, I settled myself in a seat in a corner facing the T.V. I couldn’t concentrate long enough to figure out what the basic plot was, but I could tell it was a comedy by the obnoxious laugh track in the background. The only other noise I heard in the room was of a middle aged woman softly singing to herself.
After we had all straggled into the room, Sue, the leader of our therapy group, started by handing out slips of paper with the following sentence starter: In this group I am afraid that … Sue told us not to put our name on the sheet of paper. Then the slips of paper were collected and put into the hat. Sue would take out one slip at a time and read the fear out loud. Each of us would take our turn by saying what he or she thought the person who wrote the fear was feeling.
After the exercise, our group discussed how normal and natural it was for each patient to experience all sorts of anxieties, worries, and fears about what might happen next. We agreed that acknowledging our fears was a good way to start to deal with them.
As I turned to leave the room, I looked out the window and saw a small group of sparrows gathered on the roof outside. They beckoned to remind me that as small and insignificant as my voice seemed; there was One I could trust to answer my call.
**www.theatrefolk.com (Therapy Exercise)
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